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Start-Ups Raise $9.9B, Hit Outsized Valuations in 1Q

Venture capital funding for U.S. start-ups hit its highest mark since 2001 during the first three months of the year and 11 companies were valued at $1 billion or more, underscoring the increasingly pricey environment for entrepreneurs, according to a report on Thursday from consultancy CB Insights.Venture capitalists invested $9.99 billion across 880 deals in the first quarter of 2014. The dollar amount jumped by 44 percent compared with the same quarter in 2013, while the number of deals rose by 5 percent.The large number of companies that won funding last quarter with billion dollar valuations is the same as for all of 2013. The year before, just eight companies were funded at valuations of $1 billion or more. The valuation is the amount the investors think the company is worth, with their dollar investment representing a fraction of that.The technology companies that venture capitalists valued at over $1 billion last quarter include payments company Stripe, online home-furnishings ...

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