VC Buzz - $120.8+ million in today's deals
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For the latest on cool Internet Start-Ups and their VC backers, point your browser to: http://www.internetVCwatch.com/
New in the Newsinternet.com, Mercata, StarBridge Technologies, Accord Telecommunications, Agribuys.com, OpenGrid, B2Bworks, Worldwaters.com, Fatbrain.com, Eagle Development Group, Golden Parachute, Changepoint, SevenMountains, StoneAge.com, Activate.net, MediaFlex.com, Celarix, eHobbies, Ensim, GreatEntertaining.com, HandGear.com, Decide.com, Novazen, WeddingChannel.com, InfoMove
WESTPORT, Conn.--internet.com Venture Fund I LLC, the affiliated venture arm of internet.com Corporation (Nasdaq:INTM), announced that it has made venture investments in three additional early-stage Internet companies which include the GoPDA.com network, BuyBuddy.com and workz.com. The investments are part of internet.com Venture Fund I's ongoing effort to further advance early-stage content and e-commerce Web site properties. www.gopda.com www.buybuddy.com www.workz.com
Mercata Inc., a new e-commerce company that brings consumers together to drive down prices on a variety of premium products, announced that it has closed on a $35 million second round of financing.
The round was led by Highland Capital Partners and also included Global Retail Partners, Europ@web, Amerindo and Watershed Capital. Mercata's initial sole investor, Vulcan Ventures Inc., the investment organization of Paul G. Allen, also participated in the round, increasing its total investment in Mercata.www.mercata.com www.paulallen.com www.hcp.com
StarBridge Technologies announced that it has closed its first round of funding for $6 million, and has built an executive team focused on delivering the communications industry's next generation interconnect technology to facilitate the evolution toward integrated data, voice and multimedia networks in an open telecommunications environment.
Founded in February 1999, StarBridge is funded by a group of prestigious venture capital companies, including St. Paul Venture Capital, Commonwealth Capital Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners.www.stpaulvc.com www.ccvlp.com www.bessemervp.com
Norwest Venture Partners Invests $6.5 Million in Accord Telecommunications, Inc.
PALO ALTO, Calif.--Norwest Venture Partners, a venture capital business partner for emerging growth IT companies, announced a $6.5 million investment in Accord Telecommunications Inc., a leading manufacturer of advanced switching and networking systems that enable real time interactive visual communications.
Norwest Venture Partners was the sole investor in this round of financing. Accord Telecommunications will use the financing for expansion of the company and its MGC product line, which enables live, interactive audio, video and data communication between two or more endpoints.www.norwestvp.com
Agribuys.com Secures $1.5 Million First-Round Financing
Its principal investors are Los Angeles-based TMCT Ventures and prominent Silicon Valley-based angel investors. Tom Unterman, managing general partner of TMCT Ventures, will be joining the Agribuys.com Board of Directors.www.agribuys.com
SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- OpenGrid Inc., an emerging wireless Internet solutions company, announced it has secured more than $8 million in financing during the third quarter from leading corporate, and private investors including Motorola Inc. (NYSE:MOT) and Philippe Kahn, CEO of Starfish Software. In addition to Motorola and Philippe Kahn, the privately held company has received funding from Advanced Technology Ventures, Labrador Ventures, Applied Technology, Eugene Flath and Eli Porat. www.opengrid.com
CHICAGO-- B2BWorks, the nation's first and largest online business-to-business advertising network, has received $2.3 million in first-round financing from a blue-chip consortium of three strategic media-industry investors: PRIMEDIA's (NYSE:PRM) IndustryClick, R.R. Donnelley & Sons (NYSE: DNY) and IDG Ventures. www.b2bworks.net www.primediainc.com www.rrdonnelley.com www.idgventures.com
EMERYVILLE, Calif.--Worldwaters.com, a leading Internet provider of quality fishing products, services, and information to the global sport-fishing community, has announced completion of its first round of private financing, bringing initial seed funding to more than $2 million.www.worldwaters.com
SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Fatbrain.com Inc. (Nasdaq:FATB), the Internet's most comprehensive bookstore for professionals, announced that Vulcan Ventures Inc., the investment organization of Paul G. Allen, has signed a definitive agreement to invest an additional $20 million in Fatbrain.com to help fuel its e-commerce initiatives, including eMatter, the Internet's first secure digital publishing platform.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vulcan Ventures will purchase unregistered shares of common stock in Fatbrain.com for 110% of the five day average closing price of Fatbrain.com's shares through last Friday and will purchase warrants to make future investments in the Company at 125% of the initial purchase price. In addition, Diane Daggatt, New Media Analyst at Vulcan Ventures, will join Fatbrain.com's Board of Directors. The financing agreement also allows for up to $10 million of additional investment.www.fatbrain.com
NEWTON, Mass.--Eagle Development Group Inc. announced the expansion of its global sales and marketing initiatives, backed by a $25 million commitment from Warburg, Pincus Ventures, one of the world's most elite private equity firms. As part of the agreement, Warburg will have a minority ownership in the company and will retain seats on Eagle's Board of Directors.
