VC fundraising in 2015 still historically high – study

Venture capital firms raised $28.2bn through 235 funds in 2015, down from 2014 but still high compared with previous years, according to Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association.

Venture capital firms raised $28.2 billion in total commitments in 2015, down 9 percent from $31.1 billion in 2014, according to Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) in a report released earlier this week.

This amount, raised by 235 venture funds, is still a historical high, however, given that the yearly average since 2006 has been $20.32 billion. Aside from 2014, the only years that surpassed 2015 levels were in 2006, at $31.1 billion, and 2007, at $30.0 billion.

“Overall, the fundraising environment is quite healthy,” NVCA president and chief executive Bobby Franklin said in the report, adding that there has been a diverse mix of fund sizes in recent quarters. “[T]he fundraising environment is becoming a lot more favourable for firms of all shapes and sizes.”

The number of new, first-time funds of 79 in 2015 was 25 percent lower than the 106 funds raised in 2014. However, this is still higher than all of the other years since 2010. The number of follow-on funds reached 156 in 2015, 5.5 percent lower than the 165 follow-on funds raised in 2014, but also still higher than all other years since 2010.

Thomson Reuters and NVCA observed US-based venture capital funds, excluding fund of funds. They defined new funds as the first at a newly established firm, even if the general partners have invested previously in venture capital.