2016 has been a slowdown year for investing in once-adored “unicorn” tech companies, the startups that fetch billion-dollar valuations like Uber, Airbnb and Snapchat. But the venture capital investors who have poured their funds into these new companies are still having a great year.
In fact, it’s shaping up to be one of the best fundraising years they’ve had in recent memory.
U.S. venture capital funds have amassed about $13 billion thus far in 2016, the Wall Street Journal reports. That’s already nearly half of the $28 billion they raised last year. It’s also the highest rate VC firms have raised money at since 2000.
Some of the funds raising these billion-dollar reserves include former Facebook-backer Accel Partners and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, the Journal notes.
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The trend mirrors what many investors have been saying. In a recent survey of 73 limited partner firms who put money in these types of VC funds, just 10% said they were planning to slow investments this year with the remaining 90% expected to keep pace or increase their investments.
So why are all these firms padding their coffers while slowing their own investments in the startups they’re designed to fund?
Why Unicorn Startups Are In Trouble:
In short, firms might be getting pickier about how they spend as tech IPOs come to a standstill. With the chances of a young startup making it big or going public declining, firms could also be trying to make up for some of the recent decreases in valuations at those startups by growing their own reserves.
As the high-growth startup rate in the U.S. continues its historic slowdown, it still remains to be seen how and when the venture capital firms will choose to spend all this year’s new cash.