PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association are reporting today that venture capitalists invested $759M in Southern California in Q4 in 92 deals, The numbers compare to $5.7 billion invested for the quarter in total, in 802 deals nationally. San Diego County saw the greatest volume of deals, with $380M invested in the quarter, followed by Los Angeles, with $256.5M in deals, and then by Orange County, with $122.4M. Overall, the region again passed New England as the second most active region in the country for venture capital in terms of dollars. New England saw $695.2M in investments in 96 deals, versus the $759M in Southern California for 92 deals. By contrast, the Bay Area continued to lead the nation in venture capital activity, with $2.1B in 260 deals for the quarter.
By far, the Southern California industry with the most activity was Biotechnology, which saw $252M in investments for the quarter. Other active industries in Southern California were software ($105.5M), Semiconductors ($94.9M), and Medical Devices ($91M). According to PwC and the NVCA report, the most active Los Angeles/Orange County area investors were the Tech Coast Angels, with 15 reported deals, Rustic Canyon Ventures, with 5 deals, and GRP Partners, with four deals. In San Diego, Enterprise Partners led the list with 5 deals, followed with four deals each from Avalon Ventures and Mission Ventures.
Among the largest deals for Southern California for the quarter were funding for San Diego-based Kalypsys, with $100M raised in a round; $42M for Agoura Hills-based Symark Software; and $40M for Los Angeles-based Spotrunner.
"Funding in Southern California was the highest seen since 2001, and all indications are that 2007 will pass 2006," Randy Churchill, Director of Business Development for PricewaterhouseCooper's Southern California Technology Practice, said in an interview. "We're optimistic that there will be continued success in Southern California's venture market" he said.
For the year, PwC and NVCA found that there was $25.5 billion in investment, in 3,416 deals for 2006. Media and Entertainment, an area which Southern California has traditionally been very strong, was among the growth sectors, and was up 14%, according to Tracy Lefteroff. Global Managing Partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, discussing the results on a conference call with press Monday. Other sectors showing strong growth were the life sciences sector, which includes both biotech and medical devices; energy; and Internet-specific companies.