1. The VC industry grew dramatically as a result of the Internet bubble - Before the Internet bubble the people who invested in VC funds (called LPs or Limited Partners) put about $50 billion into the industry and by 2001 this had grown precipitously to around $250 billion.
2. But VC is an “illiquid asset” so funds didn’t disappear quickly - In 2000/01 the stock market quickly adjusted punishing investors in the NASDAQ and in individual public technology stocks. Consumers pulled their money out of these risky investments, but when LPs make commitments to VC funds they make 10-year, legally binding commitments. So as of 2008 total LP commitments were still at nearly $250 billion.
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