Southern California venture capital investments total $497.8M, according to the latest numbers from the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association, which were released this evening, based on data from Thomson Reuters. The investments totals were up from the $464M invested in Southern California in Q3, and increased more than the trend nationally, up 7 percent versus 2 percent nationally.
The biggest investments for the quarter went to Irvine-based Fisker Automotive, which raised $78.0M, followed by Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), the commercial rocket firm of Elon Musk, which raised $50.2M. The third biggest investment was for San Diego-based Fallbrook Technologies, a maker of transmission systems for the electric vehicle industry, which raised nearly $39.2M in a funding round.
In terms of the region, San Diego led in terms of total investments, with $193.1M in investments, followed by $182.7M in investments for the Los Angeles area. Orange County had a relatively healthy $121.9M, boosted mostly by the Fisker Automotive investment.
When looking at industries where there were investment, Industrial/Energy clearly led, with $177.5M, with all three of the largest investments in that category. Software investments took second place, with $102.2M in investments. Biotechnology investments were third, with $99M in investments.
The most active investors in Southern California for Q4 were Mission Ventures (6 investments); Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (4 investments); DFJ Frontier (4 investments); Okapi Venture Capital (3 investments); Draper Fisher Jurvetson (3 investments); First Round Capital (3 investments); and Arboretum Ventures (3 investments).
Nationally, venture capital investors invested $21.8 billion across 3,277 deals in all of 2010 -- up 19 percent in terms of dollars, and 12 percent in terms of deals compared to last year. For Q4, nationally there was $5.0 billion in 765 deals, or a 2 percent increase in dollars and a 3 percent decrease in deals from Q3.