VC Buzz - $38.15+ 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 NewsNeoButler, AtYourBusiness.com, DealPilot.com, TitanSearch.com, Stream International, Internet Diamonds, Buy.com, Bigstep.com, shockwave.com, BestCalls.com, Acta Inc., Geocast Network Systems, Eruptor Entertainment, VerticalOne, Thayer Capital Partners, Patricof & Co. Ventures, ChoicePoint, Internet Financial Network, Updata Capital
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.-- neoButler Inc., an Internet startup offering persistent user assistance and automation, announced the successful closing of its first round of financing. Draper Atlantic, the East Coast affiliate fund of Silicon Valley's Draper Fisher Jurveston, led the $1.15 million round of financing.
neoButler Inc. developed the first Internet butler service, which personalizes each user's Internet experience by understanding their interests, providing content relevant to them and automating routine tasks on their behalf. The my.neoButler service is scheduled for release late this year.http://www.neobutler.com/ http://www.draperatlantic.com
ROCKVILLE, Md.-- AtYourBusiness.com, a Web-based service that offers a comprehensive suite of outsourced employee management services for small business, announced the closing of its second round of financing. The $4 million raised will be deployed for further development work and marketing.
The financing was led by SpaceVest, a Reston, Virginia based venture capital firm, along with Osprey Management, a Menlo Park, California venture firm. The venture investors also include Steve Walker & Associates, the investment vehicle for the founder of Trusted Information Services, Inc. The company, based in Rockville, Maryland, completed its angel round of financing in January 1999, raising $1 million.
The company said it will shortly announce some strategic partnerships, and has begun raising another round of financing to support the national launch of its service.www.AtYourBusiness.com
FRANKFURT/NEW YORK--Bertelsmann acquired a majority stake in the Internet company DealPilot.com AG, a new price-comparison service in the field of e-commerce. Bertelsmann, the international media powerhouse that already manages a broad portfolio of online and e-commerce operations, now holds a 50.1 percent stake in the Internet startup. DealPilot.com was established under the name Acses in 1997. The business ranks among the world's leading online comparison shopping engines for books, music and videos. More than three-quarters of the company's revenues are generated in the US. Plans envision the rapid expansion and furthering of DealPilot.com's global reach.www.dealpilot.com
MIAMI--An investors' group representing 10 professional hockey players has just committed to invest $1 million to develop and market a powerful new precision Internet marketing search engine for advertisers - TitanSearch.com.
The company was just formed in late August, although the search engine had been under development for a year.www.TitanSearch.com
CANTON, Mass.-- Stream International Inc. announced an agreement that would change its primary equity owners from Chicago-based R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company to one of the nation's private equity investment firms, Bain Capital Inc. The sale will be completed pending regulatory approval and other closing conditions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
US-based Stream International, is a global leader of Web and voice-based customer support services for technology companies and e-businesses and is considered a market leader in technical support services.
Bain Capital manages more than $6 billion in total capital. Bain Capital's principals have extensive experience in working with technology companies on a wide range of strategic and operational challenges.www.stream.com
SEATTLE -- Internet Diamonds announced its third round of funding, totaling $32 million. Through its dynamic presence in the e-commerce arena, Internet Diamonds attracted the support of venture capital firms Weiss, Peck & Greer Venture Partners, Integral Capital Partners and Comdisco Ventures. Also investing in this round were Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Trinity, and Bessemer, all of which had previously invested in the online fine jewelry store.www.internetdiamonds.com
ALISO VIEJO, Calif. and PARIS--Buy.com, an Internet retailer and e-commerce portal site, announced it has entered into a letter of intent to form a joint venture with @viso, a recently formed joint venture between Japan-based SOFTBANK Corporation and Vivendi of France. @viso was established to facilitate the rapid market entry of U.S. Internet companies into continental Europe.www.atviso.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Small business partner Bigstep.com, provider of the first free all-in-one e-business solution, announced it has joined the CenterBeam Marketplace. Now small business customers of CenterBeam's Business Internet Infrastructure service will be one click away from Bigstep.com's e-business center, enabling them to create free professional e-business Web sites via the CenterBeam Marketplace.
Bigstep.com is funded by US Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, The Washington Post Company, Partech International, Draper Richards, Angel Investors LP, Argus Capital, Staenberg Private Capital and private investors.www.bigstep.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Macromedia Inc. (Nasdaq: MACR) announced plans to establish shockwave.com, the company's online consumer entertainment business, as a stand-alone, independently capitalized company. BancBoston Robertson Stephens has been retained to assist in this process.http://www.shockwave.com
LOS GATOS, Calif.--BestCalls.com, an Internet investor event directory, and iSyndicate, a leader in Web content syndication, announced a content distribution agreement that will introduce individual investors to the earnings conference calls of publicly held companies. The agreement will allow 120,000 iSyndicate affiliate Web sites to have access to numerous content feeds based upon BestCalls.com's calendar of investor conference calls, management interviews and other investor events.
iSyndicate is based in San Francisco and is backed by venture capital firms Scripps Ventures and Labrador Ventures; investment bank Hambrecht & Quist; Internet leaders Infospace.com and Vignette Corporation; and individual investors.www.bestcalls.com www.isyndicate.com
NEW YORK--Data warehousing leader Acta Inc. introduced its new product, Acta e2e, an eCommerce architecture for integrating ERP and other back-office data with Web applications.
