Los Angeles Business Journal

Venture Capital Upswing Bypasses L.A.

By Matt Pressberg Friday, January 17, 2014

Venture capital activity in the United States increased overall last quarter and last year, but that trend skipped Los Angeles.

There were 49 deals in Los Angeles County during the quarter ended Dec. 31 with a total of $310 million invested, according to data released Friday by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. That’s a 12 percent dip from the same quarter the previous year, when there were $352 million invested and 56 deals. That contrasts with the national figures, which were up.

For 2013, VC investments in the Los Angeles area dropped 17 percent from the previous year to $1.8 billion. The total number of L.A.-area deals also declined from 214 to 194.

Nationally, VC firms invested $29 billion in 2013, up 7 percent from the previous year’s total of $27 billion.

Snapchat Inc., the Venice company behind the popular disappearing messaging app, raised the area’s largest VC investment with a $50 million Series C from Coatue Management. The second largest amount was shared by Santa Monica car price comparison site, Truecar Inc. and subscription e-commerce outfit JustFab Inc., which both raised $30 million.

Century City VC shop Upfront Ventures, soon moving to Santa Monica, and Los Angeles angel investor network Tech Coast Angels were the most active VC firms in the region last year, making eight investments each.

Software was the leading industry for local VC investments, making up 29 percent of the total value of all deals. Media and entertainment was the second-largest sector, taking in 27 percent of venture capital invested in the Los Angeles area.