The flow of venture capital dollars invested into Los Angeles-area companies fell 16.3 percent from a high of $4.17 billion in 2015 to $3.49 billion last year, according to a report by Dow Jones Venture Source.
However, the dip in L.A. funding was smaller than the national drop in venture capital investment, which fell 32.2 percent from $77.3 billion in 2015 to $52.4 billion last year.
“The numbers are pretty consistent with 2013 and 2014. 2015 was a spike year,” said Jamie Montgomery, managing director of Santa Monica-based venture firm March Capital Partners. “The spike was driven by a large number of unicorns nationally. There were 46 new unicorns in 2015 versus 16 new unicorns in 2016.”
Despite lower numbers, the L.A. venture market appears to be healthy, he added.
In particular, L.A. appears poised to birth and nourish enterprise software firms in the years coming, said Montgomery, noting a large number of engineers graduate from local institutions, such as USC, UCLA, CalTech, and Harvey Mudd.
“I think we will see more Series A and Series B investments in the enterprise IT space,” he said, adding that notable local enterprise software companies include cybersecurity firm Signal Sciences of Venice, marketing software firm Retention Science of Santa Monica, and user authentication firm TeleSign of Marina Del Ray.
Beyond increased enterprise software investments, the largest and most impactful financing event this year will the reported $25 billion initial public offering of Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, he said.
“That’s going to return a lot of capital locally and that will skew these numbers in Southern California,” he said.