New in the News
adam.com, Al Shugart International, Aquarium Ventures, ASPnews.com, Broadband Access Systems, Career Central, Codexa, CollegeClub.com, CoSine Communications, Cybrant, Enigma Digital, Expedia, FaceTime Communications, Global Commerce Systems, Interliant, Internet Commerce Services, InterPacket, JP Systems, Lutris Technologies, McAfee.com, MediaMap, MeetChina.com, MessageBlaster.com, MessagingDirect, mySEASONS, MyWay.com, Net Technologies, New Media Venture Partners, OmniSky, OpenService, Productbuzz, Productopia, Quintessent Communications, Reflect.com, Sanders Morris Harris, Streampipe.com, techies.com, telcobuy.com, ThinkView, UCI Web Group, The U Zone, Viquity, Vizacom, Webraska Mobile Technologies, WetFeet.com
New in the News
WESTBOROUGH, Mass.– Broadband Access Systems Inc., a company exclusively focused on providing cable access solutions for the deployment of value-added data and voice services, received $44.3 million in mezzanine round funding. New investors in this round include Bowman Capital Management LLC and affiliates of Soros Private Equity Partners, as well as private investors. Broadband’s existing venture capital partners, including Matrix Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners and The Still River Fund, also participated in the mezzanine round. This round brings the company’s total funding to $67 million. Broadband Access Systems is a developer of highly integrated carrier-class broadband access systems that allow service providers to deliver high quality data, voice, and video services to large numbers of users.
SAN DIEGO– CollegeClub.com, an online college community focused exclusively on the college market, completed a mezzanine round financing which raised $40 million, double its original goal. The financing was led by the Seligman Technology Group via its Seligman New Technologies Fund. All existing institutional investors including Sony Corp. of America (NYSE:SNE), and Convergence Partners reinvested as well. CollegeClub.com provides content, communications, education and commerce designed specifically by and for college students.
FOSTER CITY, Calif. — FaceTime Communications, a leader in Instant Messaging-based business applications, received $30 million in mezzanine funding from TH Lee.Putnam Internet Partners, Compaq (NYSE:CPQ), Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL), Sumitomo and prior investors. FaceTime created a new communications platform that uses real-time instant messaging as the foundation of a complete, open infrastructure to support an e-business strategy.
ST. LOUIS — telcobuy.com LLC, an aggregator of products and services facilitating rapid network deployment in the telecommunications carrier market, received $25 million in financing from Highland Capital Partners and Summit Partners. telcobuy.com providea telecommunications’ service providers with the end-to-end capability to bid, order, procure, and manage the deployment of customized network product solutions.
MINNEAPOLIS– techies.com inc. completed the sale of $22 million of Series C preferred stock to a group of private investors. The Series C preferred stock financing was led by new investor J. & W. Seligman & Co. Existing investors, including Crosslink Capital, Norwest Ventures, EastPeak Capital, CNET and ZDNet, also participated in the Series C financing. techies.com also filed a Registration Statement with the SEC relating to a proposed initial public offering of its common stock. In its filing, techies.com (proposed ticker symbol TCHS) registered to sell up to $86,250,000 of its common stock.
PALO ALTO, Calif. — OmniSky Corp., a Silicon Valley startup that turns the popular Palm V or Palm Vx organizer into a handheld wireless email and Internet companion, closed its Series B round of venture-capital funding with a $20 million investment lead by the Sprout Group venture-capital affiliate of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Also participating was Aether Systems, which was a first round investor along with 3Com Corp. Steve Diamond of the Sprout Group and Tom Wheeler, the president and chief executive officer of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, will join the board of directors.
PURCHASE, N.Y.– Interliant Inc. (Nasdaq:INIT), an application service provider, raised $17.5 million in strategic funding via investments from Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq:DELL) and BMC Software Inc. (Nasdaq:BMCS). Interliant’s offerings include solutions in the following areas: Web site hosting, messaging and knowledge management, security, e-commerce, customer relationship management, distributed learning, and Web-based rental applications via AppsOnline.com.
