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Record VC fundraising isn’t necessarily good news for first-time fund managers

VC firms are holding on to their checkbooks as the investment market slows to a crawl, but fund managers are taking advantage of the lull to fill up their coffers to the point of overflowing.

In the first half of 2022, U.S. venture capital firms raised a $121.5 billion, a stunning leap from the $74.1 billion raised in the same period last year, according to PitchBook. The year’s first six months also saw a record 30 funds raise $1 billion or more.

But the numbers don't paint the full picture.

“I doubt many funds are entering the market right now.” Kyle Stanford, analyst, PitchBook

For one, this success is not shared equally. While it never really is — larger, more established firms traditionally have the network and LP relationships that make it easier to collect large amounts of money — the divide between the megafunds and the rest of the market has widened by quite a margin this year.

At this time last year, PitchBook reported that nearly half of the LP money raised by VCs was invested in funds larger than one billion dollars. In the first half of 2022, that portion increased to 63.9%, meaning nearly two-thirds of venture capital was raised by just 30 funds.

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