Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Tracking trends in the venture capital industry is about as easy as predicting the weather. In other words, just about the time one concludes doom and gloom are on the horizon, the sun does indeed rise again.

Such is the case with the latest VC investment figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers and Thomson Reuters. The for the second quarter is the best since the recession struck.

North Carolina certainly exemplifies the turnaround: Fourteen deals worth more than $130 million from April-June, good for seventh nationally.

A year ago the same quarter produced a meager $88 million.

Even if Dow Jones, which reports its latest venture data on Saturday, also notes a strong quarter, the investment news is offset by two recent grim reports:

  • A survey of venture capitalists in the U.S.
  • Plus, is way down.

So, for the moment, the Moneytree report should be taken as at least a break in the weather. And the Moneytree data doesn’t include all the deals that were reported.

For example, according to an SEC filing, Durham-based PocketGear raised $12.5 million in late June.

Plus, in April, Overture Networks pulled in $17 million.

Want more? Square 1 Bank, which focuses on venture-backed firms, raised $48.5 million.

On the other end of the scale, Durham-based Joystick raised some $500,000.

However, the PWC data didn’t include these deals for some reasons. (PWC’s Laura Hoke says she is asking about the Overture deal in particular.) The Moneytree report also includes a $35 million funding round for a bank – BNC Bancorp in High point. Although Reuters reported the round as a private equity raise, whether it was really a venture deal is being pursued by Hoke, she tells Local Tech Wire and

Several facts should be noted:

1. The Triangle remains N.C.’s leader for VC dollars with 11 of the 14 reported deals.

2. Biotech and medical devices are dominant, clearly reflecting the region’s growth as a national pacesetter in life sciences.

3. Some companies remain publicity shy when it comes to fund raising. As Hoke noted, several firms in the latest report didn’t announce their deals publicly.

So even if there seems to be little venture news happening at times, there very well may be action behind the scenes.

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