New England VC investment rises

The first quarter of 2006 was the best opening quarter in four years for New England businesses seeking venture capital, according to the recent MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Financial.

Total funding was up 18 percent from the previous quarter’s $740.1 million — a 35 percent increase from the same quarter in 2005.

The region maintained its second-place ranking nationally in venture investment with total funding of $871.9 million. Only Silicon Valley companies received more in VC investment, with $2.06 billion.

“The first quarter’s success indicates the continued strength of the region’s venture capital industry,” said Tracy Lefteroff, global managing partner of the venture capital practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Although the unusually high amount is more indicative of the ebb and flow of funding cycles.”

Three companies received $225 million of the total investments. ITA Software Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., an airfare pricing and shopping software company received $100 million in later-stage funding, while Microbial Inc., a service provider for the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, also from Cambridge, received $75 million for expansion and Insulet Corp., of Bedford, Mass., received $50 million in later-stage funding to develop disposable insulin delivery systems. – TRACIE STONE

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