Is venture funding already back?

Despite continuing talk about a possible recession, slumping tech stocks and a slowdown in the world of startup investing, the business of funding was positively humming last week. After slowing way down last spring, venture outfits disclosed a stunning $8 billion in new capital commitments in the span of just five days.

Consider the following: NEA revealed that it closed its two newest funds adding up to $6.2 billion; Cowboy Ventures announced two funds totaling $260 million; and FJ Labs also disclosed two funds totaling $260 million. Then there’s Sapphire Sport (it closed a second fund of $181 million), Volition Capital (it announced $675 million for its fifth fund), Kearny Jackson ($14 million) and Dimension ($350 million). Even non-U.S. outfits got into the act, including Highland Europe, which announced a new €1 billion fund, and a Japanese chemical giant that revealed a $100 million fund.