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** Sterling Money Entrepreneur. The NY Times reports that, like their US counterparts, European VCs are also scaling back their investments in technology and and health care startups.  Indeed, European VC firms invested in 42 percent fewer companies and invested 35 percent less than last year, resultingin the worst quarter since 2000.

Ram Srinivasan of Wellington Partners cites the unstable US markets and economic and political uncertainty as probable causes, while Mark Tluszcz of Mangrove Capital Partners said the slowdown was a short-term phenomenon. From the PR perspective, we had noticed a slow-down in the number of inbound queries a couple of months ago, but the pace has been increasing again, with more leads than we can manage.  Still, the landscape is definitely shifting and evolving as the marketplace matures and the dust settles from the euphoria of the initial gold rush of startups rushing to build “Web 2.0” businesses ripe for acquisition.

As the summer draws to a close and the conference season kicks into gear again next week with both DEMO and TechCrunch50 debuting several new startups, it will be interesting to see if the decline in funding reverses itself sooner rather than later.