VC Buzz – $239.9+ Million in Today’s Deals

New in the News, Asera, Autobytel.Europe, Capital Stream, closerlook,, eCom, eConvergent, e.spire Communications, Entrenaut, ESS Technology, ExamWeb, FreeTrek.Com, Greg Manning Auctions, Interliant,, LoanTrader, M&A West,, NextGen Capital, Noosh, San Diego Regional Technology Alliance, SecurFone America, Shaw Ventures,, Sonic Telecom, StarMedia Network,,, Terawave Communications, Wingspring,

Deal News

e.spire Receives $125 Million Funding Commitment

ANNAPOLIS JUNCTION, Md.– e.spire Communications (NASDAQ: ESPI), an integrated communications provider, has signed commitment letters with Greenwich Street Capital Partner

s II and The Huff Alternative Income Fund for a total of $125 million in new equity funding. e.spire also expects to seek up to an additional $75 million. e.spire Communications offers traditional local and long distance, Internet access and Web-hosting services, and advanced data solutions, such as ATM and frame relay.

Terawave Communications Receives $35 Million Second Round of Financing

HAYWARD, Calif.– Terawave Communications closed $35 million in a second round of venture capital financing, bringing the total funding to date to $56 million. Terawave’s product family is focused on economical and flexible delivery of highly scalable Wideband and Ultra-broadband business services over fiber based carrier infrastructures. This round of funding was led by Goldman Sachs, and includes Singapore Telecom, Temasek Holdings, and the six original venture capital investors: Alta Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Harmony International Investment, Morgenthaler, Walden International Investment Group and Weiss Peck & Greer Venture Partners.

Capital Stream Closes $18 Million in Venture Financing

SEATTLE — System 1 closed an $18 million round of venture equity financing co-led by Spectrum Equity Investors and Polaris Venture Partners, with investments from Merrill Lynch KECALP, as well as existing investors The Benaroya Company and Voyager Capital. The company also changed its name to Capital Stream, effective immediately. The investment will support growth of CapitalStream’s global service, (formerly, a Web-based real-time business credit solution.

LoanTrader Secures $17.6 Million in Funding

IRVINE, Calif. — LoanTrader, an online marketplace that connects mortgage brokers with lenders, raised $17.6 million in first round funding. Leading this round of investors is the Capital Z Financial Services Fund II, a global private equity fund focused on the financial services industry and managed by the New York-based private equity firm Capital Z Partners. Other investors include LendingTree (an Internet-based loan marketplace), The Goldman Sachs Group, and a number of angel investors. Capital Z Partners principal Julian Allen, LendingTree senior vice president for strategy and corporate development Jamey Bennett, and Equifin Capital Partners chief executive officer Mani Sadeghi will join the board of directors. Equifin Capital Partners is a management partner of Capital Z.

Zkey Closes Second Round of Funding with $14.2 Million

LOS ANGELES– and Pioneer Internet Fund along with Nissho Iwai announced that Pioneer has invested $4 million and Nissho Iwai at an undisclosed amount, to close out the second round, totaling over $14.2 million. Bear Ventures started the round with a $5.4 million investment. Zone Ventures led the first round and invested $1.4 million in the second round. Innovacom, the venture capital subsidiary of France Telecom, participated in the second round with an investment of $1 million. Oracle Corp. also participated in this second round. Zkey provides a simple, secure and selective information exchange, storage and retrieval service.

Network Solutions Invests $10 Million in Interliant

PURCHASE, N.Y.– Interliant (NASDAQ:INIT), an application service provider, received a $10 million strategic investment from Network Solutions (NASDAQ:NSOL), a leading registrar of Internet domain names. This is in addition to the $17.5 million investment from Dell Computer Corp. (NASDAQ:DELL) and BMC Software (NASDAQ:BMCS) announced earlier. Completes Latest Round of Financing

