Venture capital raises record funds in 1st quarter

Venture capitalists raised almost $9 billion during the first three months of 2014, pushing total fundraising to a 14-year high.

Since January, U.S. venture capital firms have raised $8.9 billion, making for the strongest fundraising quarter since 2007, according to the report released Monday by Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association. That year, just before the economy tanked with the Recession, funds raised $10.4 billion.

And the amount of money raised in the first quarter this year more than doubled compared to the first quarter of 2013, according to the report.

The largest new fund reporting commitments during the first quarter is Palo Alto-based WiL Fund, which was established in January by Gen Isayama of Japan. The firm, which raised $243 million, plans to fund startups in Japan and technologies within established companies that have the potential to spin off as standalone businesses.

Another Palo Alto-based fund, TCV VIII, led the pack by raising $1.38 billion. TCV VII is a late-stage investor that has backed Facebook and Netflix. San Francisco-based Founders Fund V, an every-stage firm founded by Peter Thiel and Sean Parker, among others, also stood out with $1.01 billion in funds raised.

The five largest venture capital funds raised during the first quarter of 2014 accounted for 60 percent of new commitments during the quarter.

Image from iStockphoto 

Heather Somerville Heather Somerville (224 Posts)

Heather Somerville is a business reporter covering venture capital and startups for the Bay Area News Group.