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Nanotech VC funding doubles in 2005

While some insist that nanotech is a fad, venture capitalists more than doubled the amount of money invested in U.S. nano companies in 2005.

Venture investments in U.S. nanotech companies came to $434.3 million in 2005, up 121 percent over the previous year's $196.4 million, according to an analysis of the MoneyTree Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Venture Economics and the National Venture Capital Association conducted by Small Times Magazine. (The Magazine works with the other organizations on analyzing the numbers.)

Some of the bigger deals involved Aspen Aerogels, which makes a space age insulation. The company got $30 million. Nanosolar, a start-up out of Stanford that includes Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin as investors, nabbed $20 million in 2005.

The actual number of deals was actually up only slightly, from 45 in 2004 to 51 in 2005. The increase in funding occurred because many companies made late-stage investments in companies and late-stage investments tend to be larger.