Washington area companies raked in $1.54 billion from venture capitalists last year, more than double the amount of money raised during the prior year and the largest sum in more than a decade.

Though venture capital tends to be a cyclical business, the numbers indicate the region may have officially rebounded after the economic downturn and subsequent political discord that made venture capital dollars harder to get.

The figures were released Friday in a quarterly report from the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Thomson Reuters provided the data.

The report defines the Washington region as Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District, though the list of deals that appears in Capital Business strips away firms beyond D.C. and its immediate suburbs.

The fourth quarter alone saw companies raise $313.2 million in 54 deals. That’s up 168 percent compared to the same three-month period in 2012 when companies got just $116.8 million in 37 deals.

The numbers are buoyed by a handful of medium-size deals, a departure from past quarters in which one large investment lifted the entire region.

Dulles-based Cigital, a consulting firm specializing in software security, raised $50 million from LLR Partners. Other top local deals included CustomInk ($40 million), Vox Media ($34 million), Logi Analytics ($27.5 million) and Sweetgreen ($20.5 million).

Software proved to be the dominant industry for the second quarter in a row. Those companies pulled in $125.6 million in 27 deals in the fourth quarter.

The consumer products and services industry, which includes restaurants, automotive service centers and clothing, among other business categories, was a distant second with $65 million raised in four deals during the quarter.

Note: Data for these charts comes for venture capital firms, some of which do not identify recipients or the amount raised. Companies showing an amount of $0 were excluded from this list.

SOURCE: PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association. Data by Thomson Reuters.

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Report: Washington area firms raised $1.54 billion in venture capital last year