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212 Raising Capital Recent History By the late 1990s, IPOs (especially those in the technology sector) were created and motivated by the rapid rise in venture capital investment in the early and mid-1990s. Investments by institutional venture capital firms had soared from $4 billion in 1992 to more than $35 billion in 1999. As discussed in Chapters 9 and 10, venture capital firms are not necessarily looking for a long-term mar- riage, and, traditionally, their preferred exit strategy has often been the IPO, where an initial investment of a few million dollars was able to yield much more in a short time. A striking example was the $5 million investment in web- Methods, a business-to-business e-commerce software development firm, by FBR Technology Venture Partners, which reaped nearly $600 million in profits on the day webMethods went public in 2000; in 2007, webMethods was ac- quired by Software AG for $546 million. By 2005, the days of numerous early-stage technology companies com- pleting an initial public offering at maximum market valuations with minimal revenues seemed to be a thing of the past. In 2004, it appeared that market conditions had stabilized and that the IPO as a capital-formation strategy was