RealTime IT News

SOFTBANK Invests Additional $40 Million in BUYCOMP.com

Internet computer retailer BUYCOMP.com said it has secured a $40 million investment stake from SOFTBANK Holdings and its affiliates.

The investment, which represents a 9.9 percent ownership interest in BUYCOMP.com, was completed Sept. 30. In August 1998, SOFTBANK Technology Ventures, an affiliate of SOFTBANK, provided an initial and separate investment of $20 million representing a 10.25 percent ownership stake in BUYCOMP.com.

SOFTBANK is also the largest shareholder of Yahoo! and E*Trade.

Based on the combined capital, BUYCOMP.com said it is now valued at $400 million. The Web retailer provides detailed product information and comparisons of more than 30,000 computer hardware and software products and offers guaranteed low prices.

"BUYCOMP.com is a natural addition to our Internet portfolio," said Ron Fisher, vice chairman of SOFTBANK Holdings. "Its proven business model is among the most compelling in the Internet industry. With its strong leadership and aggressive growth plan, BUYCOMP.com has been able to establish itself as a leader in high-quality, high-service online computer distribution."

"We have proven that we are the right distribution and advertising partner for companies that sell their products online, as well as a great resource for consumers," said Scott Blum, BUYCOMP.com founder and CEO. "Our relationship with SOFTBANK allows us to expand our business, based on our proven business model."

SOFTBANK Holdings is the holding company for all of SOFTBANK Corp.'s U.S.-based activities. Its major operating companies include Ziff-Davis, Kingston Technology Co. and UTStarcom.

Separately, SOFTBANK, along with Rho Management and Healthcare Ventures, are investing $10.9 million in GreenTree Nutrition, an online wellness center and vitamin retailer. It's the second round of financing for the company. To date, GreenTree has raised $14.4 million.