New in the News
AdaptZ.com, Adauction.com, AgWeb.com, Akoo.com, allbizdepot.com, AmericasDoctor.com, Appliant.com, AV Labs, bestroute.com, Bowstreet, Branders.com, ChannelHealth, ChemConnect, Chipshot.com, Creative Planet, DataSage, eHow.com, Ensim, fibermarket.com, First Ecom.com, Frictionless Commerce, Geneva Venture Partners, GetRelevant, HighWired.com, iScribe, iwin.com, KeeBoo, medibuy.com, Mortgage.com, NetworkOil, Network Storage Solutions, New Edge Networks, News Alert, PartsAmerica.com, Perfecto Technologies, PlanetOutdoors.com, ProSight, Rackspace.com, Rapid Link, Respond.com, Skulogix, WhiteLight Systems, Worldweb.net
New in the News
WAYNE, Pa., PHILADELPHIA and CHICAGO Safeguard Scientifics Inc. (NYSE:SFE), Madison Dearborn Partners, and Farm Journal Inc., announced the formation of AgWeb.com Inc., a business-to-business commerce and content site serving the agricultural marketplace. AgWeb.com will start operations with over $100 million in contributions of cash and assets, representing one of the largest commitments to date to Internet commerce in the agricultural sector. AgWeb.com, based in Philadelphia, will initially provide timely news, weather, commodities prices, editorial content, product information and educational material. The portal’s initial phase is scheduled to launch in late January 2000. Additional products will include business management tools for agronomic and livestock planning, records management, accounting systems, advisory services, commodities price charts, and proprietary analysis.
SAN DIEGO– medibuy.com Inc., an e-commerce solution for healthcare supply procurement, closed additional rounds of venture-capital financing raising $77 million. Participants in the financing included existing investors Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Oak Investment Partners and Sequoia Capital, plus additional new investors Meritech Capital Partners, Allianz Capital Partners headquartered in Munich, Germany, and e-partners of London and Silicon Valley. medibuy.com operates as a global online marketplace that leverages Internet technology to transform the administrative infrastructure of the healthcare supply chain.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.– Respond.com closed $45 million in financing led by new investor Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Venture Partners. New investments also come from Access Technology Partners, Amerindo Capital Management, Attractor Investments, Index Ventures, plus previous investors The Barksdale Group, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Benchmark Capital. Bill Harding of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Venture Partners will join the Respond.com board of directors. The current round of financing, which brings the company’s total venture funding to date to more than $55 million, will help Respond.com expand operations worldwide and build sales and marketing resources for its online shopping service, an innovative new way for buyers and sellers to connect online.
BURLINGTON, Vt. and WESTPORT, Conn.– ChannelHealth, a provider of Internet healthcare services for physicians and patients, announced that Pequot Private Equity invested $30 million in the company at a pre-money valuation of $300 million. ChannelHealth is pioneering the use of the Internet to enable physicians, patients, labs, pharmacies, payers, and other healthcare organizations to communicate electronically, allowing greater patient and physician access to critical patient information, including patient histories, test results, prescribed medications, payment records, and physician/patient directed healthcare information. ChannelHealth is a subsidiary of IDX Systems Corporation (Nasdaq:IDXC).
PLANTATION, Fla. — Mortgage.com (Nasdaq:MDCM) agreed to independently finance its Openclose.com Inc. business and to sell a 49% interest in the new unit to three investment firms for $30 million. The investment firms are Canaan Partners, Dominion Ventures and Technology Crossover Ventures, all of whom are currently shareowners in Mortgage.com. The agreement will transfer assets of Mortgage.com’s Openclose division to its newly created Openclose subsidiary in exchange for stock of Openclose and cash. Openclose will sell newly issued shares to the three investment firms for $30 million, $24 million of which will flow to Mortgage.com in consideration of its transfer of assets, leaving Mortgage.com with a 51% interest in Openclose.