SAN FRANCISCO — Productopia, a source of product information and buying advice, closed a $16 million second round of funding, bringing the total raised to date to $22 million. Investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, CMGI @Ventures and RRE Ventures. Additional investors in Productopia include: Amicus Investments; Angel Investors LLC; Arba Seed Investment Group; Osprey Ventures; Ben Rosen, Chairman of Compaq; Jonathan Bulkeley, former CEO of barnesandnoble.com; and Sunil Paul, CEO of BrightLight Technologies. Joanna Strober, the general partner who leads Bessemer’s business to consumer practice, joins Productopia’s board.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.– Cybrant Corp. received a second round of more than $15 million in venture capital funding from a group of investors led by Crescendo Ventures and RWI Group, joining seed investor Information Technology Ventures. The new funding brings the total venture capital and private investment to approximately $18 million. The Cybrant Velocity family of products allows companies selling products or services over the Internet to provide their customers with a fast and informed method to make choices and buy products.
SANTA MONICA, Calif.– InterPacket, a satellite-based Internet services network, completed $15 million in preferred equity financing led by Pequot Private Equity. Other investors include Intel Corp., Access Technology Partners/Hambrecht & Quist and BayStar Capital. Serving more than 400 ISPs in 80 countries on six continents, InterPacket offers Internet backbone connectivity and a range of value-added applications.
REDMOND, Wash.– Quintessent Communications Inc. closed $15 million in third-round funding from J.P. Morgan Capital and prior investment partners, bringing its total of private funding to $35 million. J.P. Morgan contributed $9 million to the financing, and was joined by contributions from existing investors Battery Ventures, Boston Millennia Partners, ITOCHU International, Polaris Ventures and Rho Management. Paul Theunissen, from J.P. Morgan Capital’s telecom and media private equity practice, will join Quintessent’s board of directors. Quintessent’s Tele.Commerce suite of Operations Support Systems interconnection software products and services efficiently and seamlessly connects the OSSs of telecommunications carriers.
Billerica, Mass. — MessageBlaster.com, a closed loop, outbound messaging service, secured a $12 million first round of funding, led by Battery Ventures. Seed investors included The Manchester Fund, Barn Ventures LLC and a host of private investors. MessageBlaster.com’s one-to-many web-based communications service provides instant, personalized and reliable outbound messaging for organizations.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.– MediaMap, an Internet public relations resource, received a commitment for $11.5 million in venture capital financing from Warburg, Pincus Equity Partners LP, an investment fund managed by E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co. LLC of New York, N.Y. MediaMap provides media databases and public relations automation services including on-demand, multi-channel press release distribution and collaborative features for searching, building and saving media contact lists, developing briefing book materials, and creating private notes in contact records.
SAN FRANCISCO — Citicorp Capital Asia Ltd., Softbank China Ventures, and a group of strategic investors completed a $10.8 million investment in MeetChina.com, China’s leading international trade portal. China Resources Technology, a subsidiary of one of China’s largest trade conglomerates, electronic publisher International Data Group, Motorola, and First Data Corp., (owner of Western Union), all joined the financing round. Co-developed with a division of the Ministry of Information Industry, China’s Internet regulator, MeetChina.com provides global purchasers the ability to reach Chinese suppliers directly.
NEW YORK — mySEASONS, a recently launched online home gardening resource and e-commerce destination site, completed its first round of capital financing. The investment group consists of Foster & Gallagher Inc. the largest direct marketer and distributor of horticultural products in North America, Brand Equity Ventures, Gemini Investors and Kansas City Equity Ventures. This initial round of financing represents $10.5 million in capital funds for the company.
EDMONTON, Canada– MessagingDirect, an Internet commerce solution developer of electronic bill delivery and secure Internet messaging applications, raised US $10 million in a financing underwritten by Yorkton Securities. This offering, which was over subscribed, included Addison Fischer (a pioneer in Internet security), Andy Bechtolsheim (co-founder of Sun Microsystems), Angel Investors LP and Sendmail Inc.
PARIS– Webraska Mobile Technologies, a provider of real-time traffic information, maps and navigation on WAP mobile phones, completed a first round of venture capital financing for 10 million Euros (about $9.7 million). The capital increase was led by Apax Partners (for 7.7M Euros) and Argo Global Capital manager of GSM Capital L.P. (for 2.3M Euros). Webraska’s goal is to provide a flexible and complete alternative to CD-rom-based car navigation systems, using its patented Internet-based distributed navigation.
