RealTime IT News

Productopia Gets $6 Million in Initial Funding

Andover, MA-based @Ventures III, the venture capital arm of Internet holding company CMGI Inc. announced a lead investment in a $6 million initial round of financing for Productopia Inc., a source of unbiased product advice for consumers.

Additional investors in Productopia include: Amicus Investments; Angel Investors LLC; Arba Seed Investment Group; Osprey Ventures; Ben Rosen, chairman of Compaq; Jonathan Bulkeley, CEO of barnesandnoble.com; and Sunil Paul, CEO of BrightLight Technologies.

Productopia provides shoppers with independent evaluations of product value, features and benefits for everything from sporting goods to car seats and CD players via an editorial staff that provides third-party assessments of product features in dozens of merchandise categories.

"Productopia provides a valuable service for everyone who uses the Internet for information on a product purchase. More importantly, it takes this compelling content and wraps it in great e-commerce guide," said Brad Garlinghouse of @Ventures. "It is both a valuable source of information and reviews and a convenient way to shop."

Based in San Francisco, Productopia was founded in July 1998 by Roger Neal, former executive director and general manager at America Online, and Rob Novotny, previously of Netscape, Kidsoft and Go Corp. The company's Web-based product guide is currently in development with partners that include Netscape and AOL's Digital City.

In addition to providing product research information, Productopia has partnered with e-tailers to provide users with one-click access to online purchasing. Productopia's list of e-commerce partners includes eBay, BestBuy, The Good Guys, Wards, 800.com, BabyCenter, Crutchfiield.com, FogDog Sports, iMall and netmarket.