VC Buzz - $246.55+ Million in Today's Deals
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New in the News
WASHINGTON-- The Empyrean Group, a Vienna, VA-based commercial systems engineering firm, and IconixGroup, a Bethesda, MD-based interactive development company, jointly announced they have combined to create a company in the exploding field of Internet services. The new company, Iconixx, offers a mix of Internet skills, combining world-class design and Web development with systems engineering capabilities. Iconixx has more than 300 professionals and approximately $60 million in revenues. The company has been financed by Thayer Capital Partners through a $60 million equity infusion. The company has also secured a $40 million debt facility.http://www.iconixx.com
PALO ALTO, Calif.-- Wine.com (formerly VirtualVineyard.com), a wine portal on the Web, completed a financing round in which it raised more than $50 million from a group led by TH Lee.Putnam Internet Partners, established to finance Internet companies possessing superior business models and high growth potential. The TH Lee.Putnam Internet Partners' investment is $20 million. Other participants in this funding round, which represents the largest amount ever raised for an online wine retailer, include New Millennium Partners, Value Vision, MediaOne Ventures (a division of MediaOne Group), J. & W. Seligman, Inroads Capital and Applied Technology. Completion of this round means that wine.com has now raised a total of more than $80 million in the last six months.http://www.wine.com
SAN JOSE, Calif.-- FlashPoint Technology Inc., the creators of Digita, a standardized software platform for digital imaging appliances, closed a $27.5 million round of private equity financing. Corporate partners participating in the financing include America Online (NYSE:AOL), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP), and Wind River Systems (Nasdaq:WIND). Financial investors included J. & W. Seligman, Brentwood Venture Capital, Oak Investment Partners, Roman Arch Funds (an affiliate of Prudential Securities), Chelsey Capital and General Investment & Development Co. Digita-enabled appliances benefit from a common software platform by providing end-users the ability to run after-market software applications, communicate with other products across brands, and enhance capabilities through new features and programs downloaded from the Internet. http://www.flashpoint.com
NEW YORK-- GiftCertificates.com, an e-commerce provider of gift certificates, received $18.5 million in new capital from a group of investors co-led by SCP Private Equity Partners, L.P. and Gotham Partners. The round also includes prior investor The Trump Group of Williams Island, Florida. With this new round of venture financing, GiftCertificates.com has raised in excess of $24 million this year.http://www.giftcertificates.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- eCoverage, an online quote-to-claim insurance services company, completed a $15 million second round of private financing. All of the company's original investors participated in the second round of financing, including SOFTBANK Technology Ventures; RRE Investors; E*TRADE; David Coulter, former chairman and CEO of Bank of America; and Kenneth Langone, co-founder and director of Home Depot. Accel Partners is anew investor in the company.http://www.ecoverage.com http://www.sbvc.com http://www.rre.com http://www.etrade.com http://www.accel.com
WAKEFIELD, Mass. -- Espanol.com, the first "large-scale" online retailer for Spanish-speakers worldwide, has received $12 million from several sources. Individual investments were not disclosed, but contributors included Advent International; Grupo Ferre Rangel, publishers of Puerto Rico's El Nuevo Dia; Advent-Morro Equity Partners; partners of the advisory firm Violy Byorum; Masthead Venture Partners LLC; Cornerstone Equities LLC; and Beacon Investment LLC.http://www.espanol.com
INDIANAPOLIS-- First Internet Bank of Indiana, a growing, Internet-only financial institution, has completed a $12 million equity private placement with Newcourt Financial, the commercial finance business of Newcourt Credit Group. As a result, Newcourt now owns just under 10% of the Bank's capital stock.http://www.firstib.com http://www.newcourt.com
BOSTON--PHT Corp., a provider of web-based technology for clinical research, received $10.1 million in venture capital financing from Boston Millennia Partners, U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Ventures, Rho Management and Kestrel Venture Management. PHT's PlexxNet Patient LogPad, a handheld device that allows for real-time patient data exchange between patients, clinical investigators and sponsor companies, is being used by thousands of patients in clinical trials throughout the country.http://www.phtcorp.com
RENTON, Wash.-- iCopyright.com, an instant copyright and reprint clearinghouse, has completed its second round of funding. Leading the $10 million Series B round was Crosslink Capital (formerly Omega Venture Partners), with significant participation from Menlo Ventures, Times Mirror Ventures and existing Series A investors.
