At least 210 Internet companies ceased operating last year, taking down with them some $1.5 billion in investment money, a new survey by Webmergers.com found. The company, which provides a research-backed marketplace for buyers and sellers of Internet properties, said the rate of dot-com business failures accelerated at year end, with 60 percent of the closures occurring in the fourth quarter. Most of the companies that failed were e-commerce businesses, which accounted for 109 of the closures. Online-content sites made up another 30 percent of the total, while infrastructure and other online service companies made up the remainder. At least a quarter of shuttered properties are seeking buyers for their assets, the company said. Webmergers estimates that as many as 15,000 employees were laid off as a result of the closings. However, the company noted that the figure does not include all dot-com layoffs, since many companies that are still in business have slashed their payrolls to conserve cash.
Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.