Data spotlight: VC fervor spreads beyond Silicon Valley, except to New York

Venture capitalists in the United States put more money to work last year than they had since 2000, and a big fourth quarter was one reason why.

The year ended with a $14.8 billion quarter, the largest for venture investing since the final three months of 2000, according to the MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data from Thomson Reuters.

What’s interesting is that the check-writing fervor didn’t just ignite in Silicon Valley. It was broadly based, with quarterly activity catching fire in the Midwest, the Southeast, Massachusetts, Los Angeles and Colorado. Even Texas saw an uptick.

That is to say, most everywhere except New York City. In New York, venture investing was almost exactly what it was in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The accompanying table lists the nation’s top venture investing regions and the increase they saw in dollars dispersed from a year earlier. The largest of them all, Silicon Valley, saw an 84 percent jump during the fourth quarter and a 15 percent increase in deals. (The average deal size rose to $18 million.)

Massachusetts, which leaped ahead of New York, saw a 108 percent spike. The Los Angeles region (which includes Orange County in the MoneyTree report) saw a 157 percent hike, also passing New York.

Big deals help explain this shift. Massachusetts benefited from the $446 million round Moderna Therapeutics raised, one of the quarter’s largest.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles benefited from two big deals: Snapchat’s $485.6 million round and Nanthealth’s $320 million financing.

Dollars invested in Southeast jumped 170 percent and in the Midwest rose 107 percent. Colorado saw a large increase.

In contrast, dollars put to work in New York inched up just 0.04 percent, according to the MoneyTree. The Big Apple did have one of the quarter’s largest deals; Wework Companies raised $355 million. But it wasn’t enough to tip the scales in the city’s favor.

Despite the relatively slow quarter, the New York metro area made out well for the year.

VCs invested slightly more than $5 billion in New York area startups in 2014, putting it ahead of nearby rival Massachusetts and in second place behind Silicon Valley.