NEW YORK —, developer of a Web mobile shopping portal, closed on a Series C financing of $6 million from Camelot Ventures. The new investment comes on the heels of Omnicom Group’s acquisition of a significant minority stake in Dash and brings the investment capital raised by the company to nearly $50 million. The dashBar, a persistent navigation tool, combines content, cash-back shopping and the ability for businesses and affinity groups to send real-time messages to consumers anywhere on the Web. Makes Equity Investment in Greg Manning Auctions

SEATTLE and WEST CALDWELL, N.J.– (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Greg Manning Auctions (NASDAQ: GMAI), jointly announced that made a minority investment in GMAI, purchasing $5 million of GMAI’s stock. Also, the two companies formed a marketing alliance whereby GMAI will provide customers with high-interest, quality collectible offerings on Auctions and zShops with branding of a Greg Manning banner. Greg Manning Auctions recently closed a $16 million equity deal.

Internet Site Targeting Hispanic Women Worldwide Raises $4.8 Million Investment

NEW YORK — (“only her” in Spanish), an Internet site devoted exclusively to Hispanic women living in the U.S., Latin America and Spain, raised $4.8 million from a group of investors with wide experience in financing Hispanic media and Internet businesses. introduced a teaser site in January and will be fully operational by this spring, offering original editorial content, online shopping, interactive chats and other features of interest.

e-LaSer Joins Forces with Autobytel.Europe

AMSTERDAM — (Nasdaq: ABTL), an international automotive e-commerce provider, announced that e-LaSer, a leader in customer services and e-commerce in Europe, will invest a minimum of US$3 million in Autobytel.Europe. e-LaSer is a subsidiary of LASER-Lafayette Services, the first European group specialized in services and technologies dedicated to the retail and consumer markets. Autobytel.Europe is a majority owned subsidiary of which offers support services to Autobytel sites in individual countries in Continental Europe. Including the latest round from e-LaSer, total funding to date for Autobytel.Europe from such partners as Inchcape plc, Pon Holdings BV, and GE Equity has reached $36.7 million.

SecurFone America Closes Initial $1.3 Million Private Financing

SAN DIEGO– SecurFone America (OTCBB:SFAI) closed $1.3 million of private equity financing to support the growth of its Internetb

ased, business-to-business e-commerce subsidiary, IXATA.COM Inc. The financing was completed by Scott & Stringfellow who has been retained as exclusive financial advisor for the company and to secure an additional round of private equity financing, as well as provide other financial advisory services to the company as needed.

NextGen Capital Makes Three Seed Stage Investments

FAIRFAX, Va.– NextGen Capital made seed stage investments in three companies. They include Audiopoint, a wireless web company that provides voice activated information services through any phone; KeepMore, a specialized Internet-based service provider to the credit card marketing industry; and, a free, singular source for personalized safety and recall product information. The investments range from $100,000 and $220,000. NextGen Fund II, the second fund established by NextGen Capital, has earmarked 10% of its capital for investment in seed stage companies with the remainder of the funds going to equity investments in early stage technology and Internet-based companies in the mid-Atlantic region. Baltimore-based Triad Investors joined NextGen Capital as a co-investor in KeepMore. In other news, NextGen Capital invested an additional $250,000 in, an enterprise solution provider of K-12 educational testing and assessment products, bringing the fund’s total investment to $1 million. Venture Fund II Invests in ExamWeb

NEW YORK– Venture Fund II, part of the affiliated venture arm of Corp. (NASDAQ:INTM), publisher of this website, closed an investment in ExamWeb. The investment is part of Venture Fund II’s expanding portfolio of early-stage investments in Internet content properties. Venture Fund I and II have invested in 25 Internet properties to date. ExamWeb is an Internet-based education company offering users exam preparation and continuing education courses via online interactive software. Currently, ExamWeb prepares candidates for the LSAT, CFA, the Real Estate Exam, the MBE, The California Bar and the Patent Bar, among others.

Noga Investments in Technologies Ltd Invests in FreeTrek.Com

MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J.– Multi Solutions (OTC BB: MULT), announced that Noga Investments in Technologies Ltd., an Israeli technology incubator company, is helping Multi Solutions with the funding of its new subsidiary FreeTrek.Com. Noga Investments in Technologies Ltd is a subsidiary controlled by Noga Electrotechnica Ltd. and holds most of its investments in various technology and hi-tech ventures and companies. FreeTrek.Com is a provider of a business-to-business Internet virtual community building system.

