Current Venture Capital Dry Powder Levels – March 2012

by Nicholas Jelfs

  • 28 Mar 2012
  • PE

At present, there are 3,200 private equity firms that offer venture capital investments as part of their investment strategy, either exclusively or as part of a broader investment approach. Over the past 10 years, an aggregate total of $345.4bn has been raised exclusively for targeting venture capital opportunities across the globe. As of March 2012, however, over a third of this amount ($118.9bn) remains committed, yet not invested, as capital held in reserve for the venture capital industry. This figure is marginally higher than the levels of recent years, with the estimated figure for venture capital dry powder standing at $117.9bn at the end of 2009 and $112.7bn at the end of 2010.

Breaking this down by regional dry powder levels, North America-focused venture capital firms have approximately $67.4bn of committed capital available to invest, compared to almost $84.9bn at the end of 2007. The level of dry powder available to Europe-focused fund managers has stayed relatively constant over the last five years, with $19.0bn currently available compared to $21.4bn at the end of 2007. As for Asia and Rest of World-focused funds, the level of estimated dry powder has increased significantly from $23.6 towards the end of 2007 to $32.5 as of March 2012.

According to Preqin’s League Tables, Tiger Global Management is the venture capital firm that currently has the largest amount of estimated dry powder, with an amount of just over $3.3bn. The recent closing of their fourth venture general fund on just under $1.5bn puts them above Andreessen Horowitz, with $2.1bn, and Sequoia Capital, which holds just over $2bn.

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