Venture Capital Drought Worst Since 2003

Few sales and IPOs mean less payoff in the business of betting on startups

Venture-backed liquidity was down this quarter, and less than half what it was in the same quarter last year.

Venture capital firms fund companies in exchange for a stake in the business, and realize their gains when a company is sold or goes public.

While a venture-backed company did go public, ending a nine-month dry spell, acquisitions are also down.

The fall seems to correlate with lower sale prices for acquired startups.

The median price for venture-backed businesses was $22 million, compared to $41 million for the same period last year.

Photo by Flickr user dmarino.

Jackson West figures that if Twitter sells at its asking price, the gold rush is back on.

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