VC Buzz - $457.9+ Million in Today's Deals
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For the latest on cool Internet Start-Ups and their VC backers, point your browser to:
For the latest on cool Internet Start-Ups and their VC backers, point your browser to:http://www.internetVCwatch.com/
New in the News
LOS ANGELES-- Less than six months after public launch, CarsDirect.com, the automotive e-tailer, has received commitments to fund $280 million in its latest round of financing. At the same time, the company announced that it has named Robert N. Brisco, formerly president, Universal Studios Hollywood, as its new chief executive officer, effective immediately. Scott Painter, founder and CEO, will become vice-chairman.
All of the company's original corporate and institutional investors -- which include idealab!, idealab! Capital Partners, Primedia Ventures, Foundation Capital, Michael Dell's MSD Capital LP, and Goldman Sachs -- participated in this latest investment round. New participants in the round include investment banking firms Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Hambrecht & Quist, and E*O Investors LLC; strategic investments that include Oracle Corp., Liberty Digital, TMCT Ventures and East Peak Partners L.P; and investments from international partners Hikari Tsushin, and Soros Private Equity Partners LLC.http://www.carsdirect.com
LONDON -- Eidos plc (Nasdaq:EIDSY), a developer and publisher of entertainment software, announced the acquisition of 19.96% of the share capital of Maximum Holdings Inc, a US Internet company specialising in the interactive video games industry. The total consideration of $55 million was financed from existing cash resources and banking facilities and was paid in full on completion. Maximum is the owner of GameCave.com, an e-commerce site focused on video games, and the GameFan network of affiliated Internet community sites. Maximum is also the publisher of GameFan magazine.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Total Sports Inc. completed an offering of approximately 2,100,000 shares of Series D Preferred Stock to certain institutional investors. The shares were priced at $16.59 per share, resulting in gross proceeds of approximately $35.5 million. Principal buyers of the Series D Preferred Stock include Technology Crossover Ventures, Zilkha Capital Partners, EGL Holdings, Sycamore Venture, Access Technology, Trans Cosmos USA Inc., WinStar New Media, InterBrew/Labatt and Asdale Limited, among others. The company also announced it filed a registration statement with the SEC for a $50 million IPO.http://www.totalsports.com/
STAMFORD, Conn.--Vstore.com, a personal e-commerce leader, closed $26 million in second round of financing from Archery Capital and strategic investor Excel Communications Inc., as well as additional monies from current Vstore.com investors, Pequot Capital, Benchmark Capital and @Ventures, an affiliate of CMGI, Inc (NASDAQ:CMGI). This latest round of funding brings total monies raised to $35 million. The company said there are now more than 50,000 individual Vstore storefronts. http://www.vstore.com http://www.benchmark.com http://www.excel.com http://www.cmgi.com
NEW YORK -- "kpe" raised $21.5 million in cash from a group of investors including Wasserstein Adelson Ventures, Clarion Capital Partners, Grey Advertising, "kpe" management and several private investors. "kpe" is a digital studio that creates interactive media and entertainment businesses through its venture incubation and client service units. "kpe"'s venture arm invests the resources of "kpe" in return for equity stakes in early-stage interactive businesses conceived by individual entrepreneurs, stand-alone ventures developed in conjunction with leading media and entertainment corporations and in-house ventures originated and developed by "kpe". The company plans to use the funds to increase its portfolio of investments in early-stage Internet ventures, to make strategic acquisitions, and to expand its core operations in New York, Los Angeles and London.http://www.kpe.com
NEW YORK, N.Y.-- Quidnunc, an e-business consultancy for forward-thinking organizations, completed a $15 million first round of financing with Goldman Sachs Private Equity Partners and Weston Presidio Capital. As a result of the funding, the two firms will hold a 13.6% share in the company. Quidnunc meet's a company's short-term business objectives and creates a solid foundation for all future strategic developments, using its delivery framework and techniques, such as Scenario Modelling and Risk Mapping.http://www.quidnunc.com http://www.goldmansachs.com http://www.westonpresidio.com
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Octopus.com, a pre-launch Internet company, closed its first round of funding in the amount of $11.4 million. Redpoint Ventures, a new venture capital firm focused on broadband infrastructure, services and media opportunities for the next generation Internet and television, committed $10.5 million. Octopus.com also received funding from Angel Investors LP, Amicus LLC, and individual investors. This is the second announced investment by Redpoint.http://www.octopus.com
