VC Buzz - $244.8+ Million in Today's Deals
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New in the News
EMERYVILLE, Calif.-- Petstore.com, an online source for pet products and expert advice, announced the closing of a $97 million round of funding and the formation of a broad strategic alliance with Discovery Communications. This partnership includes an exclusive license to Animal Planet content and the Animal Planet URL (www.animalplanet.com), cash, promotion and access to Animal Planet and Discovery Channel-branded merchandise.
Petstore.com's founding venture capitalists, Battery Ventures and Advanced Technology Ventures, also participated in the transaction. With this second round of funding, total investment in Petstore.com now exceeds $110 million.http://www.petstore.com
NEW YORK-- Medsite announced that it has closed $36 million of equity financing. The team of investors included: Bain Capital's Brookside Fund; Weiss, Peck & Greer; Chase Capital Partners; Reuters Group PLC's Greenhouse Fund; Trust Company of the West; Tenet Healthcare Corporation; Argentum Capital Partners II LP; and Hikari Tsushin of Tokyo, Japan. Credit Suisse First Boston acted as investment bankers and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati as legal counsel, both representing Medsite. The financing consisted of the sale of $30 million of newly-issued Series B Convertible Preferred Stock. In addition, $6 million of previously issued subordinated notes will be exchanged for Convertible Preferred Stock as part of the financing.http://www.medsite.com
SAN FRANCISCO--Pets.com, an online source for pet products, information and services, announced that it has a raised a $35 million third round of funding from its current investors, Amazon.com (Nasdaq:AMZN), Bowman Capital Partners and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, as well as from a new investor, Phoenix Capital Partners. Combined with the more than $60 million raised by Pets.com in its first two rounds of funding, the investment in the online pet site totals nearly $100 million. http://www.pets.com http://www.bowmancapital.com http://www.humwin.com http://www.phoenixvc.com
NEW YORK -- beenz.com inc, creator of beenz, a web currency, announced that it has completed its $30.5 million third round of private funding through an additional $10.5 million investment, in the form of Series A convertible preferred stock, led by Patricof & Co. Ventures and Apax Partners & Co. Ventures Ltd. Earlier third round investors include Oracle Corp. chief executive Larry Ellison, Japanese communications and retailing company Hikari Tsushin, Gefinor Group, French holding company Artemis, SA and the Euro-American venture capital firm Viventures Partners, SA. The company has also received private investments from Bailbrook Ventures Limited, a European investment firm, Abbervail Limited, a U.K.-based investment firm and certain high net-worth individuals. The total funding of beenz.com now stands at $34.5 million. Prior to this round, the company raised approximately $3.8 million in seed capital provided by Gefinor USA and several private investors.http://www.beenz.com
NEW YORK -- govWorks.com, a New York City-based Internet company that is launching a nationwide service to create a direct online link to local government, has completed its second round of financing, raising over $18 million from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Mayfield Fund and the executives of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, along with the New York City Investment Fund, The Hearst Corporation, Sapient Corp. (Nasdaq:SAPE) and Vignette Corp. (Nasdaq: VIGN). http://www.govworks.com
DALLAS--Backed by $7.5 million in funding from Austin Ventures and Fremont Ventures, Fundu.com announces its presence on the World Wide Web as the first services focused site to offer a wide variety of customer-ranked, local services, such as event planning, moving and landscaping. Fundu.com uses patent-pending technology to create an online site for connecting buyers and sellers of services for home and small businesses. Fundu has also received private investments from executives at Broadcast.com, Verio Corp. and Dell Computer, as well as former CBS CEO, and current chairman of Luminant Worldwide, (NASDAQ:LUMT), Michael H. Jordan and Compaq board member Ted Enloe. http://www.fundu.com http://www.austinventures.com http://www.fremontgroup.com
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--Speech Machines, a speech-to-data Application Service Provider, announced that it has received a $7 million investment from @Ventures, the affiliated venture capital arm of CMGI (Nasdaq:CMGI), and Intel. Speech Machines' transcription service platform permits the efficient conversion of speech into data using advanced speech recognition technology and proprietary Internet-based audio routing modules. http://www.speechmachines.com http://www.cmgi.com
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Presenter.com, an online exchange and forum for presenters and consumers of expert-knowledge content, announced $6.5 million of initial venture-capital funding from Japanese Internet conglomerate SOFTBANK CORP., former Apple Computer chairman and CEO John Sculley and Trans Cosmos Inc.http://www.presenter.com
RICHARDSON, Texas--TelOptica Inc. announced that it has closed on a $6 million round of venture funding. The $6 million is the second and largest injection of venture capital funding received by the company. The capital will be used for product development and an aggressive rollout of a communications network design optimization service. The funding was provided by SSM Ventures of Austin, Texas, Centerpoint Ventures of Dallas, and Austin Ventures of Austin, Texas.http://www.teloptica.com
ATLANTA -- CarrierPoint, a digital marketplace for the trucking and shipping industries, announced the completion of its first round of funding. Investors include U.S.-based iXL Enterprises (Nasdaq:IIXL), CyberLab Ventures, William E. Simon and Sons, and individual members of Deutche Bank Alex Brown's management team. http://www.carrierpoint.com
ATLANTA -- AutoTrader.com, a provider of automotive classifieds with over 1.25 million listings, announced it has received a substantial investment from Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. Financial terms were not disclosed. AutoTrader.com's other investors include Cox Enterprises Inc., Manheim Auctions Inc., Automatic Data Processing (NYSE:AUD), and Landmark Communications Inc. AutoTrader.com is a product of the recent merger AutoConnect.com and Auto Trader Online. http://www.autotrader.com
