U.S. venture capital firms raised $12 billion for 57 funds during the first quarter of 2016, a 59% increase by dollar commitments from the first quarter of 2015 and a 17% decrease in number of funds raised, according to a report by Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association.
It was the strongest quarter for dollars raised by U.S. venture capital firms since the second quarter of 2006 when 79 funds raised $14.3 billion.
“As witnessed over the last year, the fundraising environment for venture capital continues to improve,” NVCA’s chief executive Bobby Franklin said in a news release.
“While it’s unlikely for this strong pace to continue, we do expect this to be a solid fundraising year when all is said and done,” he added.
“Three years removed from passage of the JOBS Act, we are pleased to see the SEC finally move forward on rulemaking to allow for the adoption of equity crowdfunding platforms,” said Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of the National Venture Capital Association. “Anything we can do to help facilitate the growth of innovative startup companies through additional avenues to raise capital is a net positive for the American worker and the U.S. economy.”
Venture capitalists will pledge concrete measures to bring greater diversity to their predominantly white male profession during a high-profile event at the White House.
Tuesday’s announcement from venture capital’s trade group will take place during the White House’s first Demo Day to showcase technologies from the nation’s diverse set of entrepreneurs and kick off a new initiative to bring greater diversity to the tech world.
For its part, the National Venture Capital Association is making a commitment “to advance opportunity for women and underrepresented minorities in the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” the trade group says in a letter to President Obama that was exclusively shared with USA TODAY.
“With software companies continuing to disrupt entrenched industries and in some cases creating new industries all together, venture investment into the sector increased 30 percent from the first quarter to $7.3 billion,” Bobby Franklin, CEO of the National Venture Capital Association, said in a statement.
“As valuations increase and more and more companies choose to stay private longer, we are likely to see software’s share of total venture investment continue to rise.”
Franklin said the increase was partially driven by more nontraditional investors joining funding rounds.
The National Venture Capital Association, fearful that the creation of broad rules shifting fees to the losers of patent lawsuits could make it harder for people to fund startups and create new gadgets, also opposes the bill.
Despite its good intentions to discourage abusive suits, the Innovation Act “would make patent enforcement so risky and expensive that it could dry up innovation in certain sectors,” Bobby Franklin, president of the trade association, said in a statement.
“Many innovative companies require strong patent protections to prevent others from copying their innovative ideas and will not survive otherwise,” Franklin said.
“We have and continue to reach out to as many members as we can, including leadership, and making sure that lawmakers understand the potential unintended consequences of this legislation,” said Bobby Franklin, president of the National Venture Capital Association, which argues the bill should do more to protect patent holders.
The National Venture Capital Association , which has been pushing to get venture capital firms and their portfolio companies to hire more diverse workforces, has found several new ways to attack the problem.
By diversity, the trade group means not just women, but also minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, and lesbian, gay and transgender people. All of these groups are underrepresented in venture firms and in startups, which tend to be run by white males.
“I know we have a long way to go, but everyone gets it,” said ScaleVP General Partner Kate Mitchell, who is co-chairing a task force on diversity that the NVCA launched in December.
The National Venture Capital Association, another critic of the House proposal, called the Senate bill an encouraging first step.
“While we remain concerned that the Innovation Act of 2015 introduced in the House could be harmful to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, the PATENT Act is an encouraging step in the right direction and we are eager to dig in and review the details with our membership,” the group said in a statement.
Kate Mitchell of Scale Venture Partners, who is serving as co-chair of the task force, said in an interview that the National Venture Capital Association is committed to “moving the needle on this.”
“Silicon Valley is about solving hard problems and this is a hard problem,” she said. “We have to acknowledge that this is only a first step. We have to make a long-term commitment.”
By targeting solutions to help foreign-born entrepreneurs build their businesses in the U.S., President Obama has made clear he understands the important role the entrepreneurial ecosystem plays in our economy,” said Bobby Franklin, president of the National Venture Capital Association.