Southern California Companies Raise $856.8M in Q1

PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) released their quarterly venture capital numbers over the weekend, reporting that Southern California had venture capital investments totaling $856.8M for the first quarter of 2008, invested in 93 companies. That compared with over $1.1B in 85 companies invested in Q1 of last year, however was up over last quarter, when So Cal saw $731M in investments in 89 companies.

The report, which is based on data from Thomson Reuters, found that nationwide, there was $7.1B invested in 922 deals in the first quarter, down 8.5 percent from the fourth quarter when there was $7.8B in 1045 deals. The firms said that 11 of the 16 industries tracked by the report saw a decrease in levels of investment, and 14 of the 16 with declines in deal volume. The exception was Media/Entertainment -- a traditional strength of Southern California--which saw both an increase in dollars and deals, with nationwide 45 companies receiving $210M in funding.

In the Southern California region, the San Diego area lead the area with $455.7M in venture investments for the quarter, followed by Los Angeles with $249.4M invested. Orange County received $151.8M in venture capital investments.

In Southern California, Biotechnology by far was the industry with the most investments, with investments worth $251.0M. Medical Devices had nearly $196M in investments, with Industrial/Energy investments--which includes clean technology and green technology companies--third place with $73M in total funding.

According to numbers from the report, Silicon Valley continues to lead the nation in both deals and dollars, with nearly $2.6B over 306 venture capital deals in the quarter. Southern California was still number two in the nation in terms of dollars, just ahead of New England, which had $721.5M invested in the quarter. However, New England saw more venture deals, with 108 compared with Southern California's 93.