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Corporate VCs keep up steady investment pace in 2016

Corporate venture investors kept up a steady pace of investing last year even as deal volume fell 15.7 percent from a more active 2015, according to a report from the National Venture Capital Association and PitchBook.

The year represents the fourth in a row with activity above 1,000 deals in the United States, a significant increase from the previous seven years, the report shows.

Interest was greatest for startups working in software and biotechnology, or pharmaceuticals.

For the year, corporate venture investors participated in 1,069 deals, down from 1,268 in 2015. The study shows 1,046 companies were backed, often alongside with other syndicate partners.

The fourth quarter saw a noticeable slowdown in dealmaking. Fro the year, early-stage deals made up close to half of transaction volume.

Software deals were 44 percent of the total and bio, or pharma, startups made up about 8 percent. Other top categories were health \care devices and services, and IT hardware, the report shows.

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