Venture Investments Rise Nationally, Socal Investments Drop

PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association released its quarterly venture capital results Saturday, reporting that venture firms invested $29.4B for last year, a rise of 10.8% over 2006. The investment level nationally was the highest yearly investment since 2001, a six year high. The quarterly PwC/NVCA MoneyTree report, based on data from Thomson Financial, found that the increase in investments in the quarter was driven by record investment levels in clean technology and life sciences, as well as strong investments in Internet-related companies.

Southern California investments totaled $677.6M in 78 deals, down from $784.4M invested in Q3. Regionally, San Diego dominated investments in the region, with $423.7M in investments, driven in a large part by clean technology and biotechnology investments; Los Angeles saw $168.8M in investments, and Orange County $85.0M.

The biggest deals for the quarter were all in San Diego County, led by Ambit Biosciences ($49.3M), REVA Medical ($42.0M), and Anaptys Biosciences ($34.0M). In Los Angeles County, the biggest venture deal was for frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry, which raised $27.5M, followed by Xencor with a $19.0M funding round. Orange County's biggest deals were for Energy and Power Solutions, with $20.0M raised, and REVShare, which also raised $20.0M for its business.

Sector-wise, by far, Biotechnology led the region in dollars invested, with over $270.8M invested; Software was second, with $115.8M invested in Q4.

Nationally, Southern California dropped behind New England, which reported $860.7M in 77 venture capital deals. Silicon Valley continued to lead the nation in venture capital investments, with $2.39B in venture investments for the quarter.