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Forrester Tailors Research to VCs

Looking to expand its customer base beyond IT vendors and marketers, Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester will begin offering research and consulting services to venture capital firms.

A spokesman for the Cambridge, Mass., firm was not immediately available to comment on the timing of the move.

Torched by the dot-com bust and facing a stock market inhospitable to IPOs, VCs have been slow to re-enter the fray as have their backers -- pension fund, endowments and wealthy individuals and families.

Fewer acquisitions by large players, especially in the telcom sector, has also dragged VC funding. With the exception of the biotechnology sector, financing rounds for startups are smaller and less frequent than in the late 1990s.

Forrester said it has 20 years of experience in areas of interest to VCs: finding attractive startups; studying and analyzing their markets; advising them on future moves; and developing exit strategies.

Its acquisition of neighbor Giga Information Group for $60 million in cash this year also bolstered its technical expertise.

In term of specific areas of concentration, the VC program will mirror the firm's core research and include enterprise applications, networking, security, servers and storage, among others.

The company did not detail how customers would be charged for the service, or what the profile of the typical customer would be. Perhaps working in Forrester's favor is the fact that many VC have cut back on staff and may be looking to outsource some work.

Editor's note: The parent of this Web site, also owns Jupiter Research, which in some instances competes with Forrester.