One Question About 2010


Update #3. Scroll down for survey results.

Unless something magical happens in the final week of September, the U.S. venture industry is on pace to raise less than $3 billion in the third quarter.

The last time the number was that low was 13 years ago—in the third quarter of 1996. Way back then, 21 U.S.-based venture funds collectively raised $1.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB). As of Sept. 22, just 12 U.S.-based funds raised an aggregate $2.88 billion in the current quarter, according to preliminary data from Thomson Reuters.

The current quarter would look much worse without the bump from Khosla Ventures, which raised $750 million. The next-largest amount raised in Q3 was by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which closed on $196 million of a targeted $400 million.

Clearly, things are bad. But just how bad do you expect them to be next year? Will 2010 look like the second half of the 1990s, when the median number of funds raised per year was 244 and the median annual amount raised was $19.77 billion? Or are we looking at a return to the first half of the 1980s, when the median number was 87 and the median amount was $2 billion?

Take this one-question survey and let us know what you think.

Oh, and if you have any additional thoughts on the future of fund-raising, I’d love to hear them.

UPDATED: So far, 35 folks have looked at the survey, and 10 have weighed in. I’ll update the results as more responses come in. Here are the survey results so far:

Please complete this sentence: In 2010, fund-raising for U.S. venture funds will look like …
Number of votes
1980-84, when the median number of funds raised annually was 87 and the median amount raised per year was $2.02 billion. 1
1985-89, when the median number was 105 and the median amount was $4.35 billion. 0
1990-94, when the median number was 87 and the median amount was $3.97 billion. 5
1995-99, when the median number was 244 and the median amount was $19.77 billion. 0
2000-04, when the median number was 218 and the median amount was $19.15 billion. 3
2005-09, when the median number was 240 and the median amount was $28.94 billion. 1