Infographic: the new startup ecosystem


Even if we are experiencing another bubble, is that so bad for startups trying to get funding? This infographic, which Column Five Media did for Udemy, examines some of the evidence. Though VCs are doing fewer deals than they were before the recession really took hold in late 2008, the amount of money invested is up to prerecession levels. That’s good news for startups trying to raise money — at least in the short-term. But the valuations of some companies compared to their revenue might spell trouble for the future.

Graphic courtesy of Column Five Media


Niall Harbison

See the thing about bubbles is that there is never this many people writing or talking about them when they come along. They usually catch people by surprise with their pants down! There is no doubt that there is some overvaluation (Color $41million and some early stage start ups getting money for nothing) but as for a full scale bubble I don’t think so. It’s an age of great opportunity for technology and the investments are being made to capitalize on that

James Stratford

This is an interesting Infographic, however I see an inconsistency which is on the US Map MA has 10% and NY has 6%. With that when you go down it has MA 5% and NY 17% on 2010 and then MA 5% and NY 11%. While it’s remotely possible that I’ve misinterpreted the stated data, it’s most likely as stated. If so could you edit it and resubmit so it’ll show the reflected outcome? Thanks, and by the way it is great information, am just stuck on the details. :)

satyen zaveri

There is a need to do a similar analysis for BRIC countries. There is a lot of money flowing there. Is a similar report/analysis available for Russia?

Ritu Raj

I think great companies, ideas, innovation get funded when the time is right based on the category they are in. I really do believe that. I founded a company called Wag Hotels (no experience in the hospitality business) however there was a huge need for upscale kennels, raised 12M from friends and family.

I guess what I am saying it, with more money available, more people can get funded with a trial idea. LOL

Kevin Flavin

It seems like there are two forces at work here. First, the number of deals completed is lower – could be investors are still skittish and risk-averse. Second, the valuations are higher – could be that the money is there to invest, but not the right deals, see point #1. Has anyone done a qualitative survey on number of ideas/deals compared to 2008/2009/2010?

Cyndy Aleo

Thanks for letting us know. We try to check all the links, but occasionally one slips through. It should be working now.

Social Commerce

Fantastic article, and I really hope VC funding continues with this nice momentous push. There are some fantastic innovators in the social commerce area, and opportunities abound.


The companies are not comparably scaled on Revenue v Valuation. For example, Skype valuation circle should be the same size as LinkedIn’s valuation. And Facebook’s valuation circle should be slightly larger.

Nicole Solis

I had a suspicion about this, which I just confirmed with the folks at Column Five. The scale is based on the relationship between the revenue and valuation, not directly on the dollar amount. Hope that helps.

Nicole Solis

The fine folks at Column Five Media revised the image to better reflect the numbers, and we’ve updated the graphic.

Andrew J Scott

It would make more sense not just to include US cities in this, but the various hubs of significant Start-up community and investing; i.e. it should certainly include London, which has much greater activity than Austin and I’d argue currently a larger community than NYC, and potentially some other cities although I don’t have stats for them.

Arnold Waldstein

I now have my infographic fix for the week;)

The fact that jumped at me was the number of ‘marketing’ start-ups funded. Do you a source to get a list of these?

Ellie K

Yes, it IS an infographic extravaganza! I’d second @Arnold Waldstein’s inquiry, about “Advertising, Sales and Marketing” category start-ups’s being in the top three (at 14%) of all start-up categories.

I really scrutinized the small print. While I was deeply gratified to see that you use better sources than most infographics, I noticed that the data is aggregated from 3 different sources. I guess it might not be easy to break out the information for us. But if possible, that would be great!

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