Venture financing surged across the Southeast in the third quarter, posting the best three-month performance in two years, according to new figures from the MoneyTree survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Venture Economics.

Similar figures were also reported by the Venture One and Ernst & Young venture capital report.

Led by such deals as Biolex closing on $36 million in September, Southeast firms closed on $460.6 million in 59 deals, The MoneyTree survey reports. That’s more than double the third-quarter total of $242.3 million. In fact, through the first six months of the year some 101 deals raised just over $530 million.

For the same quarter in 2004, Southeast firms landed $222 million in 50 deals.

The Southeast region is also on track to exceed the 2004 total of $1.277 billion in deals with some $991.3 million reported already this year.

The numbers were somewhat higher in the Venture One report, which cited 46 deals in the Southeast totaling some $519 million. That’s up from 42 deals worth $317 million in 2004.

Nationally, some $5.3 billion was invested in 714 companies in the quarter, the MoneyTree report said. That’s a drop from $6.1 billion from the previous quarter.

Investments in later-stage companies did surge to $2.6 billion, the highest amount in four years.

Wireless investments also set a four-year high at $455 million.

However, venture funding excitement seems to remain under control.

“Are we concerned about a growing frothiness here? The answer is absolutely not,” said Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association. “There is simply not enough money coming into the asset class to support the kind of exuberance we saw in the late 1990s, and that’s a good thing.”

The Venture One report cited $555 million in deals, up $5 million from the previous quarter. That’s down from $574 million a year ago.


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