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ServiceBench Lands $1.6 Million Funding

ServiceBench, Inc., an Internet-based supply chain service company to Fortune 1000 manufacturers for after-the-sale transactions such as warranty repair claims, parts ordering, product registration and electronic payments, has closed on $1.6 million of second round funding. NextGen Capital, L.L.C., led the funding round with $1.3 million with WomenAngels.net and other angel investors providing the difference.

The Fairfax, Va.-based ServiceBench plans to use the funds for sales and marketing and product research and development.

ServiceBench attempts to reduce a manufacturer's costs of goods sold and administrative expenses by providing an Internet-based platform that facilitates and automates service and product repair transactions between manufacturers, part and product distributors, retailers, dealers and authorized service centers. Other services include product registration, parts ordering, product returns, electronic documents, manuals, surveys, and quality and fraud analysis.

ServiceBench's application allows channel partners to do business with multiple manufacturers through a single mechanism while providing manufacturers the option of using ServiceBench as a complete transaction-processing hub or to have validated data delivered to their existing systems for additional processing. ServiceBench's revenues are generated through an initial set-up fee plus a per transaction fee for manufacturers.

ServiceBench has already processed millions of transactions this year for clients such as Frigidaire, Harman Kardon, Mitsubishi, Poulan and Shindaiwa. In addition, Whirlpool Corp. recently selected ServiceBench to provide online warranty and service claims transactions between Whirlpool North America and its large universe of independent service centers.

The addition of Whirlpool makes ServiceBench the market leader serving the after sale requirements of the consumer appliance industry.

"ServiceBench is positioned to continue to capture the lions share of the after-the-sale market by providing cost-effective, easy-to-use and revenue saving services to manufacturers and service centers," said Stefan Strein, managing director of the Fairfax, Va.-based NextGen Capital. "Their management team has remained focused, the product has remained ahead of the curve and support services are spectacular. The ServiceBench platform continues to be rated as the best system by its service center user base."

NextGen Capital manages three venture capital funds, which invest in early stage technology-based companies in the mid-Atlantic region. Investors backing NextGen Capital are primarily executives from the technology and financial sectors who provide their expertise to companies in the Fund's portfolios. Other investments include Magicsoft Corp., Network Storage Solutions, PrimeWire and SynXis.

"While previous rounds of funding have enabled us to lay the foundation as a leader in the industry, this most recent round comes at a particularly critical time as we focus our efforts toward sales and marketing initiatives," said John Estrada, president of ServiceBench.

WomenAngels.net is an investment club of leading female senior executives, providing equity capital from $200,000 to $750,000 to emerging, high growth companies in the mid-Atlantic region. Its investments include netDecide Corp., Metier Inc., VIPdesk and Claragen Inc. The club is based in Washington, D.C.