By Donald Zuhn --
Last week, Dow Jones VentureSource reported that investors put $6.4 billion of venture capital into 661 deals in the first quarter of 2011, which constituted a 35% increase in funding and a 5% increase in deals as compared with the same period last year. VentureSource noted that corporations provided $448 million of the $6.4 billion raised by venture-backed companies and were responsible for three of the ten largest deals of the first quarter.
In the healthcare sector, the VentureSource report indicated that while funding rose 21% to $1.6 billion, the number of deals dropped 6% to 148 in the first quarter of 2011 over the same period last year. Of the industries making up the healthcare sector, biopharmaceuticals collected 53% ($849 million) of healthcare funding and was responsible for 41% (61) of the sector's deals, which constituted a 15% increase in capital and a 13% drop in deals. The information technology sector matched the healthcare sector's $1.6 billion in funding in the first quarter.
Earlier this month, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) released its own report on venture funding, which indicated that $5.9 billion had been invested in 736 deals in the first quarter (see "NVCA Reports Modest Gains in First Quarter Venture Funding"). The NVCA report also noted that $1.4 billion had been invested in 164 first quarter deals in the Life Sciences sector (which like VentureSource's healthcare sector consists primarily of biotech and medical device companies).