Southern California Firms Raise $738M In Q4 2011

The latest numbers from the PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture capital Association MoneyTree survey, which is based on data from Thomson Reuters, tallies $738.34M invested in Southern California in Q4 of 2011. The amount is up from $528.0M raised in Q4 of 2010, and up from the $652M invested in the region last quarter. Nationally, $6.6 billion was invested in 844 deals in Q4, which the report said was a 10 percent decrease from Q3. So far for 2011, $28.4 billion was invested nationally, a 22 percent increase in dollars over the prior year. The report found that the amounts invested in 2011 represented the third highest annual investment total in the past ten years.

In Southern California, San Diego County took the lead in investment totals, raising $262.1M in venture funding. Orange County--boosted in a large part by a funding for Fisker Automotive--racked up $242.45M in funding. Los Angeles had $226.75M invested in companies.

The biggest deals during Q4 in Southern California were Fisker Automotive, which raised $108.25M, San Diego's Razer USA, with $50M raised, and Orange County's AcuFocus, with a $41.869M round. The biggest Los Angeles deal was a funding for SolarReserve, for $27.0M.

In terms of industries, Biotechnology led the investments with $207M invested in the category, followed by Industrial/Energy, with $155.27M, then Medical Devices, with $133.59M in funding. The category of perennial interest in Southern California, Media and Entertainment, only saw $55.3M in deals, with the vast majority ($50M) attributed to Razer, which makes computer gaming hardware.

Finally, the most active investors in Southern California companies were 500 Startups, the venture investment fund run by Dave McClure, Versant Ventures, Frazier Healthcare and Technology Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates, all with three investments in the region. Of those, only Versant is based here in the area. Southern California investors were more active outside Southern California, with the most active firm being La Jolla-based Avalon Ventures, which made seven investments during the quarter, San Diego's Revolution Ventures, with four investments, and Los Angeles-based GRP Partners, which also tallied four investments in Q4.