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Central Florida continues to attract venture capital, even though the state as a whole fell behind in the second quarter, a new PricewaterhouseCoopers study finds. Metro Orlando and surrounding markets raised $67.3 million in the second quarter, up 8.5% from $62.05 million in the first period. Melbourne wireless systems maker Tantivy alone raised $55 million from a dozen firms in the second quarter.

Investors sank $288 million into statewide companies, down 3.7% from the first quarter. But for the entire first half, Florida’s picture brightens. Venture capital investments totaled $587 million at a pace that could surpass the $725 million in all of 1999, the CPA firm’s report notes.

Among regions, South Florida leads with 12 deals valued at $136.15 million in the second quarter. Central Florida’s seven deals worth $67.3 million is next, followed by the Jacksonville-Panhandle area, three deals valued at $57.5 million; and the Tampa-St. Petersburg-west hub, three deals at $27.1 million.

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