Southern California Companies Raise $751M In Funding in Q3, Says Report

PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association released their Q3 2008 venture capital numbers over the weekend, finding that Southern California companies raised nearly $751 in funding during the quarter. According to the MoneyTree Report, based on data from Thomson Reuters, Los Angeles companies led the region with $385.6M in deals, followed by Orange County with $186.9M, then San Diego with $178.4M invested.

Nationally, there was $7.1B in 907 deals for the third quarter, down 7 percent compared with Q2. However, it does not appear that the overall economy has yet hit the numbers: the groups said that overall venture investment numbers remained within historical norms, and that the financial crisis in October was not reflected in third quarter venture capital numbers.

The biggest deals for the quarter were Santa Monica-based SolarReserve, which raised $140M in a clean technology funding; Irvine-based electric automaker Fisker Automotive, which scored $65M; San Diego-based renewable petrochemical maker Sapphire Energy with $35M, and a nearly $35M funding of Laguna Hills-based Glaukos, which develops medical devices for treating glaucoma. In terms of industries, by far the largest funding area for Southern California was in the Industrial/Energy sector, with $316.3M invested. The second most active industry was Medical Devices and Equipment, which saw $103.37M in investments. Surprisingly, Media and Entertainment only saw $18.1M in investments.

Southern California, which has been ranked second in terms of venture capital activity for a number of quarters, slipped in Q3 to third, as Boston regained the lead with $834.1M over 117 deals, versus the $751M in only 76 deals for Southern California.

Commenting on the possible impact of the financial crisis on venture markets, Randy Churchill, Director of Business Development for PricewaterhouseCoopers Southern California venture capital practice, commented in a statement that "We ... do not expect venture funding to dry up. Venture capitalists have slugged through difficult economic times before and this one should be no different. They are long-term investors and won't jump ship just because the times are tough. "