Survival Is Not a Strategy

In these perilous economic times, the layoff memos often follow a familiar refrain: “We have cut costs by 20 percent. That gives us an additional year’s runway. Or two.” But while yes, companies can cut costs and prolong their survival, when it comes to startups, just because they can doesn’t mean they should.

Mobilize: The VC Panel

We’re rounding out the panels with a gathering of VCs. Venture funding for mobile has been energized by the iPhone App Store and other recent developments, but what are the opportunities for a venture-backed big-time success between mobile apps, mobile web efforts and various business models? Here are my notes:

Matt Marshall, Editor and CEO, VentureBeat: What are the most popular iPhone apps and what are you seeing in new companies?

Matt Murphy, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers: We are seeing at the iFund 15 percent enterprise, 85 percent consumer, with even distribution between social networking, games, communication and stuff like that. Right now they’re simple, lightweight, fun, easy to use — given that we’re only three months into this and six months since we launched the SDK, pretty good. Not bad revenue streams either. I’m most excited going forward about the next wave of more sophisticated applications.

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Despite the Summer, VCs Kept On Funding

[qi:053] Despite the seasonal summer slowdown, the venture capital community maintained its furious investing pace in the third quarter, investing $7.1 billion, down just slightly from $7.2 billion in the second quarter. Here are some of the highlights from the data released by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (and based on data provided by Thomson Financial). (Press Release in PDF format.)

* Internet-specific companies took in $1.1 billion via 195 deals in the third quarter, a 17-percent rise, on a dollar basis, over the second quarter, when $903 million went into 160 deals.

* Media and entertainment saw $509 million go into 96 deals, an increase in terms of both deals and dollars from the second quarter, when $464 million went into 77 deals.

* Seed and early-stage investing dollars in the third quarter fell 15 percent, to $1.4 billion in 305 deals from $1.7 billion in 395 deals in the prior quarter.

* U.S.-based venture capitalists invested $206 million in 31 deals in China, down 52 percent from the second quarter, when $429 million was invested in 38 deals. Also in the quarter, U.S. venture capitalists invested $248 million in 22 deals in India vs. $119 million invested in 18 companies during the second quarter.