Yup, 2009 really stunk for VC fundraising

Matt Bowman · January 12, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/d02

NVCA reports 47% decline in new dollars committed to venture capital.

 The NVCA quietly published its Q4 report on VC fundraising Monday, confirming last year's popular prognostic punditry predicting a pullback from the VC asset class. Porky, it was not. VC firms based in the U.S. raised a slender $3.8 billion in the fourth quarter of ‘09 from 32 funds. In all of 2009, venture capital fundraising totaled $15.2 billion from 120 funds, a 47% drop in dollars committed and the slowest year for fundraising since 2003. By numbers of funds, it’s even worse—2009 was the slowest since 1993.

N VCA president Marc Heesen said that 2010 will be extremely competitive, since lots of firms scheduled to raise in ‘09 punted last year, in hopes of a rosier economy this year.

"Many venture firms voluntarily stayed out of the fundraising market in 2009, a dynamic that clearly is reflected in the lower volumes,” Heesen said in a statement. “However, most of these firms will not be afforded the luxury of continuing to wait for market conditions to improve in 2010. They will be out in the market raising funds alongside firms that were already scheduled to raise this year.”

The largest new fund of the year was Andreessen Horowitz, which brought in $300 million, and the biggest overall were NEA’s $2.46 billion windfall and Norwest Venture Partners’s $1.2 billion fund, raised in the 4th quarter.

Among those already knocking on LP doors this year are Dave McClure, who’s rumored to be raising his first VC fund (somewhere in the ballpark of $10 million for early and seed stage) and Sequoia, which, despite the heated competition, is boldly insisting on its usual high premiums for a fund aimed at $1 billion.

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