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US venture funds raise nearly $5 billion last quarter

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - U.S. venture capital firms raised $4.98 billion dollars last quarter, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters said on Tuesday, accelerating a trend in venture capital where funds are heading to extremes in size.

The dollar amount represented a doubling of the $2.17 billion raised in the year-earlier period, but a shrinking in the number of funds, to 53 from 66.

The bulk of the cash was raised by a handful of venture firms amassing outsized funds. Sequoia Capital raised $950 million last quarter, while GGV Capital raised $524 million. New Enterprise Associates raised $524 million last quarter, part of its $2.6 billion NEA XIV.

But most firms raised funds well under $500 million.

Venture-capital fundraising for the first nine months of the year totaled $16.2 billion, about one-third more than this time last year. But the number of funds raising the cash declined by about 10 percent.

(Reporting By Sarah McBride; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

((sarah.mcbride@thomsonreuters.com;)(+ 1 415 677 2547))

Keywords: VENTUREFIRMS FUNDRAISING/