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New in the News
BuyIt.com, CheMatch.com, Eureka Broadband, FamilyWonder.com, FirstLook.com, GarageLatino.com, Giganet, inshop.com, LoopNet, Musichotbid.com, Now & Zen, PhotoPoint.com, SECTORBASE.com, SUMmedia.com, SupplierMarket.com, Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, Trend Micro, Tribal Voice, ViAlta.com, WeddingChannel.com, Wysdom
FREMONT, Calif. — ESS Technology Inc. (Nasdaq:ESST) announced that its subsidiary, ViAlta.com, has secured commitments from strategic investors to participate in a series B preferred equity financing. ViAlta.com expects to raise in excess of $120 million in this round that will close in early December. ESS Technology Inc. plans to fund approximately $50 million of the total and will retain a majority ownership percentage. The company is not disclosing the names or details of other investors. Use of the proceeds will fund ongoing R&D and operations of ViAlta.com as it prepares to launch its products and services during the first half of 2000. ViAlta.com plans to introduce advanced, user friendly products and applications for the Internet. Products will include multi-media appliances, applications and content for the Internet, which enable the user to experience new levels of entertainment and e-Commerce.
NEW YORK CITY and WALTHAM, Mass.– Eight investment firms have provided $40 million of financing for SupplierMarket.com, an Internet-based, business-to-business company. Taking the lead in the second round is Fenway Partners and the executives of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Completing the portfolio of investors is Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital and the private equity firms of Fleet Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners, Inc., ONEX Corp. and Silicon Valley Bank. In June 1999, Battery Ventures and Sequoia Capital participated in SupplierMarket.com’s $8 million financing. In its first five weeks of operation, the SupplierMarket.com marketplace has grown to more than $100 million in RFQs and to more than 5,000 registered and verified manufacturing companies.
PASADENA, Calif. — Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch (Nasdaq:TMCS) announced that USA Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: USAI) invested an additional $40 million in TMCS through the acquisition of 1.3 million Class B common shares. The strategic investment will increase Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch’s available cash to approximately $93 million and will be used to continue its program of strategic investments and acquisitions, as well as other aspects of its growth strategy. The investment increases USAI’s economic stake in the company to approximately 52% from 51%. The TMCS family of Web sites includes citysearch.com, ticketmaster.com, store.ticketmaster.com, cityauction.com, match.com, sidewalk.com, livedaily.com, astroabby.com, and jobs.citysearch.com.
HOUSTON– CheMatch.com, a global e-commerce exchange and information resource for buying and selling bulk chemicals, plastics and fuel products, sold more than $30 million in preferred stock, common stock and warrants to a group of financial and strategic investors that includes Sprout Group, the venture capital affiliate of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc.; DuPont; Battery Ventures; Millennium Chemicals; and CheMatch.com management. In October, Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE:CSC) and CheMatch.com announced a strategic alliance to enhance CheMatch.com’s technology platform. The partnership also involves co-marketing, co-branding and co-selling of CSC and CheMatch.com products and services. CSC also announced an equity investment in the company.
SAN FRANCISCO — FamilyWonder.com completed its second round of private financing, totaling $25 million, from MeriTech Capital Partners and RRE Ventures. Accel Partners and US Venture Partners, the company’s initial investors, also contributed to this second round of funding. FamilyWonder.com is an online family entertainment retailer that provides tools to help parents, friends, and relatives select and purchase the best products for kids.
NEW YORK– Eureka Broadband Corp., a building-centric Application Service Provider and premium high-speed Internet access company, received $22 million in a first round of venture capital funding. Spectrum Equity Investors and AT&T Ventures were the primary financiers behind the private equity deal. Eureka Broadband provides business customers with super-fast Internet access, a wide range of enhanced data services and next-generation applications. Commercial real estate owners form partnerships with Eureka to install a technologically advanced infrastructure in each building, providing tenants with a true broadband experience
SAN FRANCISCO– LoopNet Inc., an Internet commercial real estate marketplace, completed a $20 million round of mezzanine financing. The round consists of investments from venture capital affiliates of investment banks Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Hambrecht & Quist; Homestore.com Inc. (Nasdaq:HOMS) (in cooperation with the National Association of Realtors); commercial real estate companies Grubb & Ellis Company (NYSE: GBE), Insignia/ESG (NYSE: IFS), Marcus & Millichap, Trammell Crow Co., Spieker Properties; Attractor, mezzanine investment advisors; and a personal investment from AMB Property chairman, T. Robert Burke. LoopNet is a business-to-business Internet company that provides a single platform for viewing and listing commercial property, securing property financing and obtaining ancillary services such as demographic reports.
CONCORD, Mass. — Giganet Inc. closed $19 million in new funding. The round, led by H&Q Venture Associates LLC, included new investments from W.R. Hambrecht, Merrill Lynch, NTT Leasing, and Telsoft, joining previous investors Innocal L.P. and Mariposa Investment Holding A.G. Giganet provides leading edge system cluster area network products that enable data centers to scale computing resources to meet the demands of the Internet.
SAN FRANCISCO– SECTORBASE.com Inc. secured more than $15 million in private equity financing from US Venture Partners as the lead investor, Harbourvest Partners, and Reuters Group PLC. The Reuters financing is part of its Greenhouse Program, which invests in new content and technology companies, and identifies new market opportunities for Reuters. SECTORBASE.com Inc. designs, develops and markets a powerful investment research platform to investment professionals and individual subscribers through its web site.
