The number of venture capital deals declined each of the past four quarters in Los Angeles and Orange counties, but the dollar value of these deals — especially for later-stage companies — has kept overall funding figures stable.
The two counties saw 72 deals finalized in the first quarter of this year, compared to 120 deals finalized in the first quarter of last year — a 40% drop — according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Information Services Inc. But the dollars invested have fluctuated quarter to quarter, the report found, declining by a much smaller percentage — just 17% — year over year in the first quarter to $1.5 billion from $1.8 billion.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, venture funding surged to $2 billion after dipping to $852 million in the third quarter.
“Over the past three quarters, we’ve seen the number of deals moderate down, while the total amount invested stays relatively consistent,” PwC Partner Tom Ciccolella wrote in the report.
Statewide, California-based companies saw funding drop 53% to $13.2 billion in the first quarter of this year from $28 billion the previous quarter, the report found.
“A slight dip to start 2019 is no reason to sound the alarm,” said PwC Partner Christie Good. “We are seeing the volume of deals go down, but we’re seeing the deal sizes go up and an influx of mega-deals,” meaning deals worth $100 million or more.
Last quarter’s surge in VC funding in the region was bumped up in part by a $165 million Series D funding round raised by home services software developer ServiceTitan Inc., based in Glendale. That deal was finalized in November.
“If any of those mega-deals had been delayed a month or two, we would have been looking at a much different deal value this quarter,” Good noted. “When you look at the mega-deals closed this quarter and last quarter, they’re certainly predominantly tech.”
California leads the field in total technology raises, bolstered by growing and established companies in the Silicon Beach and Silicon Valley sectors. PwC’s study notes that in the artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and financial technology industries, California achieved the top spot with highest volume of deals and most capital invested.
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