Prominent Investors Miss Web IPO Payoff

For venture capitalists and other prominent investors in young companies, an initial public offering is supposed to be the big payoff for years of patience. It’s not working out that way for some backers of newly public Internet companies.

Disappointing debuts of Web companies such as Facebook Inc. and Zynga Inc. have put some pre-IPO investors under water, leaving them with shares worth less than what they paid. Other investments remain profitable, but with much smaller gains than projected as recently as a few months ago.

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