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Dip, But No Slowdown in First-Quarter VC Funding, & Top 10 Deals

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coming from Wall Street and other places. “What we have here is a pattern where this incremental money is all coming from outside venture capital,” Taylor said.

The investing trends charted in the MoneyTree Report generally correlate with the returns reported earlier this week by the New York venture database CB Insights, even though the numbers don’t exactly match up. The MoneyTree Report, prepared by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) with data from Thomson Reuters, uses different criteria than CB Insights in the way it counts venture deals, investment tranches, and types of deals.

Dow Jones’ VentureSource, which uses altogether different criteria in its survey of quarterly venture activity, reported Thursday that venture firms invested $15.7 billion in 875 deals during the first quarter. Dow Jones said funding levels increased slightly from the $15.6 billion that VentureSource counted in the prior quarter, although the deal count declined slightly from 890 in the previous quarter.

VentureSource said funding levels were substantially lower in the year-ago quarter, when VCs investing $12.4 billion, but the deal count was higher, at 960 deals.

According to the MoneyTree Report, first-quarter funding for software companies declined from the fourth quarter, when $6 billion went into the sector. Yet software continued to be the biggest recipient of venture funding, as VCs invested $5.6 billion in 434 companies during the first quarter, according to the MoneyTree Report.

More than $3.1 billion in venture funding went into 231 Internet-specific deals, which was roughly comparable to the $3 billion that went into 236 Internet deals in the prior quarter. (The MoneyTree Report classifies Internet-specific as companies with a business model that is fundamentally dependent on the Internet.)

First-quarter venture activity in the life sciences (biotechnology and medical devices combined) amounted to $2.2 billion and 193 deals. That was down almost 18 percent from the $2.7 billion that VCs invested in 198 deals in the previous quarter. But it was 34 percent higher than the almost $1.7 billion that VCs invested in 186 deals in the first quarter of 2014.

Investments in companies that MoneyTree classifies as “industrial/energy” ranked as the third-largest sector for venture dollars in the quarter, with $1.4 billion going into 63 deals. Five of MoneyTree’s 17 industry categories experienced increases in venture dollars invested during the first quarter, including telecommunications, healthcare services, and financial services.

According to the MoneyTree Report, the 10 biggest deals of the first quarter are:

Uber TechnologiesSoftwareExpansion$1 billion
SpaceXIndustrial/EnergyLate Stage$999.9 million
LyftSoftwareLate Stage$530 million
PinterestMedia/EntertainmentExpansion$367.1 million
Social FinanceFinancial ServicesExpansion$213 million
LyndaMedia/EntertainmentLate Stage$186 million
SimpliVityTelecommunicationsExpansion$175 million
DataminrSoftwareExpansion$129.9 million
Taboola.comIT ServicesLate Stage$117 million
21 IncIT ServicesEarly Stage$116 million

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