Venture capitalists invested 10% more funds in start-ups last year, shelling out $32.6 billion, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.
The number of deals by U.S.-based venture companies increased 6% to 3,209, including several transactions involving consumer information service companies such as Twitter, Zynga and LivingSocial. The median amount invested was up 16% to $5 million.
That’s even as the fourth quarter, usually the most active of the year, saw a decline of nearly 4% year over year and nearly 2% from the month before to 803 deals. The amount raised also tumbled, ending up at $7.4 billion.
Healthcare, pushed by the medical IT sector, pulled in the most financing with $8.4 billion, up slightly from 2010.
The information technology industry had the most deals with 1,004 – an improvement on the 967 deals the previous year. The hardware and chip segments both suffered, however, as corporations take over more development duties from younger firms.