VC Buzz - $169+ Million in Today's Deals
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New in the News
New in the News@Stake, BestOffer.com, chinadotcom, ClassMates.com, CNI Ventures, e-MedSoft.com, employeesavings.com, eSubscriber, Foodtrader.com, GardenCrazy.com, Hartcourt, Intline.com, KnowlegePlanet.com, MerchantOnline.com, Mergent Systems, MetalSite, Millennium Multi Media.com, NEWCO, OneNetNow.com, One Voice Technologies, Promatory Communications, Quicknet Technologies, ROXY.com, SDRC, StreamQuest, VisualCommerce, wwwrrr, yet2.com, ZLand.com
BOCA RATON, Fla.-- MerchantOnline.com Inc. (OTCBB:MRTO), a provider of secure credit and debit card processing for Internet e-tailers, secured a $35 million investment agreement from Swartz Private Equity LLC of Atlanta, Ga. MerchantOnline.com provides businesses with real-time credit card processing, shopping cart services, online checking transactions and secure hosting services http://www.MerchantOnline.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- KnowlegePlanet.com, a new business-to-business e-Learning company has been formed from the merger of four separate companies: KnowledgeSoft Inc. Harrisburg, Pa.; Kobixx Systems Inc. Minneapolis, Minn.; and two Michael Milken Knowledge Universe companies -- Mind Q, Reston, Va., and Knowledge Universe Interactive Studios, Emeryville, Calif. The new company will be backed by $20 million in funding from Harbourvest Partners LLC and Knowledge Universe, a conglomeration of learning companieshttp://www.knowledgeplanet.com
ALISO VIEJO, Calif. -- ZLand.com, a software developer and application service provider of web-based business solutions for small and mid-sized companies worldwide, completed a private equity financing totaling $20 million. Participating in this financing were SVM Star Ventures and its investment fund, Star Growth Enterprises; Deutsche Bank Alex.Brown's BT Investment Partners Inc. fund; Credit Suisse First Boston; and BancBoston Robertson Stephens' Bayview Funds, among others. Zland.com's integrated suite of 160 web-based applications streamline the marketing, commerce and operational aspects of business.http://www.zland.com
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- yet2.com announced $20 million in funding commitments from Venrock Associates, 3i Group, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) and Honeywell International (NYSE:HON). yet2.com serves as an online trading floor where scientists and engineers can meet to exchange and explore technology quickly, easily and efficiently. http://www.yet2.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- BestOffer.com's second round of financing attracted $15 million from Bessemer Venture Partners, idealab Capital Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which led the company's first round investment. BestOffer.com combines online technology with off-line automotive expertise in its drive to create a better way to buy or sell a used car.http://www.bestoffer.com
SEATTLE-- ClassMates.com received a second-round of financing totaling $11 million from Arch Venture Partners, Madrona Investment Group and Brand Equity Ventures.The nostalgia-based site generates 125,000 daily visits from more than 3.5 million registered members from 30,000 high schools in North America. Currently, over 450,000 alumni register at the site each month. Last year the Internet company actually turned a small profit.http://www.classmates.com http://www.archventure.com http://www.madrona.com http://www.brand-equity.com
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- A group of Internet executives announced the establishment of @Stake Inc., a specialized professional services firm that will provide a full range of security solutions for the e-commerce operations of global clients. Hacker think-tank L0pht has merged with the newly formed company, reflecting the firm's commitment to build a world-class team of professionals offering non-traditional, e-commerce-age security solutions. @Stake, the first company spawned from Battery Venture's newly created in-house incubator program, received $10 million in initial funding from Battery.http://www.atstake.com
LOS ANGELES-- The Hartcourt Companies Inc. (OTCBB:HRCT) reached an agreement with Swartz Private Equity LLC of Atlanta, for an additional $10 million equity line funding, thus increasing the total funding from Swartz to $35 million. The reason for the increase was the planned acquisition of a Linux Internet operation in China. The financial agreement will help satisfy working capital requirements of Hartcourt for the year 2000 and will enable Hartcourt to make additional acquisitions of strategic Internet related operations. http://www.hartcourt.com
ATLANTA, Ga. Intline.com, an Internet broadcast company, secured a $9 million investment from Richland Ventures and Cordova Ventures. The company has developed broadcast and email technologies that permit global distribution of high-quality streaming video content. It also hosts its own video portal, www.Media1st.com, which aggregates original video content and other Internet video in specific vertical channels.http://www.intline.com http://www.cordovaventures.com
