Q1 Disbursements: Lowest Point in Six Years –

The downward trend in venture investing continued in the first quarter. Venture capitalists invested 40% less than they they did in the same quarter a year ago, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers/Venture Economics/National Venture Capital Association Money Tree Survey.

The total amount of venture dollars raised by U.S.-based companies in the first quarter was the lowest since $3.11 billion was raised in the first quarter of 1997. The total number of deals was the lowest it has been since the third quarter of 1996.

VCs continue to favor late-stage over early-stage deals and show considerable interest in life sciences. For a full analysis of the quarter, see “Q1 Fund-Raising and Investments Hit Lows,” Page 12.