2012 VC Funding Strong in Software, Soft Elsewhere: The Top 10 Deals

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information about their initial investments in stealthy startups. Individual investors also have flocked into seed-stage deals, which might have some VCs holding back for later rounds.

John Backus, a managing partner with New Atlantic Ventures in Reston, VA, agreed, saying, “Early stage investing continues at really healthy levels. I think what we’re seeing reflects a very healthy, angel, incubator, and accelerator market.”

Looking forward, Backus said his firm has focused its investments in six general areas that offer prospects for substantial growth: cybersecurity; online education; e-commerce; mobile; advertising technology; and what he calls “the business of healthcare.”

In his outlook for 2013, however, Backus predicted that venture funding for startups will likely remain tight: “I worry about global economic issues that still need to be sorted out. Businesses don’t like uncertainty, and there still is a lot of uncertainty out there in the world, not only in America, but across the globe.”

Jim Healy, a general partner with Sofinnova Ventures in Menlo Park, said his firm generally has been focused on investing in a handful of specialized fields, including ophthalmology, dermatology, cancer, and orphan diseases. While the overall environment for life sciences investing remains challenging, Healy said, “We do see the macro [economic] trend as being very positive, and we look at the healthcare and biopharmaceutical markets as being both large and stable”—and likely to benefit from the healthcare needs of the aging U.S. population.

Based on MoneyTree data, the top 10 U.S. venture deals during the fourth quarter were:

Intarcia Therapeutics, Hayward, CA; $155.9 million.

IO Data Centers, Phoenix, AZ; $90 million.

Zulily, Seattle, WA; $85 million.

BrightSource Energy, Oakland, CA; $83.6 million.

Valeritas, Bridgewater, NJ; $75.6 million.

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, Novato, CA; $75 million.

Cloudera, Palo Alto, CA; $64.7 million.

23andMe, Mountain View, CA; $58 million.

Calxeda, Austin, TX; $55 million.

Street Response Laboratories, New York, NY; $53 million.

Based on the MoneyTree Data, the top 10 U.S. deals of 2012 were:

SquareTrade, San Francisco: $238 million.

Square, San Francisco; $200 million.

Intarcia Therapeutics, Hayward, CA; $155.9 million.

Fisker Automotive, Anaheim, CA; $147.6 million.

Sapphire Energy, San Diego, CA; $139 million.

Fisker Automotive, Anaheim, CA; $129.7 million.

Box, Los Altos, CA; $125 million.

Drilling Info, Austin, TX; $116.8 million.

Harvest Power, Waltham, MA; $112 million.

Elevance Renewable Sciences, Woodridge, IL; $104 million.


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

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