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VENTURE CAPITAL PLUNGES

Mirroring the technology industry meltdown, venture capital investments and fund-raising continued to evaporate in the third quarter, dissolving hopes for a turnaround early next year, an industry report said Monday.

Venture capitalists invested $7.7 billion in start-ups in the three months ended Sept. 30, a 73 percent plunge from the same time last year when the industry reached its quarterly high-water mark of $28.5 billion, according to statistics compiled by industry research firm Venture Economics for the National Venture Capital Association.

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