By Denver Business Journal

Venture capitalists invested $157.6 million in 24 Colorado deals during the third quarter, according to the MoneyTree Report released Wednesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

The number of deals is one more than in the second quarter but the amount invested fell from $208 million.

The size of the investments is up from $94 million in the third quarter of 2010, when venture capitalists put money into 21 deals.

Two cleantech deals alone accounted for nearly half of Coloradoâ¿¿s third-quarter VC total.

The beneficiaries were Sundrop Fuels Inc. of Louisville, which received $35,999,000, and Boulder Wind Power Inc., which garnered $35 million.

Keith Parsons, lead partner for PwCâ¿¿s Colorado Technology and Cleantech practice, noted that Colorado saw only two venture deals over $20 million in the third quarter, down from five in the second quarter.

⿿When large and noteworthy deals decline from quarter to quarter, the impact on statewide funding can appear significant,⿝ Parsons said in a statement.

Broken down by sector, the industrial/energy, software and IT services sectors have been the top VC recipients in Colorado through the first three quarters of 2011, with biotech lagging, the report said. In the third quarter, biotech received only 1 percent of venture funding in the state, versus the industrial/energy sector with 52 percent.

⿿Although the third quarter showed surprisingly lackluster results for biotechnology, the emphasis on the industrial/energy industry is not surprising considering the focus on cleantech and alternative energy sources in Colorado,⿝ Parsons said.

Here are Coloradoâ¿¿s top five venture-capital deals of the third quarter, according to the latest MoneyTree report:

  • Sundrop Fuels Inc. â¿¿ industrial/energy; clean power business; $35,999,000.
  • Boulder Wind Power Inc. â¿¿ industrial/energy; manufactures and designs wind turbines; $35,000,000.
  • Minute Key Inc. â¿¿ Boulder/Longmont; consumer products and services; provides computer hardware and systems; $10,607,000.
  • PaySimple Inc. â¿¿ Denver; IT services; develops electronic payment solutions; $8,000,000.
  • Aventura HQ Inc. â¿¿ Denver; software; provides healthcare and clinical software solutions; $7,970,000.

Nationally, VC money totaling $6.95 billion went to 876 deals in the third quarter. Both the dollar amount and the number of investments fell from the prior quarter, when $7.9 billion was invested in 1,015 deals.

Copyright 2010