Private equity dry powder reached a record $1.3 trillion at the end of the first half, up 18% from the end of December, according to Preqin, the alternatives data provider.
With $475 billion available for investments, buyout funds accounted for the biggest proportion of dry powder, followed by $253 billion for real estate-focused funds, Preqin reported.
At the end of June, Preqin tracked 5,874 LPs, all of which it said were considering investments in private equity. Sixty-nine percent were looking to buyout funds, compared with 62% at the same time last year.
Investors also had a strong, and growing, appetite for venture capital funds, accounting for 51% of searches, up from 37% a year ago.
Growth funds appealed to 40% of investors.
Fund searches in the second quarter showed 50% each of investors seeking opportunities in North America and Europe, and a considerable proportion of those in other geographical regions targeting those two areas.
In Q2, 765 private equity-backed buyout deals were announced, the lowest number since Q1 2010. Both North America and Asia experienced lower aggregate buyout deal value from the previous quarter.