Orange County's venture capital scene was a mixed picture in the third quarter, with the number of deals rising from the second quarter but total funding declining. Medical technology continued to be O.C.'s main drawing card for venture investors.

The county saw 12 companies get venture money last quarter, up from nine in the second quarter, according to data firm CB Insights. The dollar amount invested, however, fell 16% to $140.9 million from $167.2 million.

The drop in dollars mirrored the national scene, as venture investments overall slowed after a torrid first half of the year. Total U.S. venture investment fell 30% in the third quarter, to $9.79 billion from $13.89 billion in the second quarter.

Although Orange County's venture funding sum of $140.9 million last quarter was modest compared with the billions flowing to Silicon Valley, O.C. still took in more than many entire states, including New Jersey ($130 million), Virginia ($94 million) and Arizona ($79 million), CB Insights data show.

O.C.'s biggest venture deals last quarter were mostly later-stage fundings, meaning venture investors were adding dollars to companies that have already been nurtured by several capital infusions.

The quarter's largest deal was a $35 million Series D investment in Sonendo, a Laguna Hills-based company that has developed a sonic technology to improve the root canal process for dental patients. The company began to roll out the system this year.

In another medical deal, Irvine-based Ivantis got $25 million in funding. The company is working on a new treatment for glaucoma using a nickel-titanium stent the size of an eyelash. So far, the stent is available in the U.S. only as part of clinical trials.

Another company working on vision-related treatments is AcuFocus of Irvine, which took in $21 million in venture capital last quarter. The company, founded in 2001, has developed a corneal inlay device that corrects for the loss of up-close vision (such as for reading) as people age. The device is available overseas but is still pending U.S. approval.

A number of O.C. firms attracted initial-stage (Series A) funding, including HomeUnion. The Irvine firm got $5.5 million in venture funds last quarter. HomeUnion says it's pioneering a "stock-market-like" platform for real estate investing.


  3 Q 2014 2 Q 2014 1 Q 2014 4 Q 2013 3 Q 2013
Number of Financing Deals 12 9 15 11 12
Amount Invested ($M) $140.9 $167.2 $226.5 $245.3 $128.3


Sonendo Endodontic therapy technology Laguna Hills Series D $35 OrbiMed Advisors, Meritech Capital Partners, SEB Venture Capital, Fjord Ventures, Neomed Management
Ivantis Develop solutions for treatment of glaucoma Irvine Series B - IV $25 New Enterprise Associates, Ascension Ventures, MemorialCare Innovation Fund, Delphi Ventures, GBS Venture Partners, EDBI, Foresite Capital Management, Vertex Venture Holdings
AcuFocus Developed KAMRA, an inlay for the treatment of near vision loss Irvine Series F $21 Versant Ventures, SV Life Sciences, Medtronic, Accuitive Medical Ventures, The Carlyle Group, HealthCare Royalty Partners
ClariPhy Communications Develops mixed signal and advanced digital signal processing technology Irvine Series E $19.7 Norwest Venture Partners, Allegis Capital, ONSET Ventures
Cold Genesys Oncolytic viral immunotherapy company Newport Beach Series A $13.6 Ally Bridge Group
WiSpry Designs and manufactures RF components Irvine Series D $8 Paladin Capital Group, Acadia Woods Partners
Focal Therapeutics Medical device company that develops an innovative tissue marker Aliso Viejo Series A $7.8 Okapi Venture Capital, Emergent Medical Partners
HomeUnion Online real estate Investment management platform Irvine Series A $5.5 Artiman Ventures
Metronom Health Diabetes management technology Laguna Hills Series A $5.3 Fjord Ventures


*Quarterly tallies consist of equity rounds completed in the quarter and in which a venture capital or corporate venture firm participated in the round.

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