TGRA Agrees to Fund

NEW YORK– Outlook Sports Technologies (OTCBB:TGRA) signed a letter of intent to fund and incubate the first company in its new role as a venture capital provider and developer of Internet related companies. TGRA will acquire a substantial interest in is a lifestyle portal aggregating “best of” products and services into one place for people who are into outdoor recreation, natural health regimens, patrons and supporters of “practical environmentalism”.

divine interVentures Acquires Stake In closerlook

CHICAGO– closerlook Inc., a digital strategy and design firm, announced that Chicago-based divine interVentures has acquired a significant stake in closerlook to accelerate the company’s expansion as a full-service Web partner to its clients. divine interVentures paid an undisclosed amount for approximately 40 percent ownership of closerlook.

StarMedia Network Extends Family of Internet Properties

NEW YORK — StarMedia Network (Nasdaq: STRM), a global Internet media company for Spanish- and Portuguese-language audiences, agreed to acquire Ola Turista Ltda., the owner of Guia SP ( and Guia RJ (, culture and entertainment guides in the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and the acquisition of (, an online guide to Medellin and its surrounding region in Colombia. Earlier this week, StarMedia acquired AdNet (, Mexico’s largest Web directory. Ola Turista Ltda. will become a separate division of StarMedia Interactive Group that will continue to focus on the development of local city guides for Brazil. will become a part of the StarMedia Interact

ive Group.

Viatel Increases Equity Stake in Sonic Telecom

NEW YORK and CHANTILLY, Va. — Viatel (Nasdaq: VYTL) — the owner, operator and builder of a European broadband, fiber-optic network — increased its ownership in Sonic Telecom Ltd., an on-demand provider of access, transport and termination for transmission of video, data and voice that uses Viatel’s Circe Pan-European Network as its platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. General DataComm (NYSE: GDC) is also an equity holder in Sonic Telecom.

ESS Technology Acquires NetRidium Communications

FREMONT, Calif. — ESS Technology (Nasdaq: ESST) acquired NetRidium Communications, a privately-held California corporation which develops advanced broadband communications products enabling high-speed networking over existing phone lines in the home. NetRidium’s technology implements the Home Phone Networking Alliance Revision 2.0 (HPNA 2.0) specification for delivering voice, data, and video information throughout the home over ordinary phone lines at high-speed communications rates of up to 16 megabits/second. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. to Acquire a 13.3% Stake in in $3.3 Million Pact

RICHMOND, British Columbia — Inc. (OTC BB: ITVRF) and Inc. formed a strategic alliance whereby’s wholly owned subsidiary, Star Target Holdings, will provide the platform and operate the e-commerce website for’s online Vacation Ownership Shopping Mall. This website will offer real-time access for vacationers to a database which will allow them to efficiently browse vacation ownership listings, take tours of specific ownership resorts, and buy, sell, exchange or rent vacation ownership intervals. will pay US$300,000 and issue to a total of 2,000,000 restricted common shares based upon certain performance benchmarks.

eCom To Acquire Star Dot Marketing

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — eCom Inc. (OTC BB: ECEC) agreed to acquire sports memorabilia and products company, Star Dot Marketing, for approximately $1.5 million in stock. The acquisition would expand eCom into additional business-to-business e-commerce services.

Fund News

M&A West Establishes Linux Ventures Subsidiary

SAN BRUNO, Calif.– M&A West (OTCBB:MAWI), a company that develops, invests in and operates Internet and technology-related companies, has established a subsidiary, Linux Ventures, as a holding company for current and future investment and development opportunities in this industry. Current subsidiary investments include one million shares of, Inc. (, Linux portal site ( and ( The subsidiary is completing its first round of financing and will announce its executive members in the coming weeks.

