China and India have seen strong venture capital growth.

In 2014, a total of 7,474 venture capital financings with an aggregate value of $86.6 billion were announced globally, according to alternatives data provider Preqin.

This represented an 11% drop in the number of financings that took place compared with 2013, but a 58% rise in the aggregate value of deals.

Preqin research showed that companies in Asia and other regions outside North America and Europe were the main beneficiaries of the increased financing, with the amount of capital invested across these regions up 160% in 2014 compared with deals done in 2013.

The venture capital sector’s recent performance has improved noticeably, Preqin found, with average fund returns in the year to June 2014 reaching 25.9%, higher than any other private equity fund type.

China and India Move Up

North America was again the most prominent region for venture capital investment, with 4,594 venture capital deals in 2014 valued at a total of $53.9 billion, according to Preqin. However, these deals accounted for the lowest annual proportion of overall deal number and value from 2007 to 2014.

The number of investments in greater China (the mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) increased by 15% from 437 in 2013 to 504 in 2014. At the same time, aggregate value surged by 212%, with deals in 2014 valued at $12.8 billion.

In India, the number of deals in 2014 increased by 14%, while the aggregate value rose by 217% to $5.4 billion.

European deals decreased by 18%, from 1,729 in 2013 to 1,416 deals in 2014. Aggregate deal value notched up slightly, from $9.1 billion to $9.2 billion.

Israel saw the number of deals in 2014 fall by 30% to 130, while aggregate value rose by 61%.

“While North America maintains the top spot in terms of activity within the venture capital investment space, the talking point this year is certainly Asia,”Christopher Elvin, Preqin’s head of private equity products, said in a statement. “The region has seen significant growth in deal activity throughout 2014, particularly in terms of the amount of capital being invested in entrepreneurial companies.

“Across the globe, it is encouraging to see such a significant increase in the amount of capital being invested in young, innovative companies. With the performance of the asset class also improving for many recent fund vintages, many investors are looking to put more capital to work in venture capital funds. This is likely to encourage even greater levels of venture capital financing in the year to come.”

Uber Alles

Preqin reported that the average value of Series D and later-stage deals globally rose by 100% to $66.9 million. This was the highest value for this category of deals in the period 2007–2014.

Uber Technologies received the two largest venture capital financing rounds in 2014, with a $1.2 billion Series D investment in June and a $1.2 billion Series E investment in December.

Out of the top 10 largest venture capital deals done in 2014 according to Preqin, five were based in the U.S.—Uber Technologies, Didi Taxi, Magic Leap and Beingmate Group Co; three in India—Cloudera, Flipkart and Huayi Brothers; and two in China—Snapdeal.com and Flipkart.

— Check out 10 Hedge Fund Trends for 2015 on ThinkAdvisor.