A study released late Tuesday says global venture capital investments this year are on pace to record the highest annual total since 2001, according to Dow Jones VentureOne and Ernst & Young.
This year, investment is expected to top $40 billion at the close of the fourth quarter while the number of deals should reach about 3,884, or similar to levels in 2003.
Driving this growth are investments in a broader range of sectors and geographic areas. The hot areas are cleantech and medical devices, and the two geographic regions of increasing importance are Beijing and Bangalore.
Also driving some of this growth is an increase in exits for VCs, which allow them to get some of their money back.
Here's a chart depicting the number of venture-backed IPOs:
The U.S. is the worldwide leader in cleantech investments:
The report also offered a prediction for 2008. Pending an economic downturn in the U.S. or the world, investing will likely continue to be robust. In addition, large multinational corporations are expected to increase their investments, and new geographies in Asia and growth in health care and cleantech innovations in energy and water will drive further growth.