Venture capital investments worldwide reached the level of $31.3 bln. The United States, Canada, Europe, and Israel represent 93% of capital invested, while China and India account for the remainder. Venture capital firms in the United States have raised $41 bln in new funds in the last two years. European firms closed on 3.7 bln in 2005, more than double of 2004 level. In the United States, 356 companies were acquired for an aggregate amount paid of $27.3 bln, an increase of 17% as the median amount paid rose to $23 mln with more mature companies being acquired and increased competition among buyers. In Europe, venture-backed IPO activity surged 2004 with 60 offerings that raised ?2.03 bln ($2.40 bln), a 71% increase in transactions and a 185% increase in capital raised. Private equity firms are increasingly buying-out venture-backed companies, providing an exit to venture capital investors, a trend that looks set to continue, Ernst & Young says.