SAN FRANCISCO– WetFeet.com, a career site for companies to reach top job seekers, closed $9 million in funding from Mohr, Davidow Ventures and private investors Audrey MacLean, Phil Schlein and Jon Staenberg. WetFeet.com’s insider guides and in-depth, online company profiles complement popular job listing sites by offering job seekers insight into the atmosphere, culture and expectations of companies of all sizes.
PASADENA, Calif.– Codexa Corp., an application service provider for Wall Street professionals, completed an $8 million initial financing round with investments from investment bank Putnam, Lovell, de Guardiola & Thornton Inc. through its Highcrest Partners affiliate and East/West Capital. Jeffrey Lovell, co-founder and president of Putnam Lovell, and Paul Nadel, president of East/West Capital, have been appointed to Codexa’s board of directors. Codexa is developing a suite of decision-support tools to help professional investors cope effectively with the avalanche of financial information available on the Internet.
Mountain View CA — Viquity Inc., a provider of Internet-based application services for direct procurement, received a second round of financing totaling $7.75 million, lead by Atlas Venture. Viquity announced its first round of funding in March 1999, with an initial investment of $2.25 million from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. The second round investors included Hummer Winblad and several private investors.Viquity integrates resource planning systems between OEM’s, suppliers, distributors and contract manufacturers in the electronics manufacturing industry.
BROOMFIELD, Colo.– Global Commerce Systems Inc., a developer of independent, online business-to-business exchanges that interconnect suppliers, buyers and financial institutions in real time, concluded a private equity financing of $7.5 million from GE Capital, through its GE Equity and GE Card Services divisions. This investment brings the total outside investment in the company to $13.5 million in 1999. GCS’s commerce.com suite of software products is based on 100 percent pure Java and enables businesses to create and operate global trading networks.
BOULDER, Colo.– bCandid Corp., a leader in Internet discussion group technology, has spun off its Productbuzz division, effective immediately. The move will create a new company, Productbuzz Inc., which has received $7.5 million in first-round financing from iBelay.com and Sequel Venture Partners. Productbuzz founder and general manager Alan Stevens will head the new company as CEO. bCandid will maintain an equity stake. Productbuzz was launched in 1999 to create and operate product-focused online business communities. The sites offer a mix of product information, e-commerce opportunities, industry-specific discussions, auctions, career centers and other benefits.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Enigma Digital, an Internet music network of vertical, genre-specific music lifestyle communities, closed $6.5 million in financing led by Vantage Point Venture Partners. Also participating in the financing round were London-based Sanctuary Group PLC, as well as entertainment and financial industry veterans.
ATLANTA– adam.com Inc. (Nasdaq:ADAM), a syndicator of online health information, received $6 million from Fusion Capital Fund I LLC, a Chicago-based institutional investor under an innovative investment structure called Fusion Financing. Under the terms of the agreement with Fusion Capital, adam.com has an option to access an additional $6 million for a total potential investment of $12 million.
ALBANY, N.Y.– OpenService Inc., a developer and provider of system, application and firewall management software, completed a $4.6 million venture capital financing. The funding was provided by Hudson Venture Partners, LibertyView Equity Partners, Blue Rock Capital, First Albany Corp., the New York State Science & Technology Foundation, private investor and board member Richard Brown, as well as several members of senior management. Richard Glaser of Hudson Venture Partners and Terry Collison of Blue Rock Capital will join the company’s board of directors. OpenService’s flexible, cross platform software products use data reduction and event correlation technology, managed through a web-based interface, to ensure system security, performance and availability.
NEW YORK — Net Technologies Inc., an Internet development and technologies firm, completed its first round of financing. Freedom Securities Corp., a Boston-based retail brokerage and investment firm, led the round valued at up to $3 million. Steve Gottlieb, president and founder of TVT Records, one of the largest independent record labels in the US, was also a participant in this first round. The company’s leading product is DoTell Interactive (http://www.dotell.com), a technology which allows users to broadcast live audio messages instantly on the Internet from any touch-tone telephone.
DALLAS– JP Systems, a developer of Web-to-wireless portal data solutions for mobile professionals, received an investment from GS Ventures, a wireless and Internet-focused venture capital group led by SkyTel Communications founders John Palmer and Jai Bhagat JP Systems provides software and services that deliver e-mail and Internet content to handheld computing devices while being device- and network-independent.
