Not surprisingly, the venture-capital market decreased sharply last year. Many start-ups and young firms had difficulty finding the investments they needed to keep going (see story, page 18).
Still, a slight fourth-quarter rebound - the first rise in six quarters - is an encouraging sign. And, despite the decline, nearly twice as much venture capital was disbursed in 2001 as was in 1998. "The free-fall is over, and we've landed safely on higher ground," says Tracy Lefteroff, a partner at PricewaterhouseCooper's VC division.