VC Buzz - $275.7+ Million in Today's Deals
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New in the News
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Equinix Inc., creator and operator of neutral Internet Business Exchange facilities, closed $280 million in financing from prominent communications, e-commerce, content provider, hardware and software companies. The second round equity funding and debt offering brings the total invested in the company to more than $315 million.
Participating in an $80 million second round of equity financing are the company's first round investors, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Benchmark Capital. The new investors in this include: America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL); Marc Andreessen; Artemis SA, a private French holding company; The Carlyle Group; Comdisco Inc. (NYSE: CDO); Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL); Enron Corp. (NYSE: ENE); epartners, a $300 million New Media venture capital fund formed by News Corp. (NYSE: NWS); E*TRADE Group Inc. (Nasdaq: EGRP); NorthPoint Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NPNT); Pacific Century CyberWorks Limited, an Internet firm in Hong Kong and one of the city's top ten public companies; Reuters Group PLC (Nasdaq: RTRSY); and Temasek Holdings, one of Singapore's institutional investors.
Equinix also announced the closing of a $200 million 144A debt offering led by Salomon Smith Barney, and co-managed by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Goldman Sachs. Equinix issued 200,000 Units, consisting of an aggregate of $200 million in Senior Notes due in 2007 and warrants. Proceeds from the debt offering will go to accelerate the development and rollout of Equinix IBX facilities worldwide, as part of Equinix's recently announced $1.2 billion Internet infrastructure project with Bechtel Corp.
Equinix IBX facilities allow content providers, Internet service providers, application service providers and component service providers the flexibility to connect with the widest choice of partners and customers at strategic locations throughout the world.http://www.equinix.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Macromedia Inc. (Nasdaq:MACR) has entered into an agreement for $44 million in funding for shockwave.com Inc., the company's online entertainment business. The round of funding includes an investment by Sequoia Capital and Jim Clark, founder of myCFO Inc., Healtheon, Netscape and Silicon Graphics. Michael Moritz, a Sequoia Capital partner, will become a member of the shockwave.com board of directors. http://www.shockwave.com http://www.sequoiacap.com
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-- Expertcity.com, an online marketplace for real-time, expert-assisted help and learning, secured $30 million in funding led by Sun Microsystems and ZDNet (NYSE:ZDZ). Previous investors that also participated in this financing round include Bertelsmann Ventures and Dawntreader LP, an affiliate of Wit Capital. Expertcity.com's online marketplace matches accredited and customer rated experts with consumers who require immediate technical assistance. http://www.expertcity.com http://www.zdnet.com http://www.sun.com
WAYNE, Pa.-- Internet Capital Group (NASDAQ:ICGE), a business-to-business e-commerce company, agreed to acquire an interest in USgift.com Corp. for $22 million. Also participating in this round of financing is Gilbert Global Equity Partners, USgift.com's current shareholder, which is taking an additional $5 million stake in USgift.com. USgift.com is a business-to-business e-commerce company that uses the Internet to assist manufacturers in reaching fragmented retailers in the gift, garden and home decorative accessories market. http://www.USgift.com http://www.gilbertglobal.com
WESTWOOD, Mass.-- eCredit.com closed a $24 million round of financing led by J.P. Morgan Capital Corp., with investments from ABN-AMRO Capital, Chase Equity Holdings Inc, Citicorp, Financial Technology Ventures, Mellon, SAP America Inc., Trident Capital and Vortex Ventures, as well as existing investors Battery Ventures, Bain Capital and Draper International. With the Global Financing Network, eCredit.com connects businesses to financing partners and global information sources so credit and financing decisions can be processed in real time at the point-of-sale.http://www.ecredit.com
BELLEVUE, Wash. -- CourtLink Inc., a provider of real-time electronic access to court records, announced the completion of financing totaling over $15 million led by Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq:ICGE). Also participating in this round of financing were Lynx Internet Ventures Fund and Cascadia Capital of Kirkland, Wash. CourtLink currently has over 700 court systems online, representing access to over 160,000,000 live court records. http://www.courtlink.com