MT. VIEW, Calif. — PhotoPoint.com, a free photo Web site where members have shared more than 3.5 million photos online, secured $11 million in venture funding from US Venture Partners, SOFTBANK Venture Capital and Entertainment Media Ventures. Launched in 1998, PhotoPoint provides free membership, unlimited free storage, and a uniquely easy way for anyone to post photos, manage them online, and share them.
TORONTO– Wysdom Inc., a developer of wireless Internet applications, completed a US$7 million investment from The VenGrowth Investment Fund Inc. Wysdom develops and markets software application suites and turnkey solutions that allow e-businesses and other Internet information providers to offer their content and services over a variety of wireless devices. By deploying Wysdom’s enabling technology, Internet companies can utilize an entirely new medium to offer ubiquitous access to their services via millions of handheld Internet-ready devices.
DENVER — SUMmedia.com Inc. (OTCBB:ISUM) completed a private placement investment of $1.5 million from Valdar Enterprises Ltd. The private placement consisted of 500,000 units to be issued by SUMmedia.com at a price of $3 per unit for gross cash proceeds of $1.5 million. Each unit will consist of one common share and one share purchase warrant. The warrant may be exerci
sed to acquire an additional share of SUMmedia.com at a price of $4.50, for a period of 12 months from the issuance date. SUMmedia.com provides online coupons as eCommerce opportunities for small business through its eCoupon portal, SavingUmoney.com.
FORT DODGE, Iowa — Musichotbid.com, an e-commerce company that owns an Internet music equipment/memorabilia auction site, successfully completed a first round of financing through “angel” investors from Silicon Valley, Dallas and Boston, including executives from Lucent Technologies, Lycos and Phonefree.com. A total of $1.0 million was raised.
BOULDER, Colo. — Now & Zen, an American manufacturer of original New Age designs for the home and office, received $250,000 in venture capital from JSGL Investments LLC to develop a new product line that will be marketed exclusively on the Internet.
SAN DIEGO– Venture-Catalyst.com, the venture capital and Internet consulting division of Inland Entertainment Corp. (Nasdaq:INLD), made a strategic minority equity investment in publicly traded BuyIt.com (OTCBB:BUYT) for the creation of a global online Arts & Crafts community named CraftClick.com. As part of its strategic investment, Venture-Catalyst.com has entered into a one-year services agreement with BuyIt.com to assist in the continuing development of CraftClick.com’s online strategy, and to provide BuyIt.com with the complete range of investor relations services.
NEW YORK– inshop.com, an online source for shopping-related information announced the launch of its new Web site at www.inshop.com. The site provides users with indispensable shopping-related information including insider tips about sales, promotions and events happening in stores, on the Web and in catalogs. Along with the launch of the new site, inshop announced that America Online Inc. and Hudson Ventures have joined their list of investors, along with lead investor Lazard Technology Partners, the venture arm of Lazard Freres & Company.
ANDOVER, Mass.– CMGI Inc. (Nasdaq:CMGI), a large and diverse network of Internet companies, acquired Tribal Voice Inc. as a majority-owned operating company. Founded in December 1994 by anti-virus software guru John McAfee, Tribal Voice is a provider of instant messaging, interactive communications software and online community solutions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Simultaneously, CMGI announced that it plans to merge its previously acquired communications software company, Activerse, into Tribal Voice to form a single corporation offering real-time communications software and instant messaging tools to both the consumer and enterprise markets.
MIAMI– GarageLatino.com, Latin America’s first business factory of Internet business, announced the start of its operations and the recent opening of its first “garage” in Buenos Aires, with an initial investment of over US$ 1.5 million. The company will provide not only know-how on the various projects it develops, but also the financial capacity to get them up and running. It will operate by opening true “factories”– spaces of over 1,000 m2 — with cutting-edge technology and the capacity for rapid product development, which will be managed by project leaders.
LOS ANGELES, — MusicNow Network, owners of music websites FirstLook.com (http://www.firstlook.com) and Woodstock.com (http://www.woodstock.com), announces its official name change to FirstLook.com Inc. Under the new name, the company plans to expand its music previewing site into other categories, allowing consumers to quickly discover and preview various new products on FirstLook.com. FirstLook.com Inc. is an idealab! company, backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and Woodstock Ventures, owners of the Woodstock Music Festival and trademark.
TOKYO — Trend Micro Inc. (Nasdaq:TMIC) (Japan OTC: 4704), a provider of centrally managed Internet virus protection and content filtering products and services, invested 12.5 million Japanese Yen (approximately $122,000) in Soft Trend Capital Corp., a Japanese corporation which is indirectly owned by Softbank Corp., and 960 million Japanese Yen (approximately $9.4 million) in Softbank Internet Fund, a venture capital fund managed by Soft Trend Capital Corp.
Who’s Who & Where
LOS ANGELES, Calif.– WeddingChannel.com, a bridal registry and wedding p
lanning resource on the World Wide Web, announced that NancyJane (NJ) Goldston, Erika Hart Hindle, and Brian Pike, have joined the company as executive vice president of marketing, vice president of finance and corporate development, and vice president of technology, respectively. WeddingChannel.com is a private company whose investors include MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., Goldman Sachs, MSD Capital, RRE Investors, idealab!, idealab! Capital Partners and Federated Department Stores.
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