NVCA Confirms Sinking Feeling: Fundraising Was Really, Really Bad Last Year

If you didn’t manage to raise a new fund last year, join the club. According to new data released this morning by the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters, 2009 can officially go on record as the lousiest year since 1993 (in terms of number of funds raised) or 2003 (in terms of dollars committed).

A mere 26 first-time funds and 93 113 follow-on funds managed to close last year. To give you some perspective, that’s about one-third the number of first-time funds that have closed in each of the previous four years and roughly half the number of follow-on funds that investors have been assembling in recent years. You can download the spreadsheet here.

Unsurprisingly, the amount of money collected was also anemic. Last year, U.S. venture funds raised just $15.2 billion, compared with $28.5 billion in 2008 and $36 billion back in 2007 (when most of us were still blissfully unaware that the U.S. economy had become a ticking time bomb).

Last week, Dan reported that, according to the research company Prequin, just 482 global funds — including buyout, venture capital, and real estate — raised $246 billion last year, down 61 percent from the $636 billion raised in 2008.