A dozen Triangle technology companies managed to raise $112.2 million in venture capital funding in the second quarter, marking yet another solid quarter.
Five Triangle companies raised more than $10 million each, led by Innocrin Pharmaceuticals’ $28.1 million haul.
“I’m thrilled to see the large-dollar deals,” said Laura Robinette, who heads the Raleigh office of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. “That’s more than we have seen in a while in a quarter.”
The venture capital data being release Friday was compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on information supplied by Thomson Reuters.
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To put the Triangle recent venture capital landscape in perspective, over the past two quarters Triangle companies have raised $196.4 million in venture capital, which marks the best half-year mark since 2011. When you include the $163.5 million raised in the fourth quarter of 2014, the Triangle posted its best nine-month span since 2008.
It’s a stark contrast from last year, when the Triangle went through a string of disappointing or lackluster quarters. The pool of local companies that rely on venture capital is small enough that the presence or absence of a big deal or two can cause wide swings in the quarterly numbers.
Triangle entrepreneurs have long complained about the dearth of venture capital firms based in North Carolina, which makes it more difficult for young information technology and life science companies to raise the funding they need to develop new products or beef up their sales and marketing capabilities.
But in recent quarters, Robinette said, Triangle companies have done a better job of raising money from venture capital firms located elsewhere.
Still, Robinette was disappointed that North Carolina ranked 14th among the states for the amount of venture capital raised in the quarter.
“Quite frankly, I think it’s a good sign when North Carolina is in the top 10 states,” she said. “The numbers are great, but at the same time, are we getting our share of venture capital?”
Nationwide, venture capitalists invested $17.5 billion in the second quarter, up 30 percent from the first quarter. The 1,189 deals in the latest quarter were up 13 percent from the first quarter.
Venture capitalist Jason Caplain of Bull City Venture Partners in Durham, which focuses on investing in information technology startups, said that based on the local deals he’s seen in the pipeline, “I think the next couple of quarters should be pretty robust. I actually feel pretty optimistic.”
However, he added, Bull City Partners is being “very cautious” about making new investments because company valuations have been steadily increasing but the payoffs that the venture capital firms gain when the companies are acquired or go public have remained relatively flat.
The higher a company is valued, the smaller the ownership stake venture capitalists obtain in exchange for their investment.
“We’re getting some discomfort around the valuations of these companies,” he said.