Pacific Northwest Is Last Year’s Venture Hot Spot

Go north young investor.

Venture capitalists in most regions of the country put less money to work in 2012 than 2011. Not in the Pacific Northwest.

There, money dispatched to emerging companies rose a startling 35%. Only the San Diego region comes close to sparking the same enthusiasm. Investments in this area of Southern California rose 20%.

Every other area of the United States saw investment declines, with the exception of the Los Angeles-Orange Country region and the Southwest, where tiny increases essentially kept investment levels flat, according to the year-end MoneyTree Report on venture activity.

The survey is put together by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters, publisher of this blog.

The report found that venture capital investing in the country as a whole fell 10% in 2012 to $26.5 billion. Deals slipped 6%.

Investors countered the trend in the Pacific Northwest, putting $1.08 billion in local startups, up from $796 million in 2011. Completed deals fell to 151 from 167 a year ago. The annual dollar total was helped by a strong fourth quarter, when $330 was put to work.

Among the year’s top deals were financings for Donuts, Zulily, DocuSign, Apptio and Kona Medical.

The San Diego area also saw greater excitement than a year ago with $1.12 billion promised to companies, up from $927 million in 2011.

The Silicon Valley saw investments slump 6.5% and New England investments fell 3.3%.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.