Venture Activity in Washington State Picks Up in Second Quarter, Surpasses 2007 Levels

7/21/08Follow @gthuang

Pacific Northwest venture deals are making a comeback of sorts. Second-quarter investment numbers for Washington are up compared with the same period last year, according to data released over the weekend by Dow Jones VentureSource.

In the second quarter of 2008, there were 25 venture deals in Washington worth a total of $302 million—an 8.7 percent increase over the $278 million invested in the second quarter of 2007. This bucks the national trend in which many regions, such as the San Francisco Bay Area and New England, reported substantial declines compared with the same period last year.

The second-quarter tally in Washington was also a 39 percent increase over the $217 million invested in the first quarter of this year. However, the current pace of 50 deals (worth some $519 million) done through the first half of the year still lags 2007′s year-end total of 114 deals worth $1.3 billion.

Investments in biotechnology, medical devices, software, and Internet led the way, with Bellevue, WA-based Light Sciences Oncology raking in $40.1 million for the top spot (the deal closed on June 30). Also making a splash was Wetpaint, a consumer-Wiki website based in Seattle that raised $25 million, and ReliOn, a fuel-cell energy company based in Spokane, WA, which raised $23 million—the latter reflecting a national trend of increased investment in energy and utilities.

Here’s a roundup of the top 10 Pacific Northwest VC deals in 2Q08, along with the investors:

1. Light Sciences Oncology (Bellevue, WA)—$40.1million
Investors: undisclosed

2. Wetpaint (Seattle, WA)—$25.0 million
Investors: Accel Partners, Duff Ackerman & Goodrich, Fidelity Ventures, Frazier Technology Ventures, Trinity Ventures

3. ReliOn (Spokane, WA)—$23.0 million
Investors: Buerk Dale Victor, Chrysalix Energy Management, Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, Oak Investment Partners, PCG Asset Management, Robeco Group

4. Talyst (Bellevue, WA)—$20.0 million
Investors: AIG Global Investments, Ignition Partners, OVP Venture Partners

5. Immune Design (Seattle, WA)—$18 million
Investors: Alta Partners, Column Group, Versant Ventures

6. Pelago (Seattle, WA)—$15.0 million
Investors: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Reliance Technology Ventures, Trilogy Equity Partners, T-Venture Holding

7. VLST (Seattle, WA)—$15.0 million
Investors: Amgen Ventures, Arch Venture Partners, MedImmune, MPM Capital, OVP Venture Partners

8. NexPlanar, formerly Neopad (Hillsboro, OR)—$14.5 million
Investors: BlueRun Ventures, Intel Capital, InterWest Partners

9. Fate Therapeutics (Seattle, WA)—$12.9 million
Investors: Arch Venture Partners, OVP Venture Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, Venrock

10. Verdiem (Seattle, WA)—$12.0 million
Investors: Catamount Ventures, Falcon Technology Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Phoenix Partners, Westly Group

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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