SoCal Investments Totals Around $700M In Q1

Southern California Venture capital totals were up slightly in Q1 of this year from last quarter, to around $718M in deals, according to an analysis of's proprietary venture database. According to numbers derived from socalTECH's venture database, there was $717.96M invested in Southern California in the first quarter, up from only $465M in Q4 of 2008. However, venture funding totals were still well off the first quarter of 2008's nearly $1.2 billion in funding. socalTECH tracks day-to-day venture capital activity in the Southern California region, and uses venture data disclosed by companies announcing funding; self-reported by both technology companies and venture firms; as well as regulatory filings and other sources.

However, the totals for the quarter were significantly boosted by PIPE (private investment in public equity) deals in San Diego, which were included in the analysis due to the venture capital firms involved. Among the top deals for the quarter were an $86.6M PIPE in Cadence Pharmaceuticals, a $50M PIPE in Clarient, as well as venture investments in Sangart ($50M) and Victory Pharma ($45M). Other firms receiving significant capital during the quarter were car buying technology firm Zag, with around $37M raised, and solar energy firm eSolar, which raised $30M from an Indian partner during the quarter.

The totals give an early look into other venture capital surveys due later this month. The totals will differ, due to sources of information, timing of funding events, and classification of data, but should be close in terms of venture deals tracked. PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association, and Ernst & Young/VentureOne will release their quarterly nationwide results of venture activity later this month.