VC Buzz - $313.9+ Million in Today's Deals
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New in the News
DENVER -- FirstWorld Communications Inc., a provider of Internet and telephony solutions for small-to-medium sized businesses, has entered into a letter of intent with an entity controlled by Donald L. Sturm, FirstWorld's chairman and largest shareholder, for a $50 million equity commitment. The letter of intent anticipates entering into an agreement which will allow FirstWorld to require that the Sturm controlled entity purchase up to $50 million of Series B common stock priced at $7.50 per share. This financial arrangement follows previous investments in FirstWorld by Sturm controlled entities totaling $30 million.http://www.firstworld.com
ALHAMBRA, Calif. -- PropertyFirst.com Inc., creator of an advanced online multiple listing service for the commercial real estate industry, closed a $44.3 million round of private financing. The Series B financing, which provided the company with a post-money valuation of $120 million, was led by Oak Investment Partners and Amerindo Investment Advisors. They were joined by Sun America Investments, the Wolfson Group and TMCT Ventures, as well as PropertyFirst.com's initial investor Brentwood Venture Capital.
Part of the financing also includes an alliance with the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), the nation's largest public pension fund. Under this agreement, CalPERS will encourage marketing of its properties for lease and for sale via PropertyFirst.com. In addition, PropertyFirst.com will have access to the fund's equity real estate advisors who manage more than $5 billion in apartment, industrial, office and retail properties. Also participating in the investment are several principals from RREEF, one of CalPERS core investment partners.http://www.propertyfirst.com
BOSTON, Nov. 9 -- more.com inc., a large online health, beauty, and wellness store, raised $43 million in equity capital from Boston Millennia Partners Limited Partnership, Galen Associates, J&W Seligman & Co. Incorporated, Star Ventures and Swander Pace Capital. more.com's current investors also made additional investments in this round. In other news, the company announced the appointment of Laureen DeBuono as chief financial officer. DeBuono came to more.com from GN ReSound Corp., a hearing healthcare company, where she was chief operating officer and chief financial officer.http://www.more.com http://www.MillenniaPartners.com
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--Corio, an application service provider, has closed a $30 million funding round led by Lehman Brothers Venture Partners. Several technology companies have also taken a strategic equity stake in Corio, including Concentric Network, Siebel Systems and Sun Microsystems. At the forefront of the ASP phenomenon, Corio's previous investors include Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Norwest Venture Partners and Greylock, who also participated in the current round.http://www.corio.com
New York, NY and Manhattan Beach, CA-- USA Networks Interactive, a USA Company (NASDAQ:USAI), announced a $26 million investment through its Internet Shopping Network in MXG Media Inc., a cross-media company with print (MXG Magazine), online (www.MXGonline.com) and video entertainment (MXGtv) properties for Gen Y girls. MXG Media, formerly moXiegirL, uses interactive functionality such as chat, information and shopping to seamlessly integrate entertainment, information and e-commerce for teen girls and young women. http://www.MXGonline.com
NEW YORK-- Reckson Service Industries Inc. (Nasdaq:RSII) led a $20 million equity round in CommerceInc Corp. Other investors include Piedmont Venture Partners and new investor Unterberg Towbin Capital Partners. Reckson's share of the deal was $15 million.
CommerceInc is an Internet-based publisher of detailed "Supplier Cards" on more than 11 million U.S. businesses that enable customers and suppliers to make informed decisions about prospective e-commerce business partners.http://www.CommerceInc.com http://www.rsiB2B.com
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.-- Applicast Inc., a total-solution application service provider for aggressive-growth companies, has procured $16 million in financing from Trinity Ventures, Piper Jaffray Ventures, Bowman Capital Management, Crescendo Ventures and Bluewater Capital Management as well as existing investors Sippl Macdonald Ventures and MKS Ventureshttp://www.applicast.com
VIENNA, Va. -- eCommerce Industries Inc., an innovator in e-commerce solutions for the office products industry and parent company of Online Office Supplies Company and Internet Office Solutions and Services, completed of a $16 million round of venture financing. New Enterprise Associates led this venture investment. Other investors include pcOrder.com Inc. (NASDAQ:PCOR); John Sidgmore, vice chairman of MCI WorldCom (NASDAQ: WCOM) and chairman of UUNET Technologies, and several figures from the Internet and telecommunications industries. http://www.eci2.com http://www.oosc.com http://www.ios2.com
SEATTLE-- hardware.com and The Reader's Digest Association Inc. (NYSE:RDA,RDB) announced a strategic partnership to leverage their respective Web and publishing resources in the burgeoning do-it-yourself marketplace.
