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Report: Fourth-quarter VC figures fall

Investment into U.S. venture-backed companies declined in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a report released Friday by Dow Jones VentureSource.

U.S.-based companies raised $6.6 billion from 733 venture capital deals, a 20 percent decrease in capital and a 17 percent decrease in deals from the same period in 2011.

“This quarter’s drop in venture capital investment marks the third time on record that a fourth quarter has been the lowest of the year,” said Maryam Haque, senior research analyst for Dow Jones.

San Diego’s figures for the fourth quarter slumped, following the national trend. The quarter proved to be the weakest for the year, with $166 million flowing into 18 deals. During the same quarter a year earlier, there was $350 million for 17 deals.

Locally, venture capital investment in 2012 was up for the year, totaling $1.19 billion for 85 deals, compared to $995.7 million in 2011 for 87 deals.

The health care industry in San Diego was the big winner in 2012, with $668.96 million for 41 deals, up from $516.45 million in 2011 for 46 deals.

Nationally, venture capital investment in 2012 totaled $29.7 billion for 3,363 deals, a 15 percent decline in capital and a 4 percent decline in deals from the previous year.

“Investors became increasingly cautious as exit activity and venture capital fund-raising declined in the latter half of 2012, which seems to have hindered many startups’ efforts to raise money before the year ended,” said Haque.

In 2012, corporate investment saw its best year since 2000. Eight corporate deals garnered $220 million in the fourth quarter, a 32 percent increase in capital despite 50 percent fewer deals compared to 2011.

IT continued to attract investors throughout 2012, accounting for 33 percent of the total venture capital investment.

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