The University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research has released angel investment data for the first half of 2012, and it shows some signs of increased activity. Dollars are up 3.1% and deals are up 3.7% over the first half of 2011. Average deal size has stayed constant year over year.

“These data indicate that angels remain major players in this investment class and at valuations similar to the first and second quarters of 2011. While the market exhibited a stabilization from the first and second quarters of 2011, when compared to the market correction that occurred in 2008, these data indicate that the angel market has demonstrated a steady recovery since 2008,” said Jeffrey Sohl, director of the UNH Center for Venture Research at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, in the release.

But what’s most interesting here is the sector by sector breakdown, which I tossed into a quick graph. (It’s by deals, not dollars.)


The top story: cleantech is out. A year ago, the release was explaining the rise in industrial/energy as attributable to angels’ interest in cleantech. Compare that to the quote this year:

“After a favored status in the top six sectors for industrial/energy since 2009, which reflected an interest in clean tech investing, interest in this sector waned in the first and second quarters of 2012. Retail and media have solidified their presence in the top six sectors, mainly due to investing in social networking ventures,” Sohl said.

The first half of 2011 the industrial/energy category represented 17% of angel deals; this year it’s down to 5%. I’ve looked in depth at early stage cleantech financing data, and most (though not all) sources show it dropping off this year. Count this as more evidence of that troubling phenomenon.