Separately, hardware.com also announced it had completed a $14 million first round of funding from Reader's Digest and venture capital firms Bedrock Capital, Onset Ventures, and Dawntreader LP, an affiliate of Wit Capital Corporation. Reader's Digest is investing $5 million in hardware.com in exchange for a significant minority equity position and a seat on hardware.com's board of directors. The balance of the $14 million is coming from the venture capital firms.http://www.hardware.com http://www.readersdigest.com http://www.onset.com http://www.dawntreaderlp.com
MORRISVILLE, N.C.-- net32 inc., an eCommerce solution for the dental supply industry, closed a $12 million round of funding from Interwest Partners, Acacia Venture Partners, Sanderling Ventures and C/max Capital. net32 is a free web-based service for modern dental offices, serving as a complete online resource for purchasing all required supplies. At the net32 website, dentists are provided with single point access to direct-sell manufacturers, dealers and distributors.http://www.net32.com
DALLAS--iChoose, creator of an 'instant buying advisor,' secured $10.3 million in its second round of funding. This latest round of funding includes a significant investment from Sevin Rosen Funds. iChoose investors also include angel investors in Silicon Valley and Texas.http://www.ichoose.com
FREMONT, Calif.-- Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGIY)(Switzerland:LOGN, LOGZ), international market leader in human interface devices that define the way people link to information in business, at home and online, announced the formation of a new company that will enhance video communications using the Internet infrastructure. Venture capital firms @Ventures, an affiliate of CMGI, Inc. (Nasdaq:CMGI), and Atlas Venture have provided $10 million in funding. The new company will be independently run and plans to initiate service in the first calendar quarter of 2000.
SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- diCarta Inc. closed its first major round of venture capital funding, giving the company a total of $9.3 million from Sequoia Capital, The Roda Group, and Skywood Ventures. diCarta's provides business-to-business, contract and revenue management solutions through an application service provider model.http://www.diCarta.com
POMPANO BEACH, Fla.-- FutureTrak International Inc. (OTCBB:FTRK,FTRKE) has signed an equity-investment-line agreement with Eurofund Ltd. which will provide working capital for the implementation of the company's strategic business plans. FutureTrak International is a provider of integrated entertainment and information products and services concentrating primarily on the multi-housing and mobile markets in the US and internationally. FTRK provides digital satellite television, Internet access, DTN weather and stock services, and interactive and Web content to its subscribers. http://www.futuretrak.com
SACRAMENTO, Calif.-- Carta Inc., a Sacramento, California-based Internet development company, has received $2.85 million in venture capital from investors led by P.S. Capital, a New York investment group fronted by Peter G. Peterson, chairman of The Blackstone Group and former United States commerce secretary.http://www.cartainc.com
CHANTILLY, Va. -- Draper Atlantic, the East Coast affiliate of Silicon Valley venture capital group Draper Fisher Jurvetson, recently led the first professional round of financing of $2.5 million for Roku Technologies. Draper Atlantic invested $1 million. Roku software enables individuals to access their desktops from any Web browser -- anywhere on the Internet -- by transforming a person's PC into a personal Web server.http://www.roku.com http://www.draperatlantic.com
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.-- Mergent Systems, a provider of product information systems and aggregated industry catalogs for e-commerce, received financing valued at $2.45 million from Media Technology Ventures and individual investors. Mergent's e-commerce application known as iMerge lets infomediaries and buy-side purchasers in Global 3000 organizations quickly reap the benefits of a Net-based marketplace.http://www.mergent.com http://www.mtventures.com
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Image Power Inc. (Vancouver: IPZ), a provider of next generation still image compression technology and products for the desktop, embedded and Internet imaging markets, has arranged private placement financing of $1.2 million for the ongoing development of its FaxPC universal messaging service.http://www.imagepower.com
NEW YORK-- ChipCenter LLC, an online information and e-commerce service for electronic engineers and purchasers, has received an equity investment from Pioneer-Standard Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:PIOS). By adding Pioneer-Standard to its pool of investors and distribution partners, ChipCenter's SuperCatalog includes the component inventories of three of the largest North American electronics distributors. http://www.chipcenter.com http://www.pios.com
