Saturday, January 26, 2008

VC investment in East Bay up in 2007

East Bay Business Times - January 28, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008
VC investment in East Bay up in 2007
East Bay Business Times - by Mavis Scanlon

Big increases in investments in energy and health care companies helped drive up the total venture capital investment into East Bay companies in 2007.

Despite a drop in deal count for the year, to 85 from 98 last year, venture capital investment in East Bay companies reached $1.2 billion, up from $1.1 billion in 2006, according to the Quarterly Venture Capital Report released Jan. 22 by Dow Jones VentureSource.

Driven by record investments in bio­pharmaceutical, medical device and energy companies, venture capital investment in all U.S. companies climbed 8 percent in 2007 with the most deals and capital invested since 2001.

The deal count reached 2,648 deals for the year, slightly ahead of 2006, and capital investment reached $29.9 billion, up 8 percent compared with in 2006.

According to the report, California was once again the top market for venture capital investment in 2007, accounting for 42 percent of all deals and 47 percent of all capital invested with just under $14 billion.

The Bay Area attracted the bulk of the state's venture capital investment with 818 deals garnering $9.9 billion, 3 percent more than 2006.

In the East Bay, the energy, advanced specialty materials and chemicals, and health care sectors saw increased investments, while venture investments in information technology, and business and consumer retail investment was down.

East Bay energy companies saw $173 million invested in eight deals throughout the year, up from $50 million invested in five deals in 2006.

"This is definitely something for us to monitor," said Valerie Foo, research manager at Dow Jones VentureSource. "After all, UC-Berkeley has been devoting a lot more focus on energy and sustainability."

The Bay Area in general sees more venture capital activity than other areas because some of the nation's top schools are here, Foo added, so it's natural that a lot of startups spawn where the leading universities are located. | 925-598-1405

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