LOS ANGELES — iwin.com, a new incentive-based games and interactive entertainment site, completed its second round of financing, raising $25 million from a number of prominent venture capital and individual investors. iwin’s venture capital investors were led by Rader Reinfrank & Co
. LLC and included Transatlantic Venture Fund and Ridgewood Capital. Individual investors were Randall Kaplan, Richard Janssen, and Al Checchi. Fred Nazem, the founder and managing partner of Nazem & Company and its Transatlantic Venture Fund, will become a member of iwin’s Board of Directors, as will Richard Janssen. During its initial round of funding, iwin.com raised $5 million in seed capital.
SAN MATEO, Calif.– Branders.com, a business-to-business online provider of promotional products, raised $20 million in its third round of financing. Total private funding secured by Branders.com to date is $30 million. ABS Ventures led the financing round, joining Menlo Ventures, Altos Ventures, Doll Capital and Discovery Ventures.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.– Ensim Corp., a supplier of a complete application hosting platform for service providers (ISPs, ASPs, Web Hosts and CLECs), completed a first round of private equity financing totaling $18 million, led by New Enterprise Associates. The first round follows a seed round supplied by angel investors, and brings the company’s total financing to $21 million.
Alexandria, Va.– Worldweb.net, a provider of content management solutions for enterprise Web sites, obtained $17.75 million in second-round venture capital financing from ABN AMRO Private Equity, Wheatley Partners L.P., S Squared Technology, Riggs Capital Partners, Valhalla Capital, North River Ventures, GeoCapital Partners, and other private investors.
SANTA CLARA, Calif.– Perfecto Technologies, a developer of innovative eBusiness security software, completed its third round of financing in which it raised more than $16 million. Led by The Sprout Group, the venture capital affiliate of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the round also includes affiliates of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and previous investors Sequoia Capital, Intel and Walden Israel. Including this round, Perfecto has raised a total of $24 million. Concurrent with this financing, Farrokh Billimoria of The Sprout Group and John Dillon, president and CEO of salesforce.com, join Perfecto’s board of directors.
GURNEE, Ill. and OWINGS MILLS, Md. — AmericasDoctor.com Inc. and Affiliated Research Centers Inc. announced that the companies have merged, establishing the first Internet healthcare company to significantly impact the pharmaceutical industry’s development of new medicines and therapies. The merger creates the first dedicated Internet solution to volunteer recruitment for clinical trials, the pharmaceutical industry’s No. 1 obstacle in getting products to the marketplace. Also, Galen Associates Inc. led the new company’s initial $16 million investment round. Other venture partners include Tullis-Dickerson & Co. Inc. and Delphi Ventures. The merged company anticipates raising another $10 to $15 million of capital in the near term.
HONG KONG– First Ecom.com (OTC BB:FECC) issued 1,125,000 units in December 1999 in a transaction exempt from registration under Regulation S. The units were sold at $6.50 each, for gross proceeds of $8,125,000 (US) and net proceeds of $7,500,000 (US) to the company after expenses of the offering. Each unit consists of one common share and a warrant to purchase one-third of a common share. This offering was in addition to a $6,500,000 (US) financing (which also was exempt from registration under Regulation S) that the company announced onDec. 6, 1999. First Ecom.com provides secure, easy to implement and low-cost online payment processing services to merchants and banks worldwide.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.– KeeBoo Corp. closed its second round of funding and opened its capital to new investors. Among them, Paribas Affaires Industrielles is bringing in $5 million, Apax Partners is investing $3.5 million and T-Ventures, Deutsche Telekom’s venture capital arm, $0.4 million. Existing investors are also participating, including TechnologieHolding, Auriga Ventures and Innovacom along with Alain Tingaud Innovations and Arts & Alliances. The company offers a free communication medium for the Web: the KeeBoo software for Windows 95/98/NT. KeeBoo allows users to gather and enrich quickly and easily Web pages, as well as office and multimedia documents.