Entrenaut Secures Investment from Anoka Group

MINNEAPOLIS– Entrenaut, a Minneapolis-based Internet business incubator, has reached an investment agreement with the Anoka/Sherburne County Capital Fund, including cash and partnering opportunities. The Anoka/Sherburne fund is a for-profit community-based equity organization created by the Anoka County Economic Development Partnership.

Shaw Communications to Form Investment Vehicle

CALGARY, Alberta– Shaw Communications (NYSE:SJR) will form a new division to manage Shaw’s existing and future investments in technology, Internet, interactive television, e-commerce and telecommunications companies. The new division will operate under the name of Shaw Ventures and will be responsible for overseeing Shaw’s current portfolio of investments. The division will also hold Shaw’s interests in Cancom and GT Group Telecom.

New Incubator Opens

PALO ALTO, Calif.– Wingspring, an e-business accelerator and early-stage venture fund, began operations with the goal of identifying, creating and providing early-stage financing to Business-to-Business Internet companies. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., the company will open a 35,000 ft. Tech Center in Pleasanton this month to provide the office space, support staff, and key infrastructure to its partner companies. The Wingspring Ventures, a separate entity within Wingspring, will provide early stage funding to both its own incubated companies and other strategically-related enterprises. — a Dorm Room Incubator

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DURHAM, N.C.–, a dorm room incubator, expanded to two more North Carolina universities, including North Carolina State at Raleigh and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Founded in September 1999, startemup is a full-service incubator, investing in promising Internet venture born out of the college campus. In exchange for an equity interest, startemup covers the initial expenses necessary for a ground zero, college idea to make it onto the web, including: design and programming, legal services, marketing, business development, office space and equipment, and access to startemup’s promininent Board of Advisors who will assist the new companies in securing future funding. The company recently closed its seed round of financing and seeks to raise an additional $2 million in capital to support future college ventures.

Who’s Who & Where Taps Jim Klein as New CEO

KINGSTON, N.J.– Online sporting goods retailer hired entertainment and consumer products industry veteran Jim Klein as its new CEO. Klein is former President of Universal Studios consumer products group. investors include David Wetherell, CEO of CMGI; Bob Davis, CEO of Lycos; Blue Rock Capital; Jafco America, and Bantry Bay Ventures.

Asera Attracts Key Industry Executives

BELMONT, Calif.– Asera Inc., a provider of Internet solutions for the business-to-business demand chain, announced the following additions to its management team. Steve Gomo joins as Asera’s vice president and CFO, Gamiel Gran as vice president of business development and John Stammen as vice president of North American sales. Asera closed a $47 million financing round in December 1999. Signs Steve Kirmse as CFO

FREMONT, Calif.–, a Silicon Valley startup specializing in broadband service enabling solutions, attracted Steve Kirmse, a former managing director of JP Morgan’s technology investment banking operation in San Francisco to be the company’s chief financial officer. Amplify recently closed a $6.1 million financing round.

eConvergent Appoints Doug Domergue as Senior VP of Sales

PLEASANTON, Calif. — eConvergent, a business solution provider for customer interaction, named Doug Domergue as senior vice president of sales. Domergue was formerly vice president of sales for the Americas at RemedyCorp. ECo

nvergent is funded by Crosspoint Venture Partners.

Tim Moore Joins Noosh

PALO ALTO, Calif.– Noosh announced the appointment of Tim Moore to the position of vice president of strategic alliances and general counsel. Before joining Noosh, Moore was a partner in the business department of the Palo Alto office of Cooley Godward. is designed to improve the process of buying, selling and managing print. The company closed a financing round in November 1999.

San Diego Regional Technology Alliance Appoints New CEO

SAN DIEGO– Clifford I. Numark has been appointed as chief executive officer and president of the San Diego Regional Technology Alliance. Numark comes to the SDRTA after serving as chief operating officer of Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance. SDRTA is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to assisting San Diego’s technology community. It primarily works through three programs: Project Mercury (direct business assistance), Techtropolis 2010 (public/private partnerships to help underserved communities access technology), and Project Minerva (research and education for the region’s local leaders to promote sustainable tech-based economic growth).


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