Venture Capital Inflows and Outflows

VC funds raise money from limited partners for the express purpose of investing in early-stage companies. Sometimes, maybe all the current startups suck. Maybe the only things coming out of Stanford this season are food-delivery Instacarts and Twitter clients.

In these situations, the VC fund hands the money back to the limited partner and says, I’m sorry. I looked around the Valley and couldn’t find any good investments. You should just put your money into European index funds or maybe some corporate bonds.

Just kidding. That happens approximately never. No matter how crappy the market outlook, VCs will plow their committed capital into the least-mediocre ventures they can find. Even if that means they have to invest in startups that use kitten memes to teach Spanish.

There’s some discussion about how venture capital is currently in a slump. Judge for yourself.

VC and Corporate VC Inflows and Investments by Quarter, National Aggregate. Source: Thomson Reuters via PwC / National Venture Capital Association.
VC and Corporate VC Inflows and Investments by Quarter, National Aggregate. Source: Thomson Reuters via PwC / National Venture Capital Association.

VC investments can lag capital commitments by several years, but as long as VC funds have inflows, there will be corresponding outflows. And sometimes the outflows will go into things like Uber for dogs, because maybe that’s the best they can do.

Of note: So far this year, 12.6% of VC investments came from Corporate Venture Capital. Corporate VC does not need to fundraise.

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