SANTA CRUZ, Calif.– Lutris Technologies, a leader in Open Source Java/XML application server software and associated professional services, completed its Series B round of financing. Investors in the current round include the Intel 64 Fund and Trans Cosmos USA. The investment brings the round to a total of $15 million, with theoriginal investment in November 1999 from Chase Capital Partners and Chase H&Q, formerly Hambrecht & Quist.
BELLEVUE, Wash.– The XMLFund, a Bellevue-based technology investment fund, made a sizable investment in ThinkView Inc., a three month old start-up founded by former InfoSpace.com executive, Bhu Srinivasan. ThinkView works with content from leading newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, television networks, and online media brands to develop media syndication solutions.
BELLEVUE, Wash. — Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq:EXPE) agreed to acquire two players in the Internet lodging industry, Travelscape.com Inc. and VacationSpot.com Inc. Expedia will issue approximately 2.6 million shares and options, valued at approximately $82 million, in exchange for all of the outstanding shares, options and warrants of VacationSpot.com. Expedia will issue approximately 3 million shares, options and warrants, valued at approximately $95 million, in exchange for all outstanding shares, options and warrants of Travelscape.com.
New York, NY — internet.com (Nasdaq:INTM), the E-Business and Internet Technology Network, publisher of this website, acquired ASPnews.com, a provider of news and analysis for the application service provider industry. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. ASPnews.com is the flagship Web site of the ASP News Review, a monthly e-mail newsletter for the ASP industry’s decision-makers and strategists, along with other online publications for the ASP community. Co-founders Phil Wainewright and Olga Ojogina will both join internet.com to continue their work with ASPnews.com.
HOUSTON — StudyFree, the parent company of StudentU.com and an Internet provider of online lecture notes for college students nationwide (and a NetStrategy incubator company), acquired The U Zone Inc., an online textbook retailer with an established local infrastructure for textbook buybacks. StudyFree will change its corporate name to The Uzone. The company will launch a new site to reflect the name change and to serve as the hub of its family of Web sites. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
TEANECK, N.J. — Vizacom Inc. (Nasdaq:VIZY) signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire Junction 15 Limited, a privately-held, London-based, digital design and communications company specializing in Web site development, business to business e-commerce systems, and digital business building. Vizacom Inc. intends to acquire Junction 15 to add European services to the Internet site design and development services it anticipates acquiring upon the closing of its purchase of NYC-based Renaissance Multimedia. Vizacom’s established direct marketing business provides tele-sales and -support, direct mail, and warehousing and fulfillment services through the company’s U.K., German and U.S. operations.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — McAfee.com (Nasdaq:MCAF), a global consumer application service provider of online PC security and management services, agreed to acquire Canada-based Signal9 Solutions Canada Inc. The $18 million transaction, comprised of cash and McAfee.com Class A Common Stock, is expected to close within the next several weeks. Signal9’s products, ConSeal Private Desktop and ConSeal PC Firewall, will be incorporated into the McAfee.com services lineup later this quarter. ConSeal Private Desktop is a personal firewall that offers comprehensive security control of the PC connection to the Internet. Designed for the non-technical user, it prevents hackers and crackers from accessing personal computer files, running Trojan attacks or crashing a system.
NEW YORK, — Burson-Marsteller, a division of Young & Rubicam Inc., entered into an agreement with Streampipe.com, formerly Netcast Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia, through which B-M will take a minority interest in Streampipe.com, one of the primary providers of live Internet broadcasting services.
BOCA RATON, Fla. — UCI Web Group Inc. acquired Third Street Interactive, a full-service Internet design, development and consulting agency in Stamford, Connecticut. Full terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Third Street Interactive provides professional web services including business analysis, development of strategic web plans, and the design, implementation and maintenance of Web sites.
HOUSTON — Pinnacle Global Group Inc. (Nasdaq:PING) completed the merger of Harris Webb & Garrison Inc., its investment banking subsidiary, with Sanders Morris Mundy Inc., a privately owned investment bank. The new company will be known as Sanders Morris Harris Inc., a wholly owned operating subsidiary of Pinnacle Global Group Inc. and the largest Texas-based investment bank. Sanders Morris Mundy is a twelve-year old investment banking and brokerage firm based in Houston, Texas. It manages private equity capital for clients, is an active investor in private placements, and co-manages initial public offerings.
