Research methodology & data


This paper combines methodological approaches and datasets to provide a comprehensive picture of the historical emergence of VC investment in an emerging technology class. At the core is a database consisting of press publications from several major international newspapers which were compiled from January 1st 1995 to December 31st 2011. All articles from the selected newspapers during that time frame that mentioned the term “Venture Capital” were downloaded. The source of this data is Lexis Nexis which compiles international press. Within Lexis-Nexis, we chose the subset of “Major World Newspapers”, which comprises 79 international newspapers in English language. This selection of articles makes it possible to analyze the development of the VC industry on a global level. In total there are 84,259 articles mentioning “Venture Capital” in the whole data set. The 17 years, which are observed, are divided into 68 quarters for the analysis. The lowest number of articles per quarter was published in the first quarter of 1995 with only 491 articles including “Venture Capital” appearing in major newspapers. The highest number of articles appeared in the second quarter of 2000 at 3097 articles.

— Historical development of articles containing the term “Venture Capital”

Figure 2 — Historical development of articles containing the term “Venture Capital”

The data resulting from the analysis of the media discourse is matched with investment data from the Thomson One Banker database of private equity investments. The investment data used is from the years 1995 until 2013. These data on total and subsector VC investments are from all global VC markets and include all investments from seed to late stage investments. Additionally, a comprehensive search for resources on the cleantech industry, (e.g. reports, policy papers and web media) was undertaken. These data have been thoroughly analyzed and used to confirm the findings of the other streams of research.

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