AUSTIN, Texas-- ibooks.com, a source for digital online reference books, completed a $4 million first round funding. TL Ventures lead the round with a $3 million investment. ibooks.com's investment also includes seed funding from Arkoma Venture Partners, Gene Lowenthall, Greenfield Capital Partners, Microsoft Ambassador Mike Maples Sr., Murphree Venture Partners, and Peter Zandan, the founder of Intelliquest. In related news, ibooks.com appointed Jerry Weissberg, a former executive VP and general manager for Ziff Davis Inc., to CEO of ibooks.com.http://www.ibooks.com
RENO, Nev. -- Wattage Monitor Inc. (OTCBB:WMON) recently completed equity financings totaling nearly $4 million. In three transactions completed during the last two months, the company received $3,925,000. Investors in the company's February 1999 equity offering received units which included Series A preferred stock (convertible into common stock) and warrants to purchase Series B preferred stock. Holders of all the warrants exercised them during the last two months. In addition, all Series A preferred stock was converted into common shares. Finally, a loan from one of the company's founders was converted into common stock. Wattage Monitor is a nationwide, free to consumers service that offers residential and commercial electric consumers their specific electric service options through its website (http://www.wattagemonitor.com) or its toll-free service (1-888-WATTAGE).
SAN DIEGO-- Stellcom Inc., a provider of total Internet business solutions for clients including Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard and Qualcomm, raised $3 million in venture capital. The financing was provided by Mission Ventures, an information technology-based venture capital firm, located in San Diego. Stellcom offers services ranging from Internet device development to enterprise system integration to e-commerce development and Web site design.http://www.stellcom.com
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-- Anything Internet Corp. (OTCBB:ANYI) received a firm commitment from a group of shareholders to arrange for $1.5 million in new funding to the company over the course of the next quarter. The funding will be used to implement the Company's new Internet portal and nationwide marketing program.
The funding will be in the form of private equity placements of restricted common and preferred shares, the majority of which will be issued at prices ranging between $3 - $5 a share in three separate tranches. The first tranche for $100,000 closed last week; the second tranche for $200,000 is expected in three weeks; and the final tranche for $1.2 million is projected to close when the company is ready to execute its new nationwide marketing program right after the first of the new year.http://www.anythinginternet.com/
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif.-- AmeriComUSA Inc., a provider of browser driven technology for e-commerce systems, announced an agreement between the company and Synapse Capital LLC, for a significant equity investment. Synapse Capital will purchase a portion of the company's equity for $1 million. Synapse and AmeriComUSA alsoentered negotiations for Synapse to advance an additional $1 million to AmeriComUSA in the form of a convertible loan before the end of this year. In addition, AmeriComUSA will issue a warrant for the future purchase of 500,000 company shares by Synapse. All arrangements will be conducted through a Synapse managed fund.http://www.americomusa.net
PALO ALTO, CA-- Spin Media Network Inc., a free Internet access partner and advertising technology company, announced a round of investments from Al Shugart International, Mentor Venture Partners and SOFTBANK Venture Capital. Spinway.com is a marketing solution that provides businesses with co-branded or private label, free dial-up Internet access for use in driving traffic and broadening brand identity. Spinway.com also delivers an Internet advertising format featuring full-motion video at dial-up.http://www.Spinway.com http://www.alshugart.com
WEEHAWKEN, N.J.-- Hanover Direct Inc. (AMEX:HNV) has taken a majority equity stake in Always In Style, a consumer service that provides individualized style and taste advice and customized e-commerce merchandise offers. Always In Style will launch later this year at http://www.alwaysinstyle.com. Hanover Direct and its business units provide quality, branded merchandise through a portfolio of catalogs and e-commerce platforms to consumers, as well as a comprehensive range of Internet, e-commerce, and fulfillment services to businesses. http://www.hanoverdirect.com
SANTA MONICA, Calif.-- eCompanies Venture Group announced its investment in Craftopia.com, an arts and crafts e-commerce Web site to be launched during the first quarter of 2000. Craftopia.com is eCompanies' third venture fund investment.http://www.ecompanies.com
LAS VEGAS--Al Shugart International announced an investment in eCongo.com Inc., a free turnkey e-commerce service provider. Financial details were not disclosed. A recent VC Watcharticle has more on eCongo. http://www.econgo.com http://www.alshugart.com
PITTSBURGH-- GE Information Services, part of the General Electric Co., and ENTIGO, a provider of e-Commerce software applications, announced a new alliance, involving a major investment by GE Information Services in ENTIGO. As part of the agreement, GE Information Services joins current ENTIGO investors: Advent International, Boston Millenia Partners and Four Seasons. Financial terms are not being disclosed.