NEW HAVEN, Conn.– Two Yale students have launched Aquarium Ventures, an incubator for internet and new media companies. Aquarium plans to focus on Yale students, and follow a hands-on approach in helping them to take their business ideas from the dorm room to the board room. Founded by Michael Stern and Peter Venech with an initial million-dollar investment from Dagim Capital, Aquarium plans to provide fledgling student companies with facilities, computers, the advice of an experienced advisory board of financial professionals, and access to later-stage funding.
PALO ALTO, Calif. and SALT LAKE CITY– Hewlett-Packard Co. and New Media Venture Partners announced that HP is providing NMVP with a $17 million financing package to help the Internet media corporation fund, incubate and develop proprietary technology, digital content and e-commerce start-ups. The agreement positions HP as the preferred technology provider to all NMVP subsidiaries. HP is making a $2 million equity investment in NMVP and is providing NMVP with up to $15 million in debt financing. The majority of the $17 million funding will finance HP products and services with NMVP subsidiaries.
Who’s Who & Where
NASHUA, N.H. — Internet Commerce Services Corp., a provider of eCommerce services, announced that Larry Mihalchik was named chief executive officer of the firm, replacing founder Cliff Conneighton. Mihalchik was also elected to the company’s board of directors. Conneighton remains with iCOMS as chairman of the board. Mihalchik joins iCOMS after spending two and-a-half years as president, CEO and chairman of Atex Media Solutions. The company has received over $22 million in three rounds of financing — including a recent $10 million round from Lycos Inc.
PALO ALTO, Calif. — Career Central Corp., an e-recruiting service targeting passive job seekers, announced that Michael Foley joined the company as vice president of marketing. Foley was most recently director of marketing at the San Francisco Newspaper Agency (the business arm of the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner). Career Central investors include QuestMark Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures, Softbank Ventures, IDG Ventures, Arthur Rock, and Allen & Company.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.– CoSine Communications, a developer of network-based IP service delivery platforms for next-generation business IP Service Providers, announced that Mike Nielsen has joined the executive management team as senior vice president of engineering.
Previously, Nielsen was vice president of engineering for the workstation division of Silicon Graphics. Additionally, he served as chief engineer at SGI and as system architect of its O2 and NT product lines. To date, the company has raised $94 million from the following investors: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Norwest Venture Partners, Communications Ventures, Crescendo Ventures, Worldview Technology Partners, Lucent Venture Partners, BCE Capital Inc., Anschutz Investments and Wilson Investors, Technology Crossover Ventures, Charter Growth Capital, Capital Research Company, Tudor Investment Corp., Amerindo Investment Advisors, Telesoft Partners, Goldman Sachs, Hambrecht & Quist, AT&T Ventures, Rader Reinfrank & Co. and Singapore Telcom.
SOQUEL, Calif.– Al Shugart International, a resource center focused on helping entrepreneurs launch new enterprises and growing small companies into big companies, elected Jon van Bronkhorst as vice chairman of the board of directors. van Bronkhorst also holds positions as ASI executive vice president and manager of the Shugart Venture Fund in addition to seats on seven investment venture Boards: eCongo.com Inc., Spin Media Network, United States TeleMed Corporation, n&k Technology Inc., StudioFX, Tranxition Corp., and vpacket.com (the last four companies are also ASI public relations clients).
SAN FRANCISCO– Reflect.com, an interactive, personalized beauty service created solely for the Internet, appointed former vice president of engineering at Macromedia, Jonathan Grayson, as vice president of engineering for Reflect.com. The company was formed in September 1999 by Procter & Gamble and Institutional Venture Partners (which recently merged with Brentwood Venture Capital to form Redpoint Ventures).
ANDOVER, Mass.– MyWay.com, a developer and distributor of custom portal solutions and a majority-owned subsidiary of CMGI Inc. (Nasdaq:CMGI), named Alan Barber as chief financial officer. Prior to joining MyWay.com, Barber was CFO at Medical Foods Inc.
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