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Something Ventured

Venture capital funding hit an all-time high in '98. Here's what it means to you.

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This story appears in the May 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The high-powered world of venture capital has done it again. Total venture capital invested last year soared 24 percent to another record high of $14.3 billion. That's a 78 percent jump in just two years, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) LLP's Money Tree Survey, which tracks some 630 U.S. venture capital funds on a quarterly basis. Other key measurements in 1998 fell in line accordingly: The average investment jumped 16 percent to $5 million, and more projects were funded than ever before - 2,856.

James D. Atwell of PwC's Global Technology Industry Group in Boston, the survey's sponsor, says, "1998 should have been declared the `Year of the Entrepreneur.'" He's got a point. An estimated 40 percent of all venture funds distributed last year went to companies that were no more than 2 years old.

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