Venture Capital Takes Off in Europe

For the first time since the bubble burst, venture capital is flowing freely. Good news for the economy -- and, perhaps, for investors

Marco Pescarmona had no trouble snapping up his first round of venture capital in 2000. He got $1 million to start an Italian online mortgage brokerage "in half an hour," he says. Europe's tech sector was soaring and investors were eager to fund startups. But by the time his company had spent the seed money and needed more cash a year later, the Internet bubble had burst and investors were running scared. Pescarmona's MutuiOnline faced financial crisis. "It was incredibly scary," recalls the CEO. "I thought we wouldn't survive."

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