Some Q3 Megadeals Amid Decline in U.S. VC Activity: Behold the Top 10

10/19/12Follow @bvbigelow

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invested in 992 deals. Venture funding during the third quarter also was off 10 percent from the previous quarter, when venture firms put nearly $7.3 billion into 935 deals.

There are clear signs that VC activity is softening, and the overall venture funding level will clearly be lower in 2012 than it was in 2011, according to John Taylor, the NVCA vice president of research. CB Insights, a New York financial data firm, reached the same conclusion in a rival study released earlier this week.

“When you look at what industry is the strongest, software absolutely stands out,” Taylor told me by phone yesterday. Nevertheless, he says, “There’s a general apprehension in the economy about what’s ahead. There’s also general angst about the fiscal cliff and about what’s ahead, and what the tax rates will be.”

Tracy Lefteroff, the global managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ venture capital practice, echoes Taylor’s concerns in today’s statement: “We’re seeing fewer new venture funds being raised, which means less capital is available for new investments. And we’re seeing venture capitalists be very cautious with the capital that is available due to the lack of a significant number of liquidity events. Instead venture capitalists are continuing to support the companies already in their portfolio.”

Without the big deals, the quarter would have looked very different. The top 10 deals of the quarter were:

Square, San Francisco; $200 million

Box, Los Altos, CA; $125 million

Elevance Renewable Sciences, Woodridge, CA; $104 million

Fisker Automotive, Anaheim, CA; $103.7 million, New York; $100.8

GitHub, San Francisco; $99.5

Social Finance, San Francisco; $77.2 million

Just Fabulous, El Segundo, CA; $76 million

Protean Electric, Auburn Hills, MI; $72.6 million

Quirky, New York; $68 million


Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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