SAN FRANCISCO-- Snowball.com, an online media company, and New Line Cinema, a producer and distributor of independent films, jointly announced that the companies have entered a multi-year, multi-million dollar strategic partnership. As part of the pact, New Line Cinema has purchased an undisclosed amount of stock in the privately held company. The equity investment by New Line Cinema adds to Snowball.com's current list of financial partners, which also includes The Walden Media & Information Technology Fund, Weiss Peck & Greer, Whitman Capital and Worldview Technology Partners.http://www.snowball.com http://www.newline.com
CHICAGO -- Telenisus Corp., a complete e-business Internet solutions provider, announced the successful closing of its initial private placement financing. Telenisus is utilizing the proceeds of its first independent financing to expand its management team and to accelerate development of its four service families: virtual private networks, managed firewall/security services, Web site and application hosting, and e-commerce. Telenisus is a formerly wholly-owned subsidiary of NetAmerica.com Corp. (OTCBB:NAMI) . http://www.telenisus.com
PITTSBURGH -- STORM LLC, a Pittsburgh-based startup pioneering software products that dramatically improve Web site performance, announced that Andreas Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq:SUNW), has taken an equity stake in STORM and will join the company's technical advisory board. Bechtolsheim is one of several Silicon Valley-based investors in STORM. http://www.stormsystems.com
MCKINNEY, Texas-- VideosDotCom Inc., a privately held company that develops solutions for internet-based video rentals and sales, announced the completion of an initial funding agreement with Carnegie Partners LLC. This money will be used to fund operations through completion of the software products, NetPlayer and SecureRental. These products constitute the functionality of the NetMovies services to be offered by VideosDotCom in 2000. The service will allow viewers to rent or purchase videos from the convenience of their home television and will support full viewer control functions such as play, fast forward, rewind, pause and stop.http://www.videosdotcom.com
Internet Fact of the Day
The worldwide Internet economy will soar past the $1 trillion mark in 2001 and by 2003, it will be well on its way to $3 trillion, according to a new report from International Data Corp.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-- ChannelPoint Inc., an Internet exchange provider for insurance, announced that it has acquired p.d.,q., a Virginia-based unit of First Colony Life - a GE Financial Assurance company. Operating since 1983, p.d.,q. is a dominant player in agency management software for life insurance broker general agents. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. ChannelPoint's investors include Andersen Consulting, Capital Z Partners, Intel Corp., Mohr, Davidow Ventures, Pacific Venture Group and Validus.http://www.channelpoint.com
San Francisco - AllBusiness.com and American City Business Journals Inc. announced a strategic alliance and marketing agreement that will enable the two companies to better serve the needs of small and growing businesses. In addition, ACBJ has made an equity investment in AllBusiness.com, completing the company's second round of funding at over $17 million.
AllBusiness.com is financed by Canaan Partners, Intel Corp., Technology Crossover Ventures, Venture Strategy Group and otherventure and corporate investors. ACBJ is a unit of Advance Publications Inc., which also operates Conde Nast Magazines, The New Yorker, Newhouse Newspapers and cable television operations.http://www.amcity.com http://www.allbusiness.com
NEWARK, Calif. -- iLux Corp., a provider of e-marketing solutions for e-commerce Web sites, and Communities.com, developer of the first real-time, interactive rich media network -- announced a strategic alliance. Under terms of the agreement, Communities.com and iLux will align their product offerings to create an enterprise class Web analysis and e-marketing software solution. The agreement also calls for co-marketing, cross selling, referrals and Web site links.
Communities.com's investors Michael Crichton, Helix Investments, Creative Labs, Softbank Investment Partners and agincourt partners LLC.http://www.communities.com http://www.ilux.com
Internet Comment of the Day
Despite huge awareness of the need to adopt an E-business model, many companies will tumble into E-business disillusionment by 2001 with 75% of projects failing to deliver on their promise, according to Gartner Group analysts. While technologically aggressive businesses face failure from immature technology, an unready market and poor E-business strategies, more conservative organisations that seek to avoid all risk by ignoring the 'Net-age' completely are also doomed to failure.
"By 2004 we will see a steady 'slope of enlightenment' as the true E-businesses begin to emerge. By 2006, many businesses will have made the transition, most likely to a "Brick and Click" mix, and E-business itself will cease to exist. At this point E-business will be completely embedded into an organisation's business process," says Alexander Drobik, GartnerGroup vice president of E-business transformation.
SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- GWcom announced the trans-Pacific launch of its byair.com mobile wireless Internet platform and portal, addressing the demand for mobile wireless Internet access from multiple device types, including WAP-enabled smart phones, wirelessly enabled PDAs, and two-way pagers. Over 100 different byair.com information applications have been tested and will soon be available for WAP-enabled phones. GWcom has partnered with over 12 major web content providers in Asia, such as Sohu and Shanghai's Stock Star to launch byair.com. GWcom has received investments from both venture capital firms and corporate investors such as Intel.http://www.byair.com or http://www.gwcom.com
WASHINGTON -- Enews.com, a magazine retailer on the Web, is offering early delivery ofholiday gift subscriptions. Enews.com plans to "rush deliver" the current issue of a gift magazine subscription to either the gift giver or the recipient, wrapped and packaged with a card. Enews.com recently secured a $20 million capital investment from Madison Dearborn Capital Partners.http://www.enews.com
Who's Who & Where
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Newsletters.com, a business-to-business aggregator of newsletter and special report content on the Internet, announced that Jeff Ronaldi has been named the company's new chief executive officer. Most recently, Ronaldi was a top director in global business-to-business sales for UUNET. Newsletters.com has received funding from Doug Humphrey, founder of Digex; Jonathan Silver, former COO of Tiger Management; Ralph Terkowitz, CIO of The Washington Post Company; and Jeff Osborn, founder of Osborn Capital.
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