Funding for business startups declined nationally in 2012 but in Wisconsin, venture capital investments rose significantly when compared to 2011, according to a study released Friday.

The MoneyTree Report was conducted by PriceWaterHouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association and was based on data from Thomson Reuters. It showed that venture capital in the state rose to $95.2 million in 2012, a 31 percent increase over the $72.8 million invested in 2011.

"The core reason is that there are just more good deals in the pipeline," said Tom Still, president of the Madison-based Wisconsin Technology Council. "There's some good companies that didn't exist a few years ago that have come on the scene."

One of the largest deals in the past year was for Cellular Dynamics International in Madison which raised $21 million and accounted for almost half of the $45 million raised in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2011, venture capital investments totaled $6 million, according to the report.

The number of deals in the state dropped from 15 in 2011 to 13 in 2012.

Nationally, funding dropped for the first time in three years. Startup investments fell 28 percent to $3.28 billion, compared with $4.57 billion a year earlier. There were 267 deals in all, a decline of more than 23 percent. Capital-intense sectors like clean technology and life sciences were among the hardest hit, according to the study.

San Francisco's SquareTrade, which provides electronics warranties, snatched the biggest round of funding in 2012 — $238 million.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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