Venture capital funds nationwide declined, on average, by 17.8% during the year ending in September 2003, based on the latest data compiled by Thomson Venture Economics for the National Venture Capital industry. It marked the 11th consecutive quarter that venture capitalists have sustained a one-year loss, by far the worst streak in the industry’s history. The slump began shortly after the dot-com bust began to devastate the high-tech startups that venture capitalists financed in the late 1990s and 2000. But there are signs the worst is over. At the end of June, venture capital funds’ one-year losses averaged 27.4%.