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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
Fab.com, 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