Billboards, hotels, taxi services and similar businesses were favorites of investors in Mainland China in 2007, as annual venture capital investment in the region reached its highest level in six years with US$2.49 billion invested in 241 deals, according to the China Quarterly Venture Capital Report released by Dow Jones VentureSource.
This represents a 5% increase in investment over 2006 despite 14 fewer deals in 2007. Specifically, the fourth quarter saw 60 deals and US$660 million invested in China, a 6% increase over the US$622 million invested in 63 deals in the fourth quarter of 2006, according to the report.
In total, the report found that China's retail industry saw a record US$1.25 billion invested in 94 deals in 2007, up 83% over the US$682 million invested in 2006. The most popular segment within this industry was consumer/business services, which accounted for 48 deals and US$761 million in 2007-61% of the industry's investment total.
While healthcare is a relatively small investment industry in China, particularly in comparison to the U.S. and Europe, it did post record gains in 2007 with 21 deals and US$175 million invested, more than double the US$86 million invested in 15 deals in 2006.