Southern California Sees $1.9 Billion In Q1 Deals, Biggest Since Dot Com Boom

Southern California saw a staggering $1.9 billion in investments in Q1 of 2015, according to the latest numbers from the PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association MoneyTree report, which was released this evening, The quarter was the biggest, investment quarter for Southern California since the dot com era. The last quarter to ever reach the same investment heights was more than fourteen years ago, in fourth quarter of 2000, when $1.95 billion was invested in the region at the tail end of the dot com boom.

More than half of this quarter's investment due to a single, nearly $1 billion investment in Hawthorne-based SpaceX. Other large funding deals in the quarter included $186M invested in Lynda, $76.28M invested in San Diego's aTyr Pharma, and $50.0M invested in SmartDrive Systems.

The Los Angeles area saw a total of $1.476 billion in Q1 deals--including that giant round for SpaceX--San Diego saw $270.1M in investments, and Orange County saw $172.81M in funding. Biggest industries for funding were Industrial/Energy, with just over $1.0 billion invested--again thanks to SpaceX--then Software, with $316.95M in deals. Biotechnology companies were the third most popular investment area, with $165.3M invested.

The most active investors in Southern California for the quarter were Frost Data Capital (8 investments); Upfront Ventures (7 investments); Wavemaker Partners (6 investments); and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (4 investments).

Nationally, Southern California once again was in the number two position in terms of dollars invested--again, thanks to that big SpaceX investment--although, as usual, it was far behind Silicon Valley's $6.0 billion in investment deals for the quarter. New England was right behind Southern California, with $1.4 billion in deals, and the NY Metro region had $1.39 billion in investments. Nationally, $13.42 billion in venture capital was invested for the quarter. That reflected a national decline of 10 percent in terms of dollars and 8 percent in number of deals compared with Q4 of 2014.

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