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Stepping Down in San Diego: Venture Funding and Our Top 10 List of Fourth Quarter VC Deals

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terms of the level of activity,” Kleeburg told me by phone this morning. “What we’re seeing, though, is that it still takes a lot of time to get these deals done.”

One explanation worth pondering comes in an Xconomist post today from Michael Greeley of Boston’s Flybridge Capital Partners. Greeley, who also is chairman of the New England Venture Capital Association, suggests that the political uncertainty surrounding the repeal of healthcare reform has made VCs reluctant to invest in new life sciences ventures.

However you slice it, the downturn is concerning—which means the 2011 venture outlook slated for tomorrow at the San Diego Venture Group’s monthly breakfast meeting should be an interesting discussion.

MoneyTree also provided a list of San Diego’s top 10 venture deals of the fourth quarter, with investors noted below as they are listed in the report.

—Fallbrook Technologies, $39.2 million, Emerald Technology Ventures AG, NGEN Partners, Robeco Private Equity, and undisclosed investors.

—aTyr Pharma, $23 million, Alta Partners, Cardinal Partners, Domain Associates, Polaris Venture Partners.

—Genomatica, $21.3 million, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and undisclosed investor.

—Aires Pharmaceuticals, $20 million, MPM Capital, ProQuest Investments.

— EMN8, $12.2 million, Allegis Capital (aka: Media Technology Ventures), Sid R. Bass Associates.

— Ceregene, $11.5 million, Hamilton BioVentures, Investor Growth Capital, MPM Capital.

—Kyriba, $10.6 million, Iris Capital Management, SAS Investors, Seventure Partners.

—Nirvanix, $10.4 million, Intel Capital, Mission Ventures, Valhalla Partners, Windward Ventures.

—Ortiva Wireless, $8 million, Artiman Ventures, Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel Capital, Mission Ventures.

—Verdezyne, $6.3 million, Monitor Venture Management, OVP Venture Partners, and undisclosed investor.

The surveys done by VentureSource and the MoneyTree Report (which is prepared by the National Venture Capital Association, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Thomson Reuters) don’t line up because each uses different sources and methods to collect and count venture deals. VentureSource ranks the $23 million invested in aTyr Pharma as the biggest San Diego deal in the fourth quarter. MoneyTree counts Fallbrook Technologies’ $39.2 million as its No. 1, but does not include a $10 million investment in Histogen listed by VentureSource.

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