Industry Watch: VC Funding Is Up And Down - InformationWeek

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Industry Watch: VC Funding Is Up And Down

Venture-capital investment in the fourth quarter showed renewed signs of growth, with $4.5 billion invested in 496 financing rounds--the highest quarterly numbers since the summer of 2002, according to the VentureOne-Ernst & Young Venture Capital Report issued Jan. 26. The fourth quarter also saw a hefty surge in early-stage financing, with seed and first-round financing accounting for 31% of total deals, the first time that's occurred in more than a year. The majority of those deals were for software. The amount of money invested also rose in early-stage financing rounds, by 35% for seed and first rounds combined. In addition, there were 123 second-round financings, the highest level since the third quarter of 2002. Software continues to be the most active segment, with 145 financing rounds completed in the fourth quarter, a 13% increase. For the year, U.S. venture-capital investment slipped to $16.9 billion in 1,884 financings, a drop of 20% and 15%, respectively.

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