Venture Capital Hits 12 Year Low

The latest venture capital numbers from both PricewaterhouseCoopers/NVCA based on data from Thomson Financial, and numbers also released over the weekend by Dow Jones VentureSource, finds that venture capital is at a twelve year low. The two, quarterly capital reports both found that venture volume dropped in the first quarter, with PwC/NVCA reporting $3.0 billion in 549 deals nationally, and Dow Jones VentureSource reported $3.90 billion across 477 deals. The results were the lowest venture level since 1997, according to Pwc/NVCA numbers, and the lowest since 1996, according to Dow Jones VentureSource. The report by PwC found that "almost every industry sector" saw declines.

Locally, Dow Jones VentureSource reported $462 million in 58 deals in Southern California. PricewaterhouseCoopers and the NVCA also broke out local numbers, finding that Southern California saw nearly $295.2M in 54 venture capital deals, with Los Angeles reporting $115.6M in deals, Orange County seeing $92.1M, and San Diego with $87.4M in venture investments during the quarter. PwC found the largest funding deals were for San Diego's Mpex Pharmaceuticals, with $27.5M raised, followed by Orange County-based LenXs Lasers. The largest deal for Los Angeles was $15M in a funding for Buzz Media.

Based on numbers provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers, in terms of industry, in Southern California, the most dollars flowed to Medical Devices and Equipment, with $78.2M invested in local companies; Biotechnology firms raised $59.35M, and Industrial/Energy was third with $40.7M.

Compared with other regions nationwide, Southern California once again fell below New England, which saw $375.6M in 67 deals. The amount invested was down significantly from the $493.7M invested in Q4 of last year, and was almost one third the $892.4M in deals from Q1 of 2008.