Not that venture capital numbers mean much to most entrepreneurs — perhaps the most important VC numbers are how few real ventures get venture capital — but still, here’s a summary published in this weeks National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship. Seems like mostly business as usual, slight growth, about what we would have expected:

While venture capitalists (VCs) are focused on finding new investments for 2008, their trade association, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), is compiling and releasing the final statistics for 2007. Over the past several weeks, NVCA and Thomson Financial have released several compilations of 2007 VC data.

In general, 2007 was a decent year, showing slight increases from 2006 figures. On the fundraising end, VCs raised $34.7 billion (for 235 funds) in 2007. This total represents a slight increase over 2006 (up 2.6% in dollar value), but the total is the highest level since the dot-com era in 2001. In addition, the market for exits–via mergers and acquisitions (M&As) or initial public offerings (IPOs)–also seemed to pick up.

The total number of IPOs in 2007 was the highest since 2004. Eighty-six venture-backed firms went public last year, raising a total of $10.3 billion. Meanwhile, there were 305 venture-backed M&A transactions, which raised a total of $25.4 billion. This dollar value was the highest reported total since 2000. Industry observers expressed satisfaction with these trends, while also expressing hope that the industry can enjoy a similar performance in 2008.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.