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.-- Rainfinity, which provides software solutions that improve the reliability and performance of the Internet infrastructure, completed a second round of financing totaling over $15 million. A majority of the funding was provided by venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates of Menlo Park, CA, and Alloy Ventures of Palo Alto, CA, with additional backing contributed by existing Rainfinity investors. Rainfinity was founded by a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology and Internet business executives.http://www.rainfinity.com
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- OneChannel.net, a Web-based provider of up-to-date e-commerce metrics and information services for manufacturers and e-tailers, closed a second round of funding. Advanced Technology Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners led the $12 million round. First round funding was supplied by Selby Venture Partners.http://www.onechannel.net http://www.atvcapital.com http://www.norwestvp.com
OAKLAND, Calif.-- Vivant! Corp., an Internet marketplace for sourcing and managing IT contractors through an open network of suppliers, closed its second round funding of $11.6 million. Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq:ICGE), AVI Management Partners, E*O Investors LLC, Imperial Ventures, and private sources have acquired an interest in Vivant, bringing the total company funding to greater than $16 million. http://www.vivant.com
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.-- Telnext Communications Inc., a global data telecommunications company, announced that its second round of equity financing was oversubscribed. The company raised in excess of $10 million from a group of institutional investors and accredited individual investors. Telnext is a global voice and data carrier utilizing Internet Protocol technologies. The offering was placed by Broadmark Capital Corp. of New York.http://www.telnext.com
CINCINNATI-- PlanetFeedback, a new web service designed to help consumers easily and effectively communicate with companies, announced $6 million in first round venture capital financing from four institutional investors. Scheduled to launch later this month, PlanetFeedback will provide a suite of online feedback utilities, including a dynamic letter generator and personalized online filing space to store and track business correspondence. Flatiron Partners will lead the round for the net-startup located in Cincinnati's emerging "Digital Rhine" district. Cincinnati-based Blue Chip Venture Co., Lycos Ventures, and Allen & Co. Inc. will also participate.http://www.planetfeedback.com
ALEXANDRIA, Va.-- Para-Protect Inc., an authority on network and e-commerce security, secured $1.1 million in a first round of venture capital funding. Novak Biddle Venture Partners was the lead financier investing $750,000 with Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds adding the final $350,000. Para-Protect provides an independent validation of a company's information security processes, and has developed a suite of products and services designed to protect businesses and keep them operational.http://www.para-protect.com
NEW YORK-- CSPSource.com announced the receipt of an equity investment from PSINet Inc. (NASDAQ:PSIX), a large provider of IP-based communications services for business. CSPSource.com offers independent ISPs, web hosts and other merchant aggregators a technological migration path and cost-effective access to evolving services that reflect the needs of expanding Internet businesses. Financial details were not disclosed. http://www.cspsource.com http://www.psinet.com
NEW YORK -- IPnetwork.com, an intellectual property marketplace and portal, completed its initial financing. The funds were acquired from a single institutional investor, TL Ventures IV, and a group of individual investors. The roster of individual investors includes, among others: Dan Lufkin, a founder of the investment banking firm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette; Reed Hundt, former Federal Communications Commission chairman; Craig McCaw, the wireless telecommunications pioneer; Stephen A. Schwarzman, president, CEO and co-founder of The Blackstone Group, which manages one of the world's largest private equity funds; Gerald Tsai, Jr., former chairman of Primerica Corporation and Manhattan Fund founder; Jon Moulton, founder and managing partner of the UK's Alchemy Partners, a private equity firm; William Donner, managing director of Fenway Partners; Chris Brody, chairman of Vantage Partners; Jay Alix, principal of Jay Alix and Associates, a corporate investment and management firm and Lawrence Graev, chairman of O'Sullivan Graev & Karabell LLP.http://www.ipnetwork.com
Internet Fact of the Day
Having grown 25% from 1998 to 1999, Web (Internet, intranet and extranet) budgets are expected to rise by more than 35% from 1999 to 2000, with Web site budgets of medium-sized businesses expected to increase the fastest (more than 150%), according to a Bear Stearns survey of webmasters.
