Trending: Why Amazon is suddenly going on the offensive amid a growing techlash

vcfunds2288After several years of slumping returns and lackluster performance, the venture capital industry is back.

According to a report released today from Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association, U.S. venture capitalists raised $29.8 billion across 254 funds — a 69 percent increase in dollars committed. That marked the strongest period for venture fundraising since 2007.

“It’s good to see that fundraising levels are finally starting to catch up with the overall level of investment we’ve witnessed in the last few quarters,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA.  “As a result of the strong exit market for venture-backed companies over the last couple of years, more money is being distributed back to investors who have chosen to redeploy that capital to the venture ecosystem.”

Speaking of the exit market, things look pretty strong, at least on the IPO front.

In 2014, 273 companies priced public offerings in the U.S., the greatest tally since 2000 and a 23 percent increase over 2013, according to Renaissance Capital.

Meanwhile, as PitchBook reported earlier this month, global venture capital dollars blossomed to $88 billion in 2014, even though the number of deals dropped.

During the fourth quarter, 75 venture capital funds raised $5.6 billion, an increase of 14 percent in terms of funds, but a decrease of nine percent in dollars. There were 48 follow-on funds raised during the quarter, and 27 new funds. The largest new fund of the quarter came from San Francisco, California-based Presidio Partners 2014, which raised $140.4 million.

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