In August 1999, Acta announced that it raised $14.5 million in its mezzanine round of financing. The latest round of financing, the company's third, brought total funding to $24.5 million. Acta has received funding from Van Wagoner Funds, Sycamore Venture Capital, Colman Partners, and Comdisco Ventures. They were joined by existing investors Norwest Venture Partners, Greylock Limited Partnerships, and U.S. Venture Partners.http://www.acta.com/e2e
MENLO PARK, Calif.-- Geocast Network Systems Inc. announced an alliance with leading TV station group Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. (NYSE:HTV) to use digital television broadcast signals to deliver a new rich media program service to the PC desktop. Geocast is laying the groundwork for a comprehensive new programming service for the PC. Geocast calls its new approach a "crossover architecture" because it combines the bandwidth and immediacy of broadcast with the customization and control of the PC.
Geocast Network Systems Inc. and three powerhouse Silicon Valley venture firms joined forces earlier this year. Since its initial funding in December 1998, Geocast has been kept under close wraps by a consortium of premier venture capital firms Mayfield Fund, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Institutional Venture Partners. Their investment in the company marks the first time these firms have all backed the same venture.http://www.geocast.com
NEW YORK and MARINA DEL REY, Calif.-- Paradise Music & Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ:PDSE), a multi-faceted entertainment company and producer of music, entertainment and media content, and privately held Eruptor Entertainment Inc., a cutting-edge entertainment and leisure Internet destination site, announced a production relationship that will combine their respective entertainment and online expertise to develop and produce original entertainment content targeted at the "Generation Y" community.
As part of their partnership, the companies announced that Paradise will make a strategic equity investment in Eruptor. Paradise will invest, along with Cassandra-Chase Entertainment Partners, in conjunction with Eruptor's first round of institutional funding. Paradise and Cassandra-Chase will each contribute $1 million and will each have the right to elect a representative to the Eruptor Board of Directors.
Cassandra-Chase Entertainment Partners L.L.C. is a private equity limited liability company, which focuses on investing venture capital and private equity in the entertainment and media industries. Cassandra-Chase Entertainment Partners is an affiliate of Chase Capital Partners, which is a global private equity partnership with over $10.0 billion under management. Chase Capital Partners' sole limited partner is The Chase Manhattan Corporation, one of the largest bank holding companies in the United States with total assets of approximately $357 billion.http://www.eruptor.com
ATLANTA, Ga.-- VerticalOne, a company providing the next generation of personalization services on the Internet, announced an agreement with Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq:SEEK), home of GO Network (www.go.com), to offer GO Network users access to VerticalOne's one-stop personal account service. GO Network users will be able to access information on their communications, investments, bank statements, and other bills or personal accounts at GO.com sites through one simple login and password. The free service will be available to users late this year.
VerticalOne Corporation is a privately held company founded in 1998 to enable the next generation of Internet content personalization services for consumers. The company has received more than $16 million in equity capital from Flatiron Partners, Chase Capital Partners, TTC Ventures, Kinetic Ventures, and other investors. On Sept. 24, 1999, Security First Technologies (Nasdaq:SONE) announced its plans to acquire VerticalOne with an expected close of Q4 1999.www.verticalone.com
Who's Who & Where
WASHINGTON--Thayer Capital Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm, named Rick Rickertsen as its chief operating officer. As a partner with Thayer Capital since 1994, Rickertsen has served as head of Thayer's information technology efforts and has been involved in building the company's investment team, devising firm strategy and managing its portfolio companies. He is a founding partner of Thayer Equity Investors III and IV, two corporate buyout funds totaling more than $1.2 billion.
NEW YORK-- Patricof & Co. Ventures Inc. announced that Lori F. Rafield, Ph.d. has been named a partner of APA Excelsior V and a Managing Director of the firm.
APA Excelsior V is a $410 million private equity fund, with a balanced investment strategy, investing in companies in a diverse range of industries at all stages of development from start-ups to buyouts, which since its inception in October, 1998 has invested $124 million in 18 companies.www.patricof.com
ALPHARETTA, Ga.--ChoicePoint Inc. (NYSE:CPS) announced the election of Internet-expert and venture capitalist Alan J. Taetle to its Board of Directors. Taetle, recently named by DigitalSouth Magazine as one of the "Top Regional Venture Capitalists," is currently a general partner at Noro-Moseley Partners, an Atlanta-based venture capital firm known for its focus on information technology and the Internet.www.choicepointinc.com
NEW YORK-- Internet Financial Network, Inc. (IFN) announced the appointment of four key executives, completing the company's management strategy to position itself as a leading distributor of financial information. Richard E. Malinowski, has become IFN's Chief Technology Officer. Rene M. Mathis has been named as IFN's Chief Financial Officer. Lou Giserman has been named IFN's Managing Editor. Louise Webber has become IFN's Senior Vice President of Marketing. Louise Webber has become IFN's Senior Vice President of Marketing.
HOLMDEL, N.J. -- Updata Capital, Inc., one of the top three investment banking firms for the information technology ("IT") industry announced that James R. Stone has joined the company as a Partner and will be managing the M&A activity in the Reston, Virginia office.www.updatacapital.com
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