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It’s not a great time to be raising a venture capital fund. A new report out this morning from Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association shows that 52 venture capital firms raised $1.72 billion during the third quarter, a 53 percent decrease in dollar commitments.

That’s the lowest level in eight years.

For the first nine months of the year, U.S. venture capital fundraising totaled $12.2 billion, a 26 percent increase by dollars.

Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA, offered this statement on the latest fundraising totals:

“The quarter’s low fundraising numbers are reflective of ongoing challenges within the venture capital exit markets. Economic instability continues to impact the ability of venture-backed companies to go public which, in turn, has prevented many venture firms from delivering solid returns to their investors. Until we begin to see a steady and sustainable flow of quality IPOs which return cash, limited partners will remain on the sidelines and the venture industry will continue to contract. This situation is one that needs to be rectified in the near term if we want to have adequate dollars to invest in our country’s startup companies in the long run.”

Previously on GeekWire: IPO window closes, raises fears among venture capitalists


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