Corporate Venture Activity Shows A Steady Rise; Investors Joined 15% Of Deals Last Year

Corporate venture capitalists have steadily accelerated their investment activity over the past three years with an eye on not just cleantech startups but software and biotech deals.

Corporate investors last year participated in 15% of venture deals in the United States, according to the MoneyTree Report generated by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters, publisher of this blog.

That is up from 13.6% of deals in 2010 and 12.7% in 2009. Activity levels still have a distance to go to match the 19% of deals in 2007 and 2008.

In total, corporate investors poured $2.3 billion in 551 deals in 2011, up 15% in both dollars and deals, the MoneyTree Report shows.

The top investment sector last year was software, where $883 million was put to work. Biotech was second on the list with 172 deals attracting $694 million. Since the beginning of 2010, corporate venture organizations have been a part of more than a fifth of cleantech deals and come up with 15% of the money going into the sector.