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There is consistent discussion and often lively debate about California’s venture capital activity versus the activity of the typical #2 and #3 states, Massachusetts and New York, respectively. A great deal of this discussion tends to discuss California as if it is a single monolithic market with the underlying implied assumption that California = Silicon Valley. Of course, Silicon Valley does dominate nationally and globally, but CB Insights’ data about Southern California’s venture capital activity indicates that the region’s venture capital tallies are far from immaterial. In fact, SoCal beats New York on a dollars and deals basis and comes very close to the venture capital levels seen in Massachusetts. (Note: Southern California’s venture capital activity includes deals done in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange and San Diego.)
On a dollars basis, SoCal’s 2009 venture capital activity was more than double the dollars that New York saw in 2009. And Southern California’s venture capital haul in 2009 was only 2% less than Massachusetts, the perennial #2.
On a deals basis, 8.4% of 2009’s venture capital deals occurred in SoCal which saw 31% more deals than New York.