Boston-area venture investing is starting to look a lot like 1999.
That’s my take from crunching the regional numbers in the latest MoneyTree Report, prepared by the National Venture Capital Association, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Thomson Reuters. The Boston stats are in rough agreement with the national trends reported by my colleague Bruce Bigelow, but they are more pronounced in terms of growth.
The report says venture firms poured $1.06 billion into 96 Boston-area companies in the second quarter of 2011 (April through June). That’s almost double the dollar amount from the previous quarter ($553 million in 69 deals), and the most since the first quarter of 2001—remember those days?—when $1.37 billion was invested in 135 Boston companies. But perhaps the most historically similar quarter was the third quarter of 1999, when dollars invested topped $1 billion for the first time, peaking at $2.39 billion in the first quarter of 2000. Most of us remember what happened from there.
The biggest Boston deal of the last quarter was the $165 million growth round invested in Boston e-retailer CSN Stores by Battery, Great Hill, HarbourVest, and Spark Capital. Most of the other notable deals were in biotech and life sciences. The biggest was the $77 million Series G financing round for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, MA. General Compression, an energy storage firm in Newton, MA, also raised a large round. No social media companies in the top 10, but consumer Internet and security were represented in the tech arena.
Here are the 10 biggest venture deals for Boston-area companies from the second quarter of 2011 (according to MoneyTree, with links to our related coverage; in some cases the financing amounts don’t agree, because of tranches and book-keeping, or else somebody be lyin’):