As Web IPOs Hit, Few Share the Spoils

Silicon Valley’s technology boom is giving a lift to the venture-capital industry.

But many of the gains are being disproportionately reaped by brand-name venture firms, which are benefiting from a wave of Internet IPOs and the soaring valuations of closely held companies such as Facebook Inc.

In what is a volatile business, some of the bigger venture-capital firms have forged ahead, taking advantage of their longtime network of entrepreneur contacts and building on past investment successes to continue getting access to the hottest deals. That helps those firms maintain an edge against less established venture firms, which in turn affects performance and returns.

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