Venture investing in San Diego, which sprinted through the first nine months of 2012, was flagging in the fourth quarter home stretch, according to the MoneyTree Report released today.
Venture firms invested just $174.6 million in 24 startups during the last three months of the year, marking a 41 percent plunge in funding compared with the same quarter in 2011, when VCs invested almost $296.2 million in 25 deals. The $174.6 million in funding for San Diego companies also was sharply off the average of $301.7 million in fourth-quarter venture investing for San Diego companies over the previous 12 years.
The MoneyTree Report has provided a detailed assessment of quarterly VC activity since 1995. PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) currently prepare the report, using data from by Thomson Reuters. The report also breaks out the top 10 deals in San Diego for the quarter and in 2012, which are listed below.
Despite the weak quarter, the strong pace of investing early in the year helped carry the total dollars invested in San Diego for 2012 to the highest level since 2008, with $1.1 billion invested in 101 companies. It marked a 20 percent increase over capital invested in 2011, when VC firms provided total funding of $926.6 million; and a 10 percent decline from the 113 deals counted in the previous year.
The $1.1 billion total for 2012 was only slightly off the $1.25 billion average over the previous 12 years.
Venture investments in San Diego life sciences companies, which include startups developing new drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics, accounted for most of the deals that amounted to $5 million or more throughout the year. The deal count, however, was divided more equally between the life sciences and tech, cleantech, and Internet deals.
Based on MoneyTree data, San Diego’s top 10 venture deals during the fourth quarter were:
Ambit Biosciences, $21.7 million.
Lithera, $20.6 million.
Tandem Diabetes Care, $20 million.
Cebix, $18 million.
Auspex Pharmaceuticals, $17.49 million.
PatientSafe Solutions, $13.28 million.
Epic Sciences, $13 million.
Avelas Biosciences, $7.65 million.
MabVax Therapeutics, $5.25 million.
SmartDrive Systems, $5 million.
Based on MoneyTree data, the top 10 venture deals of 2012 in San Diego were:
Sapphire Energy, $141.9 million.
Aragon Pharmaceuticals, $87.8 million.
Tandem Diabetes Care, $55.2 million.
Celladon, $52.2 million.
SmartDrive Systems, $52 million.
Sangart, $50.74 million.
Astute Medical, $40.45 million.
Genomatica, $34.5 million.
Cebix, $30.9 million
Global Analytics, $25 million.