Venture capital firms certainly have no shortage of cash to invest in startups.
PitchBook released its 2017 PE and VC Fundraising report today for North America and Europe. Through July, $27.5 billion has been raised across 165 firms as venture fundraising is on pace to exceed $40 billion for the fourth consecutive year. It’s also approaching the record $51 billion raised last year.
While funds are increasing in average and median size, the number of overall funds is decreasing year-over-year, PitchBook noted. But the decline is being offset by huge funds like NEA’s $3.3 billion New Enterprise Associates 16, the largest VC fund ever.
“Moving into 2017, we expected to see fundraising slow given that both Europe and North America had just experienced near-record fundraising years,” the report notes. “That hasn’t been the case, however, as managers have continued to raise outsized sums of capital.”
PitchBook found that private equity fundraising is also up, as PE firms are raising more capital than at any point since 2007, with funds in North America and Europe reeling in $212.6 billion across 2,014 vehicles through July, a 24 percent increase in value from last year.
VC and PE fundraising combined is expected to top last year’s total of $344.8 billion, which was the highest since 2007.
“Since year-end 2016, interest in the private markets has only intensified,” wrote PitchBook analyst Dylan Cox. “PE and VC firms continue to enjoy immense success on the fundraising trail, adding to their already hefty investable sums. Neither asset class shows any signs of slowing down, which could drive valuations higher, leaving dealmakers in a precarious position.”
New data from Dow Jones VentureSource shows that venture firms are not only fundraising money at record levels, but investing, too. In Washington state, 82 companies have received a total of $801 million in investment through the first half of 2017. Greg Beams, a partner in the Seattle office of Ernst & Young LLP, called it one of “the strongest periods of venture investment in recent memory.”
“While it’s still too early to predict if this year’s total venture investment in Washington companies will set a new high, the growth in the number of venture investments made through the first half of 2017, combined with the recent significant liquidity events taking place across the region, is making Washington a very attractive home for venture investors and entrepreneurs,” Beams wrote.