Venture capitalists have been investing record amounts of money in promising private companies, but the door appears to be closing on their endless largesse, particularly for new startups.

That's the latest from the MoneyTree report, produced by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). The report on venture capital activity for the first quarter of 2016 is out Friday.

In the first quarter of 2016, VCs invested $12.1 billion in 969 deals. While that's the ninth consecutive quarter with the dollar value of deals exceeding $10 billion, according to the report, the dollar amount is essentially flat compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, and it represents an 11 percent decrease compared to the first quarter or 2015. The number of deals fell five percent in the first quarter--and ten percent compared to the first quarter 2015.

In a troubling sign for startups and young companies, the amount of seed money and early stage capital took a sizable hit. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, seed funding in the first quarter fell 10 percent to $418 million. Early stage investment fell 18 percent to $4.2 billion over the same time period. Similarly, for companies that received their first-ever round of venture capital, the dollar volume of such investments fell 31 percent to $1.7 billion compared to the fourth quarter, and the number of deals decreased 16 percent to 297 over the same period.

By contrast, financing for more mature companies appears more plentiful. So-called expansion capital for such companies increased 25 percent to $4 billion, and late stage capital increased 10 percent to $3.5 billion. Established tech superstars, ranging from Uber to Snapchat to Palantir have collectively raked in billions of dollars over the past few years as such companies have stayed private longer, rather than approach public markets or seek other exits for investors.

The appeal of these technology companies to investors is reflected in the first quarter's mega-deals, the largest of which went to well-established companies. Car share company Lyft, founded in 2012, topped the list with a $1 billion investment from Rakuten Ventures and ecommerce giant Alibaba. Its competitor Uber, which was founded in 2009, raked in $200 million from LetterOne Technology and other undisclosed investors. And augmented reality company Magic Leap, founded in 2011, pulled in $794 million, in a round led by Alibaba. The biggest deals represented 25 percent of total funding for the quarter, which is a 7 percentage point increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.

When ranked by industry, software deals led the list by raking in $5 billion in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 12 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015-- but that's a decrease of ten percent compared to the first quarter of last year. The number of deals fell 5 percent to 376 in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, which also represents a 17 percent decrease compared to the first quarter of 2015. And biotechnology companies took a hit. Such companies snagged $359 million in the first quarter. That amount, however, represents a 23 percent decrease compared to the first quarter of 2015. The volume of biotech deals fell 20 percent in the first quarter, to 118, which is also an 11 percent decrease compared to the first quarter of 2015.

"While total venture investment activity didn't jump out of the gate as quickly as last year, it was still a strong first quarter for venture activity compared to recent years," Bobby Franklin, president and chief executive of NVCA said in a press release.

And hopefully startups and early-stage companies can make up for the lost ground during the remainder of the year.  

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the lead investor in the Magic Leap deal. It is Alibaba Group.