Consider the following puzzle. In 2021 venture capitalists raised $150bn in fresh cash, a record amount. Despite a market slowdown, they broke the record once again in 2022, raising more than $160bn. Chunks of this have already been spent, but close to $300bn of “dry powder” sits waiting to be put to use. Indeed, spending fell throughout 2022. Fledgling firms appear cheap. Why, then, are venture capitalists sitting on the cash?