The Web service, set to begin rolling out later this year, allows instant reuse or reprint of content from any registered publisher. At its core is the automation of three critical steps in copyright permissions -- attaining proper clearance, paying fees and receiving material in the desired formathttp://www.icopyright.com
QUINCY, Mass.-- Sterling Network Group, a provider of fixed price consulting services to the service provider industry, has secured a $7 million first round venture capital investment from First Union Capital Partners, Charlotte, North Carolina. It simultaneously announced a name change to Belenos Inc. Belenos focuses solely on working with service providers to build and manage the next generation infrastructure for the Internet.http://www.sterlingnetwork.com http://www.firstunion.com
PASADENA, Calif., and NEW YORK -- Ticketmaster Online - CitySearch Inc. (Nasdaq:TMCS) and foodline.com Inc. announced that TMCS has made a $5 million investment in the real-time online restaurant reservations company and have entered into a multi-year distribution agreement for TMCS to distribute foodline.com's restaurant reservations service on its CitySearch city guide sites. TMCS was the lead investor in foodline.com's $6.5 million round of equity financing. Other investors include Kestrel Venture Management, the Wasabi Fund and several prominent angel investors. http://www.foodline.com http://www.citysearch.com
NEW YORK-- AllBooks4Less.com Inc., a new online book retailer, announced that it has received $5.4 million in private equity financing. AllBooks4Less.com will receive this initial financial support from a group of private investors. AllBooks4Less.com will launch its Web site on Nov. 14, 1999.
The company's retail strategy is to offer books priced an average of 30-70% less than the leading competitors within the category. AllBooks4Less.com's search capabilities allows users to compare its prices to the leading competitor's pricing to determine the lowest online price. If any competitor site features a lower cost, AllBooks4Less.com allows users to name their price.http://www.allbooks4less.com
IRVINE, Calif. -- The board of directors of Veronex Technologies Inc. (OTCBB:VXTK) announced that Veronex has entered into a merchant banking agreement with ColumbusNewport LLC, an e-commerce merchant banker and strategic services organization. The agreement callsfor ColumbusNewport to provide a private placement financing of $5 million and strategic consulting services to Veronex. http://www.veronex.com http://www.columbusnewport.com
SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- ezlogin.com, the Web-organizing JumpPage service, announced that it has completed this month a private round of equity financing from multiple investors including Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq:INTU) and VeriSign (Nasdaq:VRSN), bringing its first round funding to more than $4.3 million. Other investors include Mars Capital and Silicon Valley's Angel Investors Fund, and seasoned executives from online technology leaders such as C-Cube, Clarify, Oracle and Phone.com. http://www.ezlogin.com
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- AniVision Inc, Hickory Venture Capital Corp., and Thermo Electron Corp. (NYSE:TMO) have announced the formation of AniVision, Inc. AniVision has previously operated as a wholly owned division of Thermo's Huntsville-based Thermo Information Solutions, developing real-time 3-dimensional animation technologies for distribution over the Internet and interactive TV. Hickory has invested $3M in AniVision in exchange for preferred shares in the company and 38% of the company's common stock. Thermo Electron and AniVision Inc. agreed to transfer the AniVision-related assets from Thermo Information Solutions to AniVision Inc. in exchange for a minority interest in the company. http://www.anivisioninc.com
KIRKLAND, Wash.-- Gettuit.com Inc. completed its initial seed round of financing through a private placement of convertible preferred stock, raising more than $750,000. Gettuit.com, which was founded early this year, is developing technology that will speed business-to-business electronic commerce.http://www.gettuit.com
SAN FRANCISCO-- LicenseMusic.com announced the closing of a far-reaching arrangement with Getty Images. Under the terms of the agreement, Getty Images (Nasdaq:GETY) will promote Licensemusic.com's audio content to its customers worldwide, while Licensemusic.com will promote Getty Images' visual content to its own customerbase. The agreement further makes Getty Images a minority investor in Online Music Company, the parent company of Licensemusic.com. Also joining in the deal is The Arts Alliance, a driving force behind such hot media sites at AtomFilms.com and Launch.com. This is the second investment in Licensemusic.com by the UK venture capitalist firm. http://www.licensemusic.com http://www.getty-images.com http://www.artsalliance.co.uk
NEW YORK-- Grand Central Holdings LLC, an Internet holding company, announced it has partnered with and closed an investment in peanutpress.com, a publisher of electronic books on handheld computers. Peanutpress.com's technology and business model create the first secure ebook publishing solution that allows book authors and publishers to address the large installed base of Palm Pilot and Microsoft Windows CE devices. Grand Central Holdings acquired an interest in peanutpress.com and led a round of investment that included Hudson Venture Partners and angel investor Harold Schwenk, founder of BGS Computer Systems. Software industry veteran Michael Segroves, founder of Modern Age Books, also participated and will join the company's management team.http://www.peanutpress.com http://www.grandcentralholdings.com
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Quack.com, a new venture delivering a way for consumers to access Web-based information, has completed its initial round of funding. These funds will enable Quack.com to complete market testing of its proprietary technology that combines speech recognition and agents, and to launch into the market place. Firms participating in this round of financing include Bid.Com International Inc., e-Lab Technology Ventures Inc., the Internet venture fund created by the Royal Bank of Canada, Jefferson Partners Technology Fund LP and HDL Capital Corporation.http://www.quack.com
Internet Fact of the Day
Half of the U.S. population, or 135 million people, will communicate using email by 2001, according to Forrester Research. In fact, analysts predict that more than one billion people will send nearly seven billion messages per day by 2002.
