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US venture funds raise least last year since 2010

Monday, 13 Jan 2014 | 2:19 PM ET

U.S. venture funds raised $4.85 billion last quarter, up 53 percent from the same period a year ago, but full-year 2013 fundraising fell 15 percent compared to the year before.

For the full year, venture capital firms raised $16.7 billion, the weakest annual total since 2010, according to data from the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters released on Monday.

Some 48 funds were raised over the quarter, on par with a year earlier. The last quarter of the year usually is the slowest for venture fundraising. For the full year, 185 funds were raised, down slightly from 208 in 2013.

"If the IPO market continues to strengthen and receive quality offerings, we can expect more VCs involved in those exits to raise money in 2014," said Bobby Franklin, the NVCA's president.

Last week, the industry said that venture-backed IPOs totaled $5.3 billion last quarter, up from $1.4 billion a year earlier. Mergers and acquisitions of venture-backed companies totaled $5.2 billion, up from $4 billion a year earlier.

Generally, the trend of fewer funds collecting more of the money is continuing. New York-based OrbiMed Private Investments raised the largest fund of the quarter, at $699.5 million, benefiting from an increase in interest in health sciences. General Catalyst Group raised a $675 million fund.

The largest fund raised for the year was Facebook backer Greylock's $1 billion fund.

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