Venture capital firms raised $6.3 billion in 57 funds in the first quarter, down from $12 billion raised by 79 funds in the fourth quarter 2007, according to National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Financial.
Fundraising in the first quarter was about the same as it was in the first quarter 2007 when venture capital firms raised $6.2 billion in 83 funds. However, fewer of the funds raised in the most recent quarter were new; five were sponsored by new firms and 52 were follow-on funds; a ratio of 10 follow-on funds to one new fund raised. In the first quarter of last year, the ratio was 3-to-1.
The largest funds raised in the first quarter were $734 million Essex Woodlands Health Ventures Fund VIII, $660 million Clarus Lifesciences II and $650 million Canaan VIII.