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February 7, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Not all venture capitalists are blinded by the internet frenzy which has seen plenty of funding for start-ups with little more than a concept and ballooning market capitalizations for public companies that do nothing but lose money. Some VC firms, like Summit Partners, don’t even touch internet start-ups. Summit focuses mainly on IT services companies, leading general partner Walter Kortschak to remark wistfully, We’re left investing in mundane profitable companies…that sometimes make us a buck or two. Speaking at a venture capital panel at the NationsBanc Montgomery Securities Technology Week conference, Kortschak and others expressed healthy bewilderment at the current insatiable appetite for internet issues. John Scoch, a general partner at Asset Management Associates, says There is no left brain analysis that can explain current valuations, but what goes up must come down. The laws of physics have not been repealed by the internet. Sabeer Bhatia, general manager of strategic business development at Microsoft Corp added that companies are overvalued, yes, but the relative valuations are appropriate, explaining that within the ranks of internet companies at least revenue and the relative size of losses (or even the rare profit) still account for something in market cap. While much of the panel discussion centered around the current whims of investors, a sobering appetite for the almighty dollar still prevailed. As Scoch said, after predicting an inevitable correction in the market, I just hope all my deals go public before that happens.

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