Eagle's flagship product, Eagle PACE, is a web-based investment data warehouse and hub, integrating analytical and market data with portfolio accounting and trade data across all asset types for buy-side investment managers.www.eagledev.com
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.-- Bringing exclusivity to the Internet, a group led by an entertainment industry brand builder, announced Golden Parachute Inc., an Internet startup formed to develop and deliver the premier online destination exclusively for alumni and students of top colleges and universities to network and collaborate on business, career, and social levels.
The company also announced that it has received a $1 million Series A first round of financing led by Elliott Associates L.P., Garage.com and several angel investors.www.goldenparachute.com www.garage.com
TORONTO-- Changepoint Corp., a leader in professional services automation software for IT services organizations, announced that it has completed a fourth-round venture finance backing of $5.5 million from JMI Equity Fund and Updata Capital. Additionally, Changepoint announced that Updata Managing Directors Barry Goldsmith and David Wetmore and JMI General Partner Robert Sywolski have joined Changepoint's Board of Directors.
This latest investment comes less than two months after a third-round venture finance backing of $4.5 million was secured from Vengrowth, C.A. Delaney Investment Management and The BEST Fund. Company officials said the new $10 million cash injection will be used to further grow Changepoint sales and marketing efforts throughout North America and Europe. Other Changepoint investors include the XDL Capital Corp.www.changepoint.com
SAN MATEO, Calif.-- SevenMountains, which develops and markets a unique software platform for Application Server Providers, server-centric computing and cross-platform integration, has completed its first round of financing. International investors have placed a total of $7 million in new equity in the company.
The lead investor is the Dutch venture capitalist Holland Venture BV; joining it are Europe's leading venture capital company 3i Group Plc., and Alpinvest Holding NV, listed on the AEX Stock Exchange in Amsterdam. Existing shareholders such as the leading Norwegian Telenor Venture and Venture Partners, as well as SevenMountains' senior management team, have also taken part in this round of financing.www.sevenmountains.com
TROY, Mich.-- StoneAge.com, a pioneer in the online used and new car buying industry, has raised $1 million in venture capital from the M Group, Inc., of Birmingham, Mich. The equity financing will enable StoneAge.com to significantly enhance its service to both customers and dealers.
The M Group's investment also brings outside professional investors to StoneAge.com's board of directors. The new board includes StoneAge.com founders Mark Campbell and Andy Wolfe, the M Group's Greg Buck and Mitchell Mondry, and Dick Eidswick of Arbor Partners, a Michigan-based venture capital firm.www.stoneage.com
Internet Fact of the Day
International Data Corp. predicts the corporate e-learning market will surpass $7.1 billion by 2002.
SEATTLE and ANDOVER, Mass.--CMGI Inc. (Nasdaq:CMGI), the world's largest and most diverse network of Internet companies, has signed a definitive letter of agreement to acquire Activate.net Corporation, a privately held, Seattle-based streaming media company currently leading the market in providing business-to-business broadcast communications on the Internet. Activate.net will become a majority-owned operating company in the CMGI network. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed. www.activate.net www.cmgi.com
CHICAGO -- MediaFlex.com, a provider of e-commerce solutions for the digital printing industry, announced that it has signed a deal with Copy General, Washington D.C.'s largest independent chain of copy centers with 30 worldwide locations. Under the terms of the agreement, Copy General will work with MediaFlex.com to set up Online Print Centers for its corporate customers.
