While folks like Marc Andreessen have been arguing lately that there is probably not enough money being invested in startups, that hasn’t stopped all the jibber-jabber about a possible bubble in valuations.

Adding fuel to the debate will be the $3.1 billion in new capital that New Enterprise Associates announced today. With such a mighty war chest, NEA will be in a strong position to outbid rivals to invest in the hottest companies.

“Like our industry, much has changed since NEA’s founding nearly 40 years ago,” said Peter Barris, NEA managing general partner in the press release. “Yet some things are constant — like the steady march of innovation, the indomitable spirit of entrepreneurs, and the unwavering support of our limited partners.”

Word of the fund-raising broke last month from Fortune’s Dan Primack.

Of the new capital, $2.8 billion will go into NEA’s 15th investment fund, while another $350 million will be for the NEA 15 Opportunity Fund. Primack said the $2.8 billion would be the largest VC fund in history.

NEA said the expanded funding reflects its ambition to invest on a more global scale. Still, it also is a sign of the changing nature of startup funding.

Consider that Uber alone raised more than $2.6 billion in venture funding last year, and it seems clear that firms will need bigger funds, particularly if they want to participate in late-round investments.


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