Back in September, when financial reality was still merely horrible but not yet catastrophic, a local software start-up called Balihoo was poised to expand. All that Balihoo needed was more money, and it was about to get some. Three venture capital firms beckoned with offers to invest a fresh $3 million in the young company.Then Lehman Brothers collapsed, beginning a string of spectacular Wall Street failures. As primal fear seized the financial system, money suddenly became as difficult to secure as true love on a reality dating show. The venture capitalists changed their minds. “All that interest disappeared,” says Balihoo’s chief executive, Peter Gombert. “It was nuclear winter.” In October, Balihoo laid off 10 people in Boise and braced for more painful days. But in the last several weeks, the venture capitalists have returned, enticed by Balihoo’s strong sales, and also by something infinitely more valuable: glimmers of renewed faith in parts of American commerce. “Risk” no longer seems like a radioactive word.
By Peter S. Goodman, May 10, 2009, NYT

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