STAMFORD, Conn.-- GartnerGroup, Inc. (NYSE:IT/ITB) announced that it has made a 70 percent investment in cPulse, an Internet company that monitors and benchmarks online customer satisfaction. cPulse provides business leaders with real-time feedback to accurately assess the level of customer satisfaction with their Web sites. http://www.gartner.com http://www.cpulse.com
BOSTON and PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Viant, Hewlett-Packard Company and Technology Crossover Ventures have formed an alliance, bringing together a "value-web" of professional services, investment and technology capabilities. This new alliance will combine investment capital, end-to-end Internet consulting and technology deployment services for creating or spinning-off Internet businesses from Fortune 1000 corporations.http://www.hp.com http://www.tcv.com http://www.viant.com
SAN FRANCISCO-- Digital Island Inc. (NASDAQ:ISLD), a provider of network services for globalizing e-Business applications, and AristaSoft Corp., an industry-focused Application Solutions Provider, announced a strategic partnership to extend e-Business initiatives of emerging high-tech companies worldwide. AristaSoft provides integrated solutions that span the entire enterprise application lifecycle - from implementation and user support, to system and network management - for emerging high-tech e-Businesses. AristaSoft is funded by Crosspoint Venture Partners. http://www.aristasoft.com
SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- TechSpan Inc. has formed an alliance with BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:BEAS), to provide solutions, services and support for the BEA E-Commerce Transaction Platform. The alliance will combine TechSpan's Distributed Consulting methodology, which the company uses to implement e-commerce and Web development projects, with BEA WebLogic and BEA TUXEDO component-based and transactional servers for developing, deploying, managing and integrating enterprise applications. TechSpan's venture investors include Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and the Walden International Investment Group. http://www.techspan.com http://www.beasys.com
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.-- vFinance.com, a venture capital portal, announced that it has closed its merger with Peachtree FiberOptics, Inc. and Union Atlantic LC. The new company will trade under the ticker symbol VFIN (OTCBB:VFIN). vFinance.com provides start-ups, as well as small and medium sized companies, access to a wide spectrum of financial and business development resources. http://www.vfinance.com
Who's Who & Where
BILLERICA, Mass.-- Teloquent Communications, a provider of virtual call center solutions for Web and conventional telephone-based customer interaction, announced the appointment of Gerald Rush as vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer. Prior to joining Teloquent, Rush was chief financial officer at EC Cubed Inc.http://www.teloquent.com
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Career Central Corp., an Internet eRecruiting service targeting passive job seekers, announced the appointment of Heather Martin Maier to chief operating officer. Martin Maier joined Career Central in 1998 as senior vice president, marketing & member placement. Career Central investors include QuestMark Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures, Softbank Ventures, IDG Ventures, Arthur Rock, and Allen & Company.http://www.careercentral.com
CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Communities.com announced it has hired three executives with extensive experience in technology development, advertising, e-commerce and business development. The company's new executives include: Jodell Seagrave, senior vice president of advertising and e-commerce; Kevin Monahan, vice president of development; and Bobby Napiltonia, vice president of business development. Communities.com is privately held with investments from individuals and companies that include Michael Crichton, Helix Investments, Creative Labs, Softbank Investment Partners and agincourt partners LLC.http://www.communities.com
ANDOVER, Mass.--CMGI Inc. (NASDAQ:CMGI) and iCAST, a CMGI majority-owned operating company and online entertainment venture, announced a restructuring of the iCAST management team. Effective immediately, Margaret Heffernan has been appointed president, chief operating officer, and interim CEO for iCAST. Heffernan replaces Neil Braun, formerly CEO, who is no longer with the company. Matt Farber, formerly COO, has resigned to pursue other interests. Additionally, Stephen Flanagan joins iCAST as senior vice president of advertising sales, a new position. iCAST.com is slated to launch in January 2000. http://www.cmgi.com
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