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Internet Start-ups Becoming VC Champs in France

Financier Chausson Finance has confirmed that French Internet start-ups are attracting phenomenal numbers in the venture capital arena.

During the first semester of this year, 32 companies have raised $45.8 million, according to results from a semester indicator presented by Chausson Finance.

Chausson Finance, a specialist in raising funds for start-ups in the IT and biology fields, released the indicator called ICF (Indicateur Chausson Finance).

According to the conclusions made by the ICF, the Internet sector -- including content, services and e-commerce sites -- has progressed to a total of $42.8 million reportedly raised by 32 start-ups. This figure represents four times the amount closed by start-ups in 1998.

Thus, Internet industry investments follows software in the rankings of top VC investment choices. Among the Internet sectors, e-commerce has attracted around 10 percent of all the investment operations while Internet services and content represents around 16 percent.

Big winners in the VC pool include 3 Internet start-ups: None Networks, the operator of the ISP Freesbee, leads with $23.3 million; e-commerce company Imediation closed $10 million; and online ad company Universal Netcom follows with $8 million in funding.

For its second issue, the fundraiser has provided the agency Edité with information on transactions made by the 22 main french venture-capital companies. Each must manage funds higher than US$8.3 million, and the transactions must involve more than $80,000.