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Venture Capital

BUSINESS
April 1, 2009 | Bloomberg News
Google Inc. has started a venture capital unit to fund new technologies. Google Ventures will invest $100 million in its first year and mostly target young companies, said Bill Maris, a managing director of the unit. The fund will invest in consumer-oriented Internet companies, healthcare, robotics and nanotechnology, he said. "We're not ruling anything out" in terms of investment areas, Maris added. The unit may help Google tap technologies that benefit the Mountain View, Calif.
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BUSINESS
February 23, 2009 | Alana Semuels
The brutal economy has slowed venture funding to a tortoise's pace, and start-ups looking for money are finding themselves out of luck. For some companies, the answer had been to turn to angels -- individual investors who might be able to cough up a few thousand dollars to keep your doors open. But now it appears that even angel investing is slowing. Angels typically focus on getting companies off the ground and invest much less than established venture capital firms. The Tech Coast Angels, which invests only in Southern California companies and is the largest network of angel investors in the United States, plans to announce today that it invested 11% less in 2008 than the previous year.
BUSINESS
February 14, 2009 | Mark Milian
When you're San Francisco's hottest start-up, you don't need to look for funding. The money comes to you. Twitter Inc. closed a $35-million venture capital round led by Institutional Venture Partners and Benchmark Capital. Co-founder Biz Stone said the micro-blogging service still had money in the bank from two earlier funding rounds, which totaled $20 million, but Twitter received "an offer we couldn't refuse."
BUSINESS
February 2, 2009 | Karen E. Klein
Dear Karen: I'm embarking on an Internet business. How do I get venture capital funding or a small-business loan? Answer: Start-ups usually aren't eligible for venture capital funding or bank loans. Investors want proof of concept, and banks typically require two years' profit history and collateral before they write small-business loans. Save or raise funds yourself or borrow from friends and family.
BUSINESS
January 17, 2009 | Alana Semuels
Venture capitalists slammed shut their wallets during the last three months of 2008, investing 45% less in Southern California start-ups than during the same period a year earlier, according to a report scheduled for release today. The sharp fourth-quarter decline, to $422 million from $764 million, turned what was expected to be a full-year gain into a loss, according to the Dow Jones VentureSource report. Venture funding to the region's businesses in 2008 fell 20% to $3.2 billion.
BUSINESS
January 6, 2009 | Bloomberg News
The recession brought the U.S. market for initial public stock offerings to a halt in the fourth quarter, closing the worst year for IPOs since 1977, the National Venture Capital Assn. said Monday. No companies backed by venture capitalists went public in the fourth quarter, and only six staged IPOs in all of 2008, the association said. Emerging businesses also had trouble merging with larger companies, with just 37 venture-backed firms selling themselves in the fourth quarter.
BUSINESS
October 18, 2008 | Alana Semuels, Times Staff Writer
Young technology companies across Southern California and Silicon Valley are scaling back growth plans or laying off employees to brace for a potential drought of venture capital funding as the global economic crisis spreads. They have received warning from investors that there's less money to go around as tough conditions in the financial markets make it more difficult to cash in through acquisitions or initial public offerings. Already, investors pumped 7% less money into young companies during the third quarter than they did in the same period last year, according to a report released today by Dow Jones VentureSource.
BUSINESS
October 14, 2008 | From Bloomberg News
Venture capitalists raised 5.5% less money from institutional investors in the third quarter than they did in the same period last year, the National Venture Capital Assn. said Monday. Investors including pension funds and endowments put $8.12 billion into funds that invest in start-up companies, compared with $8.6 billion a year earlier. The number of new venture funds fell by 29% to 55, the Arlington, Va.- based trade group said. Most of the decline came before the Sept.
BUSINESS
July 19, 2008 | Michelle Quinn, Times Staff Writer
A large investment in a renewable energy firm helped Los Angeles-area companies record a 33% jump in venture capital funding in the second quarter, bucking the national downward trend, according to a report scheduled for release today. The greater Los Angeles region received $415 million in investment, compared with $313 million in the same period last year, research firm Dow Jones VentureSource said.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2008 | Jessica Guynn, Times Staff Writer
Matt Cohler, a senior Facebook Inc. executive and one of the early employees of the social networking phenom, is leaving to become a general partner with Benchmark Capital. The departure comes at a crucial time for Facebook, which has risen to become one of Silicon Valley's hottest companies. Microsoft Corp. and other investors last year gave the 4-year-old venture a $15-billion valuation.
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