More VCs are raising money these days.

The problem is, they are raising less cash.

Venture capitalists raised $5 billion in the third quarter with 53 funds getting in on the action, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters reported Tuesday.

While the number of VC firms increased 23 percent from the second quarter, the dollar total declined by $1 billion.

“While the dollars raised this quarter fell from Q2, we were encouraged by the increase in the number of firms who were successful in raising venture funds,” said Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA. “For the last several years we have watched carefully the  consolidation of dollars into the hands of fewer firms.

“While more than half of the dollars raised this quarter were placed in five funds, it was less concentrated than previous quarters and allows for the disbursement of capital across a more diverse base of funds.

“We are hopeful that this uptick is not an anomaly, but demonstrates greater confidence by our limited partners in the asset class as a whole.”

Through the first nine months of the year, VCs raised $16.2 billion, a 31 percent jump from a year ago.

The number of VCs raising funds declined by 13 percent. 

Sixteen new funds launched in the third quarter, led by San Francisco-based Forerunner Partners, which raised $41.7 million.

The big fund raisers were:

  • Sequoia Capital U.S. Growth Fund V, L.P., $950 million
  • GGV Capital IV,  L.P., $565 million
  • New Enterprise Associates 14, L.P., $524 million