Company investors include Redleaf Venture Management, Interactive Minds Ventures and Tredegar Investments.www.mediaflex.com
Celarix Exchange Goes Live; Start-Up Raises $14 Million in Funding
BOSTON--Celarix Inc., a provider of web-based, global logistics services, announced the launch of Celarix.com, the first comprehensive, web-based, global logistics solution. After participating in beta testing for Celarix Exchange, more than 70 shippers and 10 ocean carriers have committed to actively posting live cargo and available space.
Celarix received its initial funding from venture capitalists and private investors. Since its founding in August 1998, the company has raised over $14 million from a number of private investors, Charles River Ventures and TL Ventures--venture capital firms specializing in early-stage software, and Internet and communication start-ups. Funds have also been provided by Comdisco Ventures in the form of lease financing and debt.www.celarix.com
New eHobbies.com Launches
SANTA MONICA, Calif.-- eHobbies announced the launch of a new online destination for avid and beginning hobbyists. The new vertical destination provides compelling content, hobby-specific communities and one-stop shopping to millions of hobbyists around the world. eHobbies is the first consumer investment from eCompanies Venture Group, formed by Sky Dayton, chairman/founder of EarthLink, and Jake Winebaum, former chairman of Buena Vista Internet Group.www.eHobbies.com
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.-- Ensim Corp., a new start-up company that addresses the growing needs of Internet Service Providers to provide value-added services for small and medium-sized companies, announced plans to deliver the industry's first complete deployment platform for outsourced services.
Ensim co-founders Rosen Sharma, CEO, and S. Keshav, CTO, have secured a seed round of funding from a prestigious group of angel investors who include leaders in high technology and academia. Sharma and Keshav, along with Xun Wilson Huang, Snorri Gylfason and Samir Mathur co-founded the company in June 1998.www.ensim.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- GreatEntertaining.com, a new Web site that officially launched, offers a wealth of party ideas and supplies aimed at making it easy and fun to celebrate life's special occasions. The site helps party-givers find ideas for themes, decorations, menus and recipes, activities, party supplies and unique entertaining items. Merchandise and ideas for birthday parties, anniversaries, holidays, open houses, bridal and baby showers, and other celebrations are all available online, with door-to-door delivery of party goods in time for the event.
The company is funded by Benchmark Partners.www.greatentertaining.com
Who's Who & Where
LOS ANGELES -- HandGear.com, a new online venture slated to debut this winter as a player in the Palm and handheld arenas, announced the formation of its Board of Directors. Additionally, the company announced that its second round of funding has closed.
Industry leader and early HandGear investor David Bohnett will take a seat on HandGear's new board. Joining Bohnett on the HandGear board of directors is Lawrence Rogow, who will serve as the board's chairman; Jonathan Siegler, who also serves as HandGear's President and CEO; and Edwin Moss, managing director of Alexander Dunham Capital Partners.
SAN JOSE, Calif.--Decide.com announced the election of Peter Darbee and Ujjal Kohli as members of the company's board of directors.
The new board members join Roy Prasad, Decide.com president and CEO, Kanwal Rekhi, a private venture capital investor, and Virginia Turezyn, general partner of Information Technology Ventures and Infinity Capital LLC.
Peter Darbee is a senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer of Pacific Gas & Electric (NYSE:PCG), and Ujjal Kohli is a general partner and co-founder of MKS Ventures. www.decide.com
BOULDER, Colo.--Novazen Inc., a Boulder-based vendor of Internet-based customer relationship management, electronic bill presentment and payment, and bill consolidation, announced that John Hansen, former CEO of Metapath Software and e-commerce and telecommunications industry consultant, has joined its Board of Directors.
Novazen is financed by leading venture capital firms Columbia Capital, Rho Management Company, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cedar Grove Investments and Meyer, Duffy & Associates.www.novazen.com
NEW YORK-- WeddingChannel.com, a comprehensive bridal registry and wedding planning resource on the World Wide Web, has named Donald G. Drapkin, the company's Chairman, to the additional post of Chief Executive Officer. Drapkin is Vice-Chairman of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., an early investor in WeddingChannel.com. He succeeds Tim Gray, who has been CEO since 1996 and will remain a Director.www.weddingchannel.com
SEATTLE --InfoMove announced the appointment of Peter Holland as president and CEO. Seattle-based InfoMove private-labels its integrated system of Internet, wireless and global positioning system technologies to automobile suppliers and manufacturers, palm-size and handheld PC manufacturers, Internet portals and Internet destination sites. Holland joins InfoMove as the company closed a significant angel round of funding.www.infomove.com
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