GE Information Services and ENTIGO also entered into a strategic marketing agreement, forming a joint sales team consisting of sales and technical professionals from GE Information Services and ENTIGO. The team will work together on marketing ENTIGO's line of e-Commerce software applications to GE Information Services' international customer base.http://www.entigo.com http://www.geis.com
WALTHAM, Mass. and PALO ALTO, Calif.-- Advanced Technology Ventures, a bi-coastal venture capital firm, made initial investments in four emerging Internet companies and provided additional funding to select portfolio companies. ATV is a lead investor in Decide.com, an independent consumer resource for wireless and telecommunications services and products. The firm also made significant investments in NewMediary.com, an interactive business-to-business directory matching buyers and sellers of Internet-related products and services; DirectAG.com, a business-to-business site serving the $260 billion U.S. agricultural industry; and UBUBU, which delivers an advanced personalization and community experience for Web users.http://www.atvcapital.com
Internet Fact of the Day
Investment in Internet-related companies in Q4 1999 jumped almost five-fold to $5.2 billion; up from $1.1 billion in Q3 1998, while the number of companies nearly tripled to 473 from 162, according to the latest Money Tree Survey.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. (NYSE:SCH), TD Waterhouse Group Inc. (NYSE: TWE) and Ameritrade Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: AMTD), together with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Trident Capital and Benchmark Capital are forming a new online investment bank. The online brokers anticipate distributing exclusively the equity securities underwritten by the new bank once it is operational. The three brokerage firms, the venture partners and the investment bank's management will initially own the company.
The new firm, which is yet to be named, will be based in Silicon Valley and is expected to be operational in early 2000. It will concentrate on underwriting, managing and distributing equity offerings for information technology and Internet companies. Additional plans call for providing research to individual and institutional investors and, eventually, private placement and strategic advisory services to issuers. The firm also plans to invest in later stage private companies. Scott Ryles, formerly a managing director and head of Technology Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch, will serve as CEO.http://www.kpcb.com http://www.tridentcap.com http://www.benchmark.com
BERKELEY, Calif. -- Ariba Inc. (Nasdaq:ARBA) signed a definitive agreement to acquire TradingDynamics Inc., a provider of business-to-business Internet trading applications. The agreement is structured as a stock for stock merger, and will be accounted for as a purchase transaction. Ariba will issue stock worth approximately $400 million, based on current trading ranges, to TradingDynamics stockholders. The parties expect that the transaction will close in calendar Q1, 2000. TradingDynamics received funding from Atlas Ventures and New Enterprise Associates. http://www.tradingdynamics.com http://www.ariba.com
EMERYVILLE, Calif.-- Ask Jeeves Inc. (Nasdaq:ASKJ), a provider of question answering services for consumers and companies on the Web, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Net Effect Systems Inc., a provider of Web-based live help services, in a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction of 1.835 million unregistered shares, representing approximately 5.5 percent pro-forma ownership of Ask Jeeves on a fully-diluted, treasury stock basis. Net Effect is backed by Greylock, Trinity Ventures, TL Ventures and Stanford University. http://www.ask.com
LOS ANGELES-- MyHome.com, an online shopping destination for home decor and design products, announced a multimillion-dollar agreement with America Online Inc. (NYSE:AOL) that will give MyHome.com several gold tenant positions and one anchor tenant placement in the Shop@AOL marketplace. MyHome.com provides complete end-to-end fulfillment and fast product delivery time. The company has received funding, development, strategic guidance and creative support from idealab!