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VentureOne says Switzerland fourth in Europe for VC investing 1Q02

Switzerland enjoyed a strong first quarter for venture capital investing, according to a joint venture capital survey by Ernst & Young and VentureOne, with the total amount invested increasing by 48 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2001.

The Swiss economy saw a total of €88 million invested in innovative firms in the period, giving the first quarter the highest quarterly investment total since the end of 2000, according to VentureOne's data.

This strong performance increased Switzerland's ranking to fourth (4Q01: eighth) in terms of investment by country, behind Europe's regular top three, UK, France and Germany.

Overall in Europe, investment fell one third from the previous quarter to €1.2 billion, and deal flow slowed to only 259 rounds, according to VentureOne's data.

While the drop in euros was consistent with the previous quarter, say the research firm's analysts, the fall-off in venture capital deals was much steeper than the five per cent decline in 4Q01.

Big declines were reported in Germany (76 per cent) and Sweden (64 per cent) and smaller decreases in other countries.

VentureOne's figures appear to be somewhat less complete than the figures recorded by Amsterdam Financial Research.

The young Dutch research firm recorded a larger total amount invested in 1Q02, some €1.7 billion, a difference of €500 million. The difference could be accounted for by the Dutch firm's better sources of deal data in countries such as Spain, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

by Valerie Thompson

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