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Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
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In Full Bloom VC funding had another fruitful year, nurturing young and established companies alike.

Editor's note: To view our VC 100 listing, click here. On this page, you'll also find an online exclusive listing of top VC firms for later-stage companies, plus inside advice from venture capitalists.

Entrepreneurs that made it to the "MoneyTree" in 2005 found bigger fruit. A total of 608 startup and early stage companies got their first round of venture capital last year, according to a special analysis prepared for Entrepreneur of the "MoneyTree Report" by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data from Thomson Financial. On average, each company got $4.8 million, for a combined total of $2.9 billion. Both figures are four-year highs.

And this year's list of the most active investors got longer. An additional 11 firms made the cutoff of three or more qualifying deals. So entrepreneurs seeking funding had more avenues to pursue and were likely to get more money. But that doesn't mean it was any easier to get first-time funding-the raw number of companies that succeeded in getting initial capital in 2005 actually fell 7 percent from 654 in 2004.

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