US venture funds raise nearly $5 billion last quarter

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

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

The bulk of the cash was raised by a handful of venturefirms amassing outsized funds. Sequoia Capital raised $950million last quarter, while GGV Capital raised $524 million. NewEnterprise Associates raised $524 million last quarter, part ofits $2.6 billion NEA XIV.

But most firms raised funds well under $500 million.

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

(Reporting By Sarah McBride; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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