BOSTON and SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco-based Geneva Venture Partners announced a strategic partnership relationship with the Object Management Group. The partnership is intended to promote Geneva Ventures' newly formed second fund, focused on investments in Internet infrastructure, e-Commerce and telecommunications which adhere to OMG standards, including CORBA and UML. The new $60 million fund will provide seed, early and follow-on investments in companies positioned to become key players in providing infrastructure and applications products and services to enterprises moving to a distributed computing environment including Internet integration. The new fund will be co-managed by general partners, Igor M. Sill and Robert A. Troy.http://www.genevaventurepartners.com http://www.omg.org
MENLO PARK, Calif.-- Doll Capital Management, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage communications and Internet companies, announced the closing of its second venture capital fund - DCM II. DCM II totals $155 million, more than triple the size of its first fund. The funds will be used by DCM to leverage leading-edge convergence, regulatory and technology trends in the information technology and communications industries. With the closing of this new fund, DCM general partners Dixon Doll, David Chao and Peter Moran now manage more than $200 million in committed capital.http://www.dollcap.com
NEW YORK -- OurHouse.com launched a new Web site (www.ourhouse.com), an online destination to provide quality, comprehensive home improvement products, services and how-to information. In a strategic partnership with Ace Hardware, OurHouse.com's new site provides the right materials and tools for more than 150 common projects. In October 1999, OurHouse.com secured $20 million in venture funding from Technology Crossover Ventures, Brentwood Venture Capital and Institutional Venture Partners. In addition to funding from venture sources, the company has received a $5.3 million investment from its offline retail partner, Ace Hardware Inc., giving Ace a significant minority stake.http://www.ourhouse.com
PALO ALTO, Calif.-- Hewlett-Packard Co. expanded its dot.com program, rolling out a development solution that provides Internet start-ups with the infrastructure building blocks and financing they need to thrive and grow. HP's dot.com program combines initiatives from Oracle and includes Internet hardware and software, support services and training, in addition to attractive and flexible financing. Since February, HP has invested more than $100 million in qualified pre- and post-IPO dot.coms. HP is extending financing on HP products and services to a wider spectrum of Internet start-ups, providing up to $1 million in financing for each qualified customer and is offering convenient, aggressive and flexible financing terms.http://www.hp.com
PASADENA, Calif. -- PETsMART.com has acquired AcmePet.com, the largest online pet-oriented community. Financial details were not disclosed. The agreement will provide the over 300,000 unique monthly visitors tohttp://www.acmepet.com with access to the extensive product selection and informative content available at http://www.petsmart.com. PETsMART.com Inc. is the collaboration between PETsMART Inc. (Nasdaq: PETM) and idealab!, an Internet incubator. Other investors include idealab Capital Partners and Global Retail Partners.
SEATTLE -- encoding.com, a creator of digital media, acquired multimedia applications developer Alive.com, the companies jointly announced. Alive.com's e-Show Engine, a digital media engine that makes it simple to create, host, and manage media on any Web site, will be added to encoding.com's existing stable of applications including mediaUpgrade.com and mySlideshow.com. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In August, encoding.com secured a second round of investments totaling $10 million, led by RRE Investors and supported by existing investors including Olympic Venture Partners and others.http://www.encoding.com
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Health Hero Network Inc., a privately held e-health company, received FDA clearance for its 510(k) application for blood glucose meter connectivity with its Health Hero Health Buddy Personal Information Appliance. This marks the first time that the FDA has cleared an appliance to collect and transmit patient biometric data that is gathered by blood glucose meters, and made viewable via the Internet to the patient's healthcare provider. The company is backed by Psilos Group and Oracle Strategic Partners.http://www.healthhero.com
Who's Who & Where
NEW YORK-- News Digital Media, a division of News Corp. (NYSE:NWS, NWS/A), announced the formation of News Digital Ventures, a strategic Internet investment unit lead by newly named president, Kathryn Fink. In her new role, Fink will continue to manage strategic investments and initiatives for News Digital Media, as well as its parent company, News Corp.
FREMONT, Calif.--@Road Inc. announced that Thomas C. Hoster has joined the company as vice president and chief financial officer. @Road is an Internet information services company that delivers location-specific e-commerce solutions to the mobile workforce and the communities they serve by using a patented technology that combines the Internet, the Global Positioning System and wireless data networks. Hoster comes to @Road from GetSmart.com, where he was senior vice president and CFO. @Road is supported by highly respected investment and strategic marketing partners, including ABS Capital, Galleon Management, Institutional Venture Partners, U.S. Venture Partners, AT&T Wireless, Ameritech, Bell Atlantic and GTE.http://www.atroad.com
ATLANTA -- CarrierPoint Inc., a digital marketplace for the trucking industry, appointed Brian C. Kinsey as president and chief executive officer. He succeeds company founder and vice chairman John S. Thomson who will fill the position of executive vice-president and chief concept officer. Kinsey comes to CarrierPoint from positions as vice president, operations and safety at Landstar System, executive vice president Landstar Inway, and vice president of operations for North American Van Lines. CarrierPointrecently received first round funding. http://www.carrierpoint.com
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