Southern California Firms Get $694M In Q3 2012 Venture Funding

The latest numbers from the PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association MoneyTree report finds that companies here in Southern California raised $695.4M in funding in Q3, up in terms of dollars from Q3 of last year, when $670.9M was raised. In terms of deals, the quarter was actually down from last year, with 79 deals completed in Q3 of this year, versus 91 in Q3 of 2011. Quarter to quarter, both dollars and deals were down, although Q2 to Q3 numbers have consistently been lower for at least the last six years. The MoneyTree report--which is compiled with data from Thomson Reuters--found that so far in 2012, $2.5 billion has been invested in the region via venture capital.

Nationally, Southern California again ranked third in the nation in terms of total venture dollars raised in the quarter; the top region, unsurprisingly, was Silicon Valley, which drew in $2.62 billion in investments; followed by New England, with $826.1M in investments; with Southern California taking third with it $694.5M raised. New York followed Southern California with $512.8M in investments.

In Los Angeles, near $324.2M was invested across 48 deals; San Diego has $241.5M in 20 deals; and Orange County had $128.8M invested, in 11 different investments. Biotechnology firms raised the most amount of money, with $146.0M invested in that sector; Industrial/Energy firms, which includes a significant number of clean technology companies, had a total of $137.4M in investments. Finally, the third biggest area for funding was Retailing/Distribution, which had a total of $105.7M in investments, split across only three companies, including JustFabulous raising $76M, and Nasty Gal raising $25M.

The companies raising the most dollars in Southern California were Fisker Automotive ($103.7M); JustFabulous ($76.0M); Aragon Pharmaceuticals ($50M); and SiTV ($40M).

In terms of venture capital, the most active investors in Southern California companies were the Pasadena Angels with 8 deals, Siemer Ventures (7 deals); Versant Ventures (5 deals); and GRP Partners (5 deals). The most active Southern California venture capital firms, including those investing outside of the region, was nearly the same list, with the Pasadena Angels (9); Siemer Ventures (8), Clearstone Venture Partners (5), and GRP Partners (5 deals) topping the rankings.

Nationally, venture capitalists invested $6.5 billion across 890 deals, down 11 percent in terms of dollars, and five percent in the number of deals compared to the second quarter. In releasing the numbers, Mark Heesen, the president of the NVCA, attributed the downward trend to low life sciences investments, due to regulatory uncertainty, capital intensity, and investment time horizons in that area; as well as "smaller, more capital-efficient" deals in the clean technology sector. Image courtesy Bigstock.