Q1 VC Investment Data Is A Mixed Bag

Venture capitalists invested $4.7 billion into 681 U.S. companies during the first quarter of 2010, according to MoneyTree data released today by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB). This represents a decrease in both deals and dollars from the preceding quarter — by 18% and 9%, respectively — but an increase over the first quarter of 2009.

The biggest losers were life sciences companies, whose collective take fell 26% quarter-over-quarter. Cleantech, on the other hand, rebounded with 87% more venture funding than in Q4 2009.

Seed and early-stage deal volumes decreased, expansion-stage increased and later-stage remained relatively flat. Per usual, Silicon Valley led all geographic regions, followed by New England and New York metro.

The quarter’s largest deal was for electric car maker Fisker Automotive, which raised over $115 million from VC firms and strategic partners/supplier A123 Systems. The second and third-largest deals look a bit more like PE than VC, but I’ll reserve judgement until taking a deeper look (I’m writing this from an airline terminal, awaiting the SFO-BOS redeye).

In the meantime, here’s a bunch of data:

National spreadsheet

Regional spreadsheet

Top 10 Deals