RealTime IT News

eCompanies Lands $130 Million for VC Fund

The founder of Earthlink and the former head of Disney's Internet unit Monday rallied a group of high-profile investors to support their Internet business incubator's new venture capital fund.

eCompanies co-founders Jake Winebaum and Sky Dayton closed $130 million in funding for eCompanies Venture Group L.P. It took the dynamic duo a mere 2 months to raise the financing.

Partners include Accel Partners, CS First Boston, The Walt Disney Co. (DIS), EarthLink (ELNK), The Goldman Sachs Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Soros Fund Management, Sprint Corp., Sun America and Times Mirror Inc.

"We are thrilled with the caliber and breadth of our strategic investors," said Jake Winebaum, eCompanies co-founder. "It's a testimony to the appeal of a new kind of Internet incubator coupled with a world-class venture fund."

eCompanies Venture Group will make early stage investments in Internet companies, and will be managed by Steve Ledger and Tim Spicer. Ledger, the founder of Storie Partners L.P., was the first venture backer of EarthLink. Spicer was formerly the president and chief operating officer of San Francisco Sentry Investment Group and chief financial officer of Hambrecht & Quist.

eCompanies was launched in June by Dayton, who founded EarthLink and currently serves as its chairman, and Winebaum, who recently left Disney's Buena Vista Internet Group to strike it out on his own.

The company presents itself as a "second generation" team of Internet veterans.

"I wish eCompanies had been around when I started EarthLink," said Sky Dayton, eCompanies co-founder. "Jake and I created eCompanies to provide everything entrepreneurs need, from incubation to funding, all under one roof. eCompanies is an entrepreneur's dream come true."