RealTime IT News

beenz.com Secures Another $10.5 Million Investment

Web currency company beenz.com inc. said it completed a $30.5 million third round of private funding through an additional $10.5 million investment, in the form of convertible preferred stock, led by Patricof & Co. Ventures and Apax Partners & Co. Ventures Ltd.

The companies said the funds will go toward growth and expansion, marketing and developing the beenz technology. Total funding of beenz.com now stands at $34.5 million.

beenz is a universal Web "currency" that consumers can spend online, and they are earned by visiting, interacting with, or shopping at participating Web sites. More than 230,000 consumers currently earn and spend beenz, the company said.

"We are very excited about the global potential for beenz both as a promotional currency and ultimately in other applications as well," said Thomas P. Hirschfeld, managing director at Patricof.

Earlier third round investors include Oracle Corp. chief executive Larry Ellison, Japanese communications and retailing company Hikari Tsushin, Gefinor Group, French holding company ArtC)mis, SA and the Euro-American venture capital firm Viventures Partners, SA.

Separately, beenz.com said it has signed two new customer agreements, one with music site MP3.com for more than 100 million beenz, and the other with entertainment site SpeedyClick.com for 37 million beenz.

beenz.com will be a sponsor of MP3.com's Music and Technology Tour, currently touring 28 college campuses across the United States. In addition, MP3.com will give away a specified amount of beenz to users who visit and interact with the MP3.com site.

SpeedyClick will accept beenz in exchange for SpeedyBucks, the site's rewards program points, and will also offer beenz to consumers for various activities on the site.