MIAMI-- Foodtrader.com, a large and comprehensive business-to-business marketplace for the food and agriculture industries, received $7.5 million in a first round of venture capital financing led by New River Capital Partners, with further investment from Allen & Company, vTraction, an investment vehicle of Netherlands-based Rabobank, and others. Foodtrader.com provides information-rich online resources to global buyers and sellers and offers direct access to thousands of product lots from more than 150 countries.http://www.foodtrader.com
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla.-- e-MedSoft.com (OTC:MDTK) announced that it received approval from the American Stock Exchange for listing of the company's common stock on the AMEX. The company will change its stock symbol from MDTK to MED when it begins trading on the AMEX, early next week. Separately, the company closed a private financing of about $7 million, which was initiated early in the fourth calendar quarter of 1999. The financing was placed with several institutional investors as well as certain accredited investors. As an application services provider for the health-care industry, e-MedSoft.com hosts and provides access to its medical/professional services and Internet applications. http://www.mdtk.com
SEATTLE-- VisualCommerce Inc., a creator of mid-market applications that speed development on the Microsoft E-Commerce Platform, received a $2.5 million investment from the German management consulting firm EMPRISE. The agreement calls for EMPRISE to develop a German language version of VisualCommerce Constructor and provides EMPRISE with exclusive distribution rights of that localized version in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The agreement also gives EMPRISE the right to distribute the English language version of Constructor throughout Europe. The $2.5 million cash investment substantially completes the $4 million offering of Series A preferred shares, bringing the total capitalization of VisualCommerce to over $5.5 million.http://www.visualcommerce.com http://www.emprise.de
SAN DIEGO-- One Voice Technologies Inc., developers of Intelligent Voice Interactive Technology, a patent pending user-interface technology, secured a $2 million private equity investment from Veritas SG Investment Trust GMBH located in Frankfurt, Germany. One Voice's flagship technology allows computer and Internet users around the world to talk with their computers, as if they were speaking with another person, to instantaneously access their PCs and the World Wide Web, through intelligent and natural-spoken language.http://www.onevoicetech.com
MINNEAPOLIS, SAN FRANCISCO and LAS VEGAS -- ROXY.com, an online consumer electronics retailer, ValueVision International Inc. (Nasdaq:VVTV), a national shopping network, and NBC Internet Inc. (Nasdaq: NBCI), a branded global integrated media company, announced multifaceted agreements covering television and Internet programming and marketing valued in excess of $20 million. ValueVision and NBCi are taking minority equity stakes in ROXY.com and will spotlight ROXY on the SnapTV home shopping television and Internet service as well as on NBCi's Web properties and in select NBCi television and radio advertisements. http://www.roxy.com http://www.vvtv.com http://www.nbci.com
NEW YORK -- Rare Ventures, the investment arm of Rare Medium Group Inc. (Nasdaq:RRRR), invested in Quicknet Technologies Inc., a privately held Internet telephony company. Quicknet Technologies is a leader in low-density Internet telephony products, including Internet PhoneJACK and Internet PhoneCARD hardware and the Internet SwitchBoard software for Windows and Linux PCs. Joshua Glantz, director of corporate development of Rare Medium Group Inc., joined the Quicknet board of directors. http://www.quicknet.net http://www.raremedium.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- wwwrrr Inc. (pronounced 'whir') announced that Chicago-based North American Funds has made the first major institutional investment in the company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. wwwrrr is an online training, communication and education company. The three-pronged approach strategy designed by wwwrrr is delivered, first, by creating online training for educators to assist in their understanding of the Internet and its successful integration into the classroom; second, by offering a communication product to facilitate online dialog and communication between teachers and parents; finally, by providing core curriculum products for student use at school and home.http://www.wwwrrr.net
SAN FRANCISCO-- eSubscriber, a company dedicated to enabling major Web retailers to offer subscription-based products and services online, announced that eCompanies Venture Group, L.P. has provided first-round funding in the company. eSubscriber provides an end-to-end e-commerce solution to outsource of merchandising, qualification, fulfillment and support of subscription-based products.http://www.esubscriber.com http://www.ecompanies.com
Internet Fact of the Day
The Web-based training market is expected to reach $5.5 billion by 2002, according to IDC estimates.
