VC Invest $587M In SoCal In Q4, But National Investments Drop 37 Percent In 2009

The latest numbers from the MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data from Thomson Reuters, were released this morning, finding that there was $587.8M invested in Southern California in Q4. Those numbers were up from both Q3, when $506.9M was invested in Southern California, as well as Q4 of last year, when $508.2M was invested in the region. However, nationally, venture capital numbers were much worse, with venture investments dropping to the lowest level in more than a decade. According to PwC/NVCA, investments in 2009 were at the lowest level since 1997, with only $17.7 billion invested across 2,795 deals during the year nationally. That was a drop of 37 percent in terms of dollars, and 30 percent in terms of deal volume for the year.

Locally, San Diego led the region in terms of venture deals for the quarter, with $300M invested, followed by Los Angeles, with $239.1M in investments. Orange County saw $48.7M in investments for the quarter. Among the biggest investments in the region in the quarter were Torrance-based Amonix, which received nearly $40M in funding; among other large deals were San Diego's Zogenix with $35M raised, and Thousand Oaks-based Xirrus, with $20.1M.

By industry, Southern California saw its biggest investments in Biotechnology, with $195.6M invested--the vast majority of that in the San Diego area. The Industrial/Energy sector ranked second, with $95.16M in investments, followed by Software, with $63M in investments, and Medical Devices and Equipment, with $60.3M in investments in the quarter.

In terms of venture firm activity, the report found that DFJ Frontier was the most active in the quarter, with five deals; GRP Partners, Mission Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures all had four deals each in the quarter.