A piece, via WSJ, provides some sobering stats:

There were 844 venture firms investing in U.S. companies last year, 40 fewer than in 2006, according to the latest data from VentureSource, a research unit of VentureWire publisher Dow Jones. That is down 30% from the bubble year of 2000, when there were nearly 1,200 active investors.

The total includes a substantial number of firms–224, or 27% of the total–who didn’t back any new companies last year, an indication that the ranks of active investors will continue to thin.

The post goes on to give some more data about the US-based National Venture Capital Association’s members:

Heesen said he foresees a 15% decline in the next two years in the total number of venture firms investing in the U.S., many of them too small to meet the NVCA’s membership threshold of $5 million under management. The NVCA has about 470 member firms representing 90% of the venture capital under management in the U.S.,

Many of the active investors in 2007 did only a few deals. Less than half–45%–completed four or more investments. And 29% made just one investment.

What does the community think? Is there a sense of slowdown here in India as well?

Udhay Shankar N

Udhay is a veteran of the technology and entrepreneurship scene, having helped found his first entrepreneurial venture straight out of college in 1991. Since then, he has been invoved in various pioneering ventures,
including (among other things) India's first web site company (in 1995), and India's first startup to get silicon valley venture capital funding (in 1999). He has helped build Yahoo!'s first social media network (before facebook existed) and was recently helping Intel build new products for the Indian consumer. In addition, he set up and ran the startup accelerator at the VC fund, Axilor Ventures, and spends a lot of time helping startups of various kinds further refine their product and strategy.

He is also the force behind the well-known discussion group silklist, since 1997, which makes it one of the longer-lived email lists on the net. Discussions on silklist have ended up inspiring articles, books, Ph.D theses, and sociological studies. Recently, he helped found the 'unconference' styled event, The Goa Project, which aims to bring interesting people of all types together to learn and collaborate..

More info about Udhay on Linkedin.