RealTime IT News

Yazam Finds White Knight; U.S. Technologies Picks It Up

[JERUSALEM] - The months-long soap opera surrounding struggling investment accelerator Yazam appears to have ended on a happy note.

U.S. Technologies Inc, which funds and manages emerging growth technology companies, will buy Yazam for $22 million in cash and stock.

In addition, Yazam has sold the First Tuesdasy networking franchise back to its franchisees. Many observers credited Yazam's $50 million deal for First Tuesday last year as one of the key elements that caused Yazam to unravel after a high-flying start. Nearly all Yazam employees have gone in the last few months.

U.S. Tech will have interests in 30 technology companies and will gain a foothold in Israel from the deal, as Yazam was founded and headquartered in Jerusalem.

"We see this pairing as the next evolution not only for Yazam, but also for the new economy," said Yazam chief executive Bernie Siegel. "The ability to match emerging technologies with established businesses is the new destiny for start-up companies seeking to optimize their value."

Yazam funds seed-stage Internet and technology startups with its own capital in conjunction with a network of private investors, venture capitalists and strategic partners. Since July 1999, it several thousand seed-stage startups worldwide and financed more than 20 new companies. Some, such as GoldNames, went under and never made it to a second round of funding.

Yazam also attempted to expand globally last year through the opening of offices in the U.S. and Japan, as well as buying high-tech networking franchise First Tuesday. It spent a reported $50 million on the deal.

At presstime, Yazam had not disclosed the price the First Tuesday deal.