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Venture capital spending at highest level since end of dot-com bubble

Across Silicon Valley, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs are busy chanting: "Not a bubble. Not a bubble. Not a bubble."

But with venture capital numbers reaching levels not seen since the dot-com bubble days, the question of whether things in Silicon Valley are a bit too frothy is getting harder to dismiss. 

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According to the latest MoneyTree report released Friday, venture capitalists invested $9.5 billion in 951 U.S. companies during the first three months of 2014. That's the biggest sum since the second quarter of 2001, when the dot-com boom was gasping its final, dying breaths.

The survey is prepared every quarter by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Assn. and Thomson Reuters.

The total amount of venture capital invested rose 12% compared with the previous quarter, though the number of deals fell 14%. In other words, more money was put into fewer deals.

The amount of venture capital is up 57% compared with the same quarter a year ago. 

The biggest deals in the quarter included $740 million raised by Cloudera and $250 million raised by Lyft. 

The funding is being driven in part by an IPO market that heated up considerably during the first three months of this year (though it has since cooled off a tad). With more exits happening, venture capitalists were pumping more money into start-ups that are getting closer to IPOs or acquisitions. 

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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