Venture capitalists raised more than $34 billion in 2007, the best performance by the industry since the dot-com bust in 2001.

The money included $334.3 million raised in Georgia and $166.3 million in North Carolina, according to figures released Monday by the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Financial.

In all, 235 firms raised $34,675,900,000 a 9.4 percent increase over the $31,698,000,000 raised in 2006. The number of funds raised increased by 2.6 percent.

Since funding fell from $38.8 billion to $3.9 billion in the so-called “nuclear winter” for venture firms in 2002, the amount of new money raised has increased each year.

"The consistent and consecutive annual increases in venture capital fund levels reflect both an acceleration of the fundraising cycle as well as an increased need for capital within certain investment sectors," said Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA.

"Venture firms are investing in many capital intensive industries such as life sciences and clean technology where the dollars required and time spent with the companies are both very high. As firms deploy capital faster they will have to go back out to the market sooner or raise larger funds," Heesen said.

"Still, on the positive side, we are nowhere near the unsustainable fundraising levels of the 1999 to 2001 period, when the industry raised more than $200 billion," he added.

Four new funds were raised in North Carolina, according to the NVCA and Thomson. They were:

• Frontier Fund II, $90 million

• Hatteras Venture Partners III, $64.8 million

• IDEA Fund 1, $11.2 million’

• The Aurora Funds, $300,000

In Georgia, Navigation Capital Partners led the way with $126.3 million for its fourth fund.

Noro-Moseley Partners ranked second with $110.5 million,.

Others were:

• AMV Partners II, $72.4 million

• TTP Fund II, $20.1 million

• ATDC Seed Capital, Fund, $5 million

The three largest funds closed last year were Technology Crossover Ventures Vii at $3 billion, Bessemer Venture Partners VII at $1.3 billion and Vector Capital IV at $1.2 billion.

Early-stage funds drew $9.7 billion.