The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

U.S. companies raise record-breaking venture capital. Again.

American firms raised a record amount of venture capital in the second quarter. (iStock Image)

American companies continued to attract eye-watering sums of money from venture capitalists in the last quarter, according to a report released Friday.

U.S. firms picked up more than $17 billion in 1,189 deals through the second quarter of 2015, the highest amount since 2000, according to the report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, which is based on data from Thomson Reuters.

“We’re seeing real substance behind the companies being funded,” said said Brad Phillips, director at PwC. “These are not no-revenue start-up companies.”

Software and biotech companies pulled in the biggest investments, both nationally and within the D.C. metro region, which includes the District, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

The biotech industry is experiencing a financing boom due to research breakthroughs that have made venture capitalists more willing to invest in them, said Phillips.

Nationwide, biotech companies picked up $2.2 billion in 126 deals in the quarter, while software companies picked up $7.3 billion in 491 deals. Silicon Valley-based companies led the pack, followed by those based in the New York metro region and New England.

In the Washington region, Maryland brought in the most money.

Maryland-based companies brought in more than $137 million raised in 19 deals, up from $63 million in 25 deals a year ago. Many biotech firms are located in Montgomery County, which is also home to the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.

But funding in the rest of the Washington region fell. District-based firms picked up $59.7 million in eight deals, down from $90 million in 11 deals a year ago. Virginia companies picked up $48 million in 22 deals in the quarter, a drop from $93.2 million in 25 deals a year ago.

The drop was not significant, said Phillips, and the region’s total funding activity still exceeds a five-year annual average.

Notable deals in the quarter included a $70 million funding round for Rockville-based Regenxbio and $17 million for OriGene Technologies. In the software sector, D.C.-based MapBox collected $52 million.