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Boston Beats Seattle in Venture Capital Bowl With Biotechs as MVPs

Xconomy Boston — 

It’s Super Bowl Friday—Super Blue Friday, here in Seattle, where the sun shines in January. Time for a good old fashioned venture capital showdown between Seattle and New England.

It’s not much of a contest, unfortunately. Venture investors did 390 deals in the greater Boston area last year, compared to 173 in Seattle, according to Seattle-based PitchBook.

By dollar value, the final score was New England, $4.8 billion, Seattle, $1.9 billion.

Interestingly, PitchBook counts 24 venture firms or angel groups that made investments in Seattle last year compared to only 19 in the Boston area.

The top-five most-active investors in each market, with the number of deals they did:

Boston
Atlas Venture, 36
TechStars, 14
Start Tank Boston, 12
General Catalyst Partners, 12
.406 Ventures, 12

Seattle
Madrona Venture Group, 20
WRF Capital, 10
Ignition Venture Partners, 8
Maveron, 8
Vulcan Capital, 7

The top deals in each market were in biotech. New England wins again with Moderna Therapeutics’ $450 million round. Intarcia Therapeutics $200 million raise came second. In Seattle it was Juno Therapeutics, which closed two venture rounds in 2014, raising some $310 million, before going public to raise $265 million more. Adaptive Biotechnologies raised more than $200 million, also over the course of two rounds.

But while New England companies racked up 72 pharma and biotech funding rounds for more than $2.1 billion, there was little to speak of in Seattle beyond the Juno and Adaptive deals. Investment in Seattle bio and pharma companies totaled $612 million across 13 deals.

What impact will this have on the big game Sunday? Probably none.