Figures released yesterday by Ernst & Young and VentureOne revealed venture captital investment fell by just under a quarter between 2002 and 2003.
The amount invested was down 24% year on year from €1.5bn to €1.1bn, a stark contrast to the heady days of 2000 when more than double that amount was raised in half of a single quarter.
But the news was not all bad. According to the study, the UK venture capital market enhanced its position as the largest in Europe, accounting for 32% of total funds invested. And the report said the outlook for 2004 was much rosier.
Stuart Watson, head of Ernst & Young’s venture captial advisory group in the UK, said: ‘We consider that the more healthy signs of recovery in the US will show through into the UK market and then subsequently the rest of the European market in 2004.’
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