Venture capital firms kept pouring money into Los Angeles growth companies in the second quarter, but preferred to invest in previously funded enterprises rather than in brand-new ones.
The $728.7 million invested during the quarter ended June 30 represents a jump of more than 100 percent from the same period a year ago, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's quarterly Money Tree survey.
The second-quarter total was also 22 percent more than the $599.3 million invested locally during the first quarter ended March 31.
The increase is an undeniable sign that venture capitalists are betting the L.A. area will continue to spawn companies benefiting from the Internet revolution.
VCs' strong preference for established companies seems to indicate a new cautiousness, possibly due to the sharp drop in Internet stocks this spring.
The number of VC deals in the L.A. area (which includes Santa Barbara and Ventura counties) actually dropped from 48 in the first quarter to 44 in the second, with only 11 of those companies receiving funding for the first time.
Meanwhile, the average deal size jumped to $16.6 million in the second period from $12.5 million in the first.
"The VCs are being more selective in what they go after and are making bigger bets," said Richard Withey, partner in charge of technology and entertainment for Southern California at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. "There were more investments this quarter going to the second and third rounds of funding rather than the seed round."
Investors definitely gave the cold shoulder to Internet commerce companies, with virtually no e-tailers getting any new funding during the quarter.
Instead, VCs favored firms with some sort of proprietary technology or those involved in developing online infrastructure.
"The kind of companies funded in the e-tailing and B-to-C space that were getting funded six or nine months ago aren't (getting funded now)," said Withey. "Venture capitalists aren't backing away from the technology and Internet sectors at all, they're just more focused."
Several L.A.-area companies got well over $25 million during the April-June period.
Fasturn, a business-to-business company that developed an online network for apparel and home furnishings, got $45 million, while PeopleSupport.com, an Internet customer-support firm, received $50 million.
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