Venture Activity Report Charts Surge in Energy and Cleantech Investments, Smaller-Sized Deals

Xconomy National — 

Venture investments continued to improve during the first three months of 2010, led by a strong comeback in both dollars and deals involving startups focused on energy and utilities, according to a national report released today by CB Insights, the New York private company intelligence firm previously known as ChubbyBrain.

Venture firms sank $5.9 billion in 731 deals nationwide during the first quarter, according to the CB Insights Venture Capital Activity Report. Those numbers look especially strong—more than 50 percent higher—in comparison to the same quarter of 2009, when VC investments of $3.9 billion in 483 companies hit an 11-year low.

The results also are stronger sequentially. The $5.9 billion is a nearly 7.3 percent gain over the $5.5 billion that was invested during the fourth quarter of 2009. The analysts at CB Insights suggest that both VC investors and entrepreneurs are gaining confidence about their prospects in the wake of the financial crisis that took the U.S. economy over a cliff in late 2008. (See details for California, Massachusetts, and Washington below.)

Q1 2010 CB Top 10 Cities.

Healthcare remained the single largest sector for venture money, although less VC money was invested in more deals than the previous quarter. Venture activity in Massachusetts and New York also gained against California, although the Golden State still claims the lion’s share of both dollars and deals.

In its 32-page report, CB Insights says, “While $5.9B remains far below quarterly levels seen … Next Page »

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