BRAMPTON, ON - Nortel Networks (NYSE/TSE:NT) announced a definitive agreement to acquire Promatory Communications Inc., a developer of Digital Subscriber Line platforms for high-speed Internet access, for up to an estimated US$778 million in Nortel Networks common shares, $73 million of which is contingent upon Promatory achieving certain business objectives. Promatory's new custom-designed services for business and residential users multiply the revenue generation potential of DSL for service providers while reducing costs. Promatory is a venture-backed start-up. http://www.nortelnetworks.com
WALNUT CREEK , CA Commerce One Inc. (NASDAQ:CMRC), a leader in business-to-business electronic commerce, signed an agreement to acquire privately held Mergent Systems Inc., a developer of distributed product information management systems for business-to-business portals. The parties expect that the transaction will close shortly in the first quarter of 2000. The acquisition is structured as a tax-free stock for stock exchange and will be accounted for as a purchase. Commerce One will issue approximately 870,000 shares of its common stock (worth about $170 million ) and approximately $10 million in cash to the Mergent stockholders and will assume outstanding Mergent stock options in this transaction. Mergent recently received $2.45 million in a first round of financing from Media Technology Ventures. http://www.commerceone.com http://www.mergent.com
TORONTO - Chapters Online Inc. (TSE:COL), a Canadian e-commerce company, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the business of privately-held GardenCrazy.com. An award winning Canadian e-commerce site, GardenCrazy.com is the leading Canadian Web site in the gardening industry with more than 45,000 members. Chapters Online is acquiring all the assets of GardenCrazy.com in exchange for the issuance of 102,000 Chapters Online common shares. This amount of Chapters Online shares has an aggregate value of approximately CDN$1.8 million, based on the closing share price as of Jan. 5, 2000.http://www.chapters.ca http://www.gardencrazy.com
HONG KONG -- chinadotcom corp. (Nasdaq:CHINA), a pan-Asian integrated Internet company providing a full range of Internet services, purchased Yes!Net, a Taiwanese Internet company. chinadotcom corp. purchased 80 percent of Yes!Net through an equity swap, with Yes!Net retaining ownership of the other 20 percent. The purchase gives chinadotcom corp. intellectual property rights to Yes!Net's web sites, unique advertising server, traffic system, URLs, payment gateway and systems. chinadotcom also acquired a minority shareholding in MusicAsia.com, an on-line provider of music-related products and materials.Specific terms of the deals were not disclosed. http://www.china.com
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- Sonicbox Inc., a supplier of Web radio appliances and imBand Tuning, announced the acquisition of StreamQuest, a developer of stand-alone streaming audio devices. StreamQuest holds sought after intellectual property and patent filings pertaining to Internet radio. StreamQuest's founder, Jonathan Sass, an engineer and Internet veteran with more than 10 years of Internet industry and online radio experience has joined the Sonicbox team as vice president of business development. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.http://www.sonicbox.com
PHOENIX -- Central Newspapers Inc. (NYSE:ECP) created CNI Ventures, a new business unit that will manage the company's investment activities in the Internet and technology sectors. Among the current investments managed by CNI Ventures: BrightStreet (http://www.brightstreet.com), a provider of online promotions management solutions; E Ink (http://www.eink.com), a developer and marketer of electronic displays that provide advantages over traditional flat panel technologies; Event411 (http://www.event411.com), a creator of comprehensive, easy-to-use online event-planning tools; WaveShift (http://www.waveshift.com), a new media pioneer creating business concepts, systems and software to meet the needs of media organizations and community groups. CNI Ventures is focused on development stage investment opportunities and does not include existing majority- or wholly-owned Internet-related activities of the Company that are part of its core business. Howard I. Finberg, the company's director of technology & information strategies, was named to the additional post of vice president, CNI Ventures. http://www.centralnews.com
