The numbers are in for the first three quarters of 2006: According to Dow Jones VentureOne and Ernst and Young, venture capital firms have invested $455.5 million in 79 deals involving Web 2.0 companies -- more than double the deal flow of the same period in 2005.
The amount represents 28% of the $1.6 billion VCs have plowed into consumer technology firms, and the interest is no doubt due to froth created by the recent Google/YouTube and News Corp./MySpace deals and the hope to get a front row seat for the next great buyout or IPO.
Are we in tech bubble territory? A number of firms feel that too much money is chasing too few good deals, and that there is a sort of "lemming effect" in operation.
However, many still believe that there are still opportunities in the market, and I for one believe that one area that can help an up-and-coming Web 2.0 company distinguish itself in this increasingly crowded space is to integrate VoIP, Video and other IP communications capabilities within their social networking framework. The technology has the capability to act as superglue for an online community -- providing a foundation for incredibly rich collaboration and other applications.
I've written a bit about this juicy opportunity before, most recently in my Internet Telephony magazine Mind Share 2.0 column, VoIP Mash-Ups in a Web 2.0 World.
I'm sure there are a bunch of great examples of IP Comm/Web 2.0 combinations out there -- and I'm all ears if you know of any -- and if so, please feel free to comment!