Venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), is the third most common cause of vascular death after heart attack and stroke. Anticoagulation therapy is the cornerstone of VTE treatment. Despite such therapy, up to 50% of patients with DVT develop postthrombotic syndrome, and up to 4% of patients with PE develop chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Therefore, better therapies are needed. Although direct oral anticoagulants are more convenient and safer than warfarin for VTE treatment, bleeding remains the major side effect, particularly in cancer patients. Factor XII and factor XI have emerged as targets for new anticoagulants that may be safer. To reduce the complications of VTE, attenuation of thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor activity is under investigation in PE patients to enhance endogenous fibrinolysis, whereas blockade of leukocyte interaction with the vessel wall is being studied to reduce the inflammation that contributes to postthrombotic syndrome in DVT patients. Focusing on these novel antithrombotic strategies, this article explains why safer anticoagulants are needed, provides the rationale for factor XII and XI as targets for such agents, reviews the data on the factor XII– and factor XI–directed anticoagulants under development, describes novel therapies to enhance fibrinolysis and decrease inflammation in PE and DVT patients, respectively, and offers insights into the opportunities for these novel VTE therapies.