Even though the IPO market was tough, the future looked bright last year. The venture capital community amped up the amount of capital it put to work in 2011, a clear sign of things to come. Let’s take a look at the details:

1. Open wide: the venture capital community pumped more money into the market last year than it did in 2010: investment was up 22 percent to $28.4 bn, with the number of deals up 4 percent YOY to 3,673.

2. Limp to the finish: in Q4, $6.6 bn was invested across 844 deals – down 10 percent in capital and 11 percent in the number of deals from Q4 2010.

3. Head west: Silicon Valley led the way again in 2011, picking up $11.6 bn of the venture capital invested. New England was a ‘distant second’, according to Mass High Tech, with $3.2 bn, and New York was third with $2.7 bn. California picked up $3.78 bn in venture capital money in Q3 alone, up from $2.75 bn in Q4 2010.

4. Keep it clean: the venture capital community liked the cleantech sector last year: it showed double-digit gains in capital invested, as did the internet sector. Cleantech was up 12 percent in both dollars and deal flow, picking up $4.3 bn across 323 deals and consuming 15 percent of all venture capital money in 2011.

5. Healthy investment: medical devices picked up $2.8 bn across 339 deals in 2011, making it the fourth-largest sector. Life sciences, which includes medical devices and biotech, was good for 27 percent of all venture capital money last year.

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Source: Mass High Tech

Photo: 401K

Read More: Reasons the 2011 IPO Market Wasn’t So Bad