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.-- Glenhills Corp. (OTCBB:GLNC) acquired 100% of the outstanding capital stock of Millennium Multi Media.com, a content developer, provider and distributor of filmed entertainment and technology including motion pictures, television, home and cable programming, and recorded music. Millenium will also engage in related entertainment mechandising of licensed and self generated products and special direct response marketing services through its Internet web site and through traditional channels. Glenhills Corp. will change its corporate name to Millennium Multi Media.com and has applied to the NASD for a new trading symbol that better reflects the Millennium name. Charles Weber, the former CEO & president of Lucasfilm Ltd., will join the Millennium management team.
CINCINNATI-- SDRC (Nasdaq:SDRC), a global supplier of Internet-enabled collaborative product development solutions, acquired all the stock of both Sherpa Systems Corp. and Inso France Development SA for cash and other contingent consideration in a transaction to be accounted for as a purchase. The financial effect is expected to be non-dilutive to earnings. The acquisition of Sherpa Systems Corporation expands SDRC's Product Data Management user base to 340,000 and also adds experienced PDM development and sales personnel. Through the acquisition of Inso France Development SA, SDRC gains advanced eXtensible Markup Language technology and related development expertise. http://www.sdrc.com
Who's Who & Where
LOS ANGELES-- Carlton Jenkins, former chairman, president and CEO of Founders National Bank of Los Angeles, has been named chief executive officer of OneNetNow.com, a culturally diverse online community seeking to increase the number of minorities using the Internet by providing relevant online content in a single Web site. With financial backing from the Yucaipa Companies LLC, OneNetNow.com's Web site is scheduled to debut in first quarter 2000.http://www.onenetnow.com
PITTSBURGH -- MetalSite, a global Internet site for the metals industry, announced that Walter W. Buckley III, president and CEO of Internet Capital Group, and Douglas Alexander, one of Internet Capital's managing directors and chairman of VerticalNet have been elected to the MetalSite board of directors. Internet Capital acquired a stake in MetalSite in December 1999. MetalSite's investor group includes Bethlehem Steel, LTV Steel, Ryerson Tull, Steel Dynamics Inc. and Weirton Steel.http://www.metalsite.net
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- Cambridge Technology Partners Inc. (NASDAQ:CATP), a global e-integration services provider, announced that Ralph Linsalata has been named executive vice president of Cambridge's recently launched NEWCO investment strategy. In December 1999, Cambridge announced the creation of its NEWCO investment strategy, which will fund and build New Economy companies with the intention of taking them public, using a combination of the knowledge and skills of its employees, capital from internal sources, and relationships with other venture capital firms. http://www.ctp.com
BELLEVUE, Wash.-- Judy Meleliat has joined employeesavings.com, a provider of Employer Sponsored Value Plans to Fortune 1000 companies, as senior vice president of marketing. Most recently, she was senior vice president of marketing with Starbucks Coffee Co. The company is backed by Benchmark Capital.http://www.employeesavings.com
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