SAN FRANCISCO --ONElist Inc. and eGroups Inc., the two largest companies in the Internet group communications space, jointly announced a definitive merger agreement. Upon closing of the transaction by the end of this month, the new company, eGroups Inc., will serve more than 13 million customers, comprised of 260,000 active email groups, delivering over 1.3 billion email messages per month. eGroups and ONElist are privately held companies based in San Francisco and Redwood City, respectively, with backing from premier venture capital investors. ONElist received venture funding from CMGI@Ventures (Nasdaq:CMGI) and Bertelsmann Ventures. eGroups, Inc. was financed by Sequoia Capital and Atlas Venture. http://www.eGroups.com http://www.ONElist.com
ROCKVILLE, Md.-- AtYourBusiness.com introduced a Web-based employer services hub that integrates an interactive HR management application with a series of business services aimed at the small business market. Services immediately available include payroll processing, pre-employment screening, and worker's compensation and, by year-end, benefits, OSHA compliance, training and skills testing will also be available. AtYourBusiness.com has completed two rounds of financing totaling $5 million. Investors include SpaceVest, a Reston, Virginia based venture capital firm, along with Osprey Management, a Menlo Park, California venture firm, and Steve Walker & Associates, the investment vehicle for the founder of Trusted Information Services Inc. The company completed its angel round of financing in January 1999, raising $1 million.http://www.AtYourBusiness.com or http://www.AYB.com
CHICAGO -- Telenisus Corp., an e-business Internet solutions provider, announced its acquisition of Tri-Sage Inc., a provider of comprehensive network security solutions including risk assessment, firewall management, intrusion detection, strong authentication and training services. Telenisus is solely dedicated to providing single-source, business-to-business Internet solutions that consist of four service families: virtual private networks, managed firewall/security services, Web site and application hosting, and e-commerce. Telenisus recently closed its first round of funding.http://www.telenisus.com http://www.tri-sage.com
SEATTLE, Nov. 10 -- Blue Nile, formerly known as Internet Diamonds, launched a new site featuring a new user interface, an enhanced diamond search engine and an expanded inventory. The launch will be supported by an aggressive national advertising campaign. Blue Nile is backed by $42 million in venture funding from such prestigious firms as Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Trinity Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Integral Capital and Weiss, Peck and Greer Venture Partners.http://www.bluenile.com
Who's Who & Where
FREMONT, Calif.-- ePhones.com announced the addition of several new executives to its senior management. Eric Kahn, vice president of marketing, joined ePhones.com from Visa USA; Dominic Constantino, vice president of business marketing, joined the company from Beyond.com; and Cassandra Kanuk, director of Web development, came from Netscape. These new additions follow the recent appointment of Steven Yeffa, formerly of Leasing Solutions, as chief financial officer. ePhones.com is backed by U.S. Venture Partners, Alta Partners, and Alta Communications.http://www.ephones.com
MENLO PARK, Calif.-- Collabria Inc., a provider of e-commerce solutions for the printing industry, has appointed Jean Nassar to the position of chief marketing officer. Prior to joining Collabria, Nassar spent three years as vice president of worldwide marketing with Tektronix in Portland, Oregon. The company is funded by premier venture capital firms Bessemer Venture Partners; Weiss, Peck & Greer; and Internet Capital Group.http://www.collabria.com
NEW YORK-- Richard S. Nachmias has been named chief financial officer of Phase2Media, an Internet advertising and marketing firm founded in April of this year. Prior to Phase2Media, Nachmias was senior manager in Ernst & Young's Metropolitan New York Technology, Communications and Entertainment Group. Phase2Media recently received first round funding from Hachette Filipacchi.http://www.phase2media.com
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