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VC investing in search hits record

In 1999, a tiny unknown company received venture capital funding. Back then, 32 search startups received funding. It was the most active year for venture investing in the search space.

That was of course, until the last two years. Last year saw a record number of search startups get funded.In 2005, 47 search startups received an aggregate of $262.9 million in venture funding, according to VentureOne, a unit of Dow Jones. The dollar volume last year was the highest since 2000, when nearly $280 million was invested into 18 search startups. All told, $916 million has been invested in 130 search-related startups in the last five years, with 82 of those deals done in 2004 and 2005.

Last year's recipients include Feedster -- for blog, podcasts and news searches, X1 Technologies -- for desktop search, Onmeta -- a search engine focused on entertainment, and 4Info -- for mobile search, to name a few. 

Why are VCs pouring money back into search startups? Why not? As they say, "Let 1,000 flowers bloom."  Oh, and that tiny unknown search engine that received funding in 1999 was Google.

Read Net Sense on MarketWatch.

Let me know of any search companies you think I should review.


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