BOULDER, Colo. and MENLO PARK, Calif.– PlanetOutdoors.com, an e-commerce site featuring quality outdoor recreation products, real time customer service, and comprehensive consumer information, closed its third round of financing of over $11 million. Sequel Venture Partners led the round of funding, joined by all previous PlanetOutdoors.com investors. PlanetOutdoors.com’s investors include @Ventures (a CMGI affiliate), Trinity Ventures, and APV Technology Partners, i-Hatch Ventures, Tango Partners, Canyon Capital and Forefront Capital.
NEW YORK — AdaptZ.com, a web site designed to connect both the business and consumer segments of the disability community, received $10 million in venture capital. Flatiron Partners leads a group of investors including Chase Capital Partners, Richland Ventures and the New York City Investment Fund. The funds will help build an Internet gateway for the 150 million people whose personal and professional lives are affected by disability by providing them with comprehensive, reliable information and products.
ATLANTA– Rapid Link Inc., a provider of international Internet-based communications services, received a $10 million equity investment from Vaxa Capital Partners LP. Rapid Link will use the funding to further expand its global IP-based network, accelerate the growth of its retail customer base and revenue, and attract more strategic IP alliances with major telecommunications carriers and Internet telephony service providers around the world. In 1999, Rapid Link secured a total of $12.5 million in equity investment.
HOUSTON– NetworkOil, a Houston-based Internet start-up company that will provide e-commerce solutions to the procurement of energy equipment and services, completed its first round of funding, raising $10 million from companies and individuals in the oil & gas business.
NetworkOil, founded in September 1999, initially raised $1.85 million in seed money from a small group of founding shareholders. NetworkOil plans to launch its transaction site during the first quarter of 2000, where bidding and auctions for capital equipment and services will take place electronically. The company is positioning itself as “the Nasdaq of the Oil & Gas Industry,” offering transparent pricing in a completely neutral marketplace, favoring neither buyer nor seller.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.– Frictionless Commerce Inc., a provider of next-generation online commerce technologies, secured more than $7.5 million in the company’s first venture financing round. Polaris Venture Partners led the round and also received a seat on the board of directors. Polaris Venture Partners and Intel Corp. now join founding investors, such as Nicholas Negroponte, Hemang Dave, John Landry, Pattie Maes, Sung Park, Lycos Inc. and Boston-based Claflin Capital Management. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is also a shareholder in Frictionless Commerce, with equity given in consideration of licensed technology. Frictionless Commerce develops comprehensive technologies that make online commerce easier for both buyers and sellers. Using the company’s first product, the Frictionless ValueShopper, commerce sites are able to offer their customers a quick, easy and individualized comparison-shopping environment, and can provide merchants with a forum to showcase their value-added services.
SAN ANTONIO — Rackspace.com, a leader in outsourced Internet servers, completed a $6.3 million round of financing. $2.5 million came from Rackspace.com management and the balance from Isom Capital and Teton Capital. The funds are earmarked for international expansion in Europe and Asia. A London data center is currently under development and the company anticipates that it will open in the second quarter of 2000.
MILPITAS, Calif.– allbizdepot.com, a resource for startups and growing businesses, received a $4 million cash infusion from MM Holdings Internationals Inc., a $250 million venture fund headed by Milan Mandaric, a veteran of the electronics manufacturing industry. allbizdepot.com provides tools, information and comprehensive resources for small businesses.
SAN FRANCISCO — GetRelevant, an Internet start-up set to launch its targeted promotions network this quarter, raised $4 million in Series B financing led by Labrador Ventures and Bluewater Capital Management. In addition, the company’s new funding partners include Weber Capital, Colman Partners and several angel investors, including Mike Santullo. Previous investors Pacific Asset Partners and Byzantine Ventures also contributed to this most recent round of funding. In conjunction with the financing, Sean Foote of Labrador Ventures joined GetRelevant’s board of directors.
FAIRFAX, Va.– NextGen Capital LLC announced a $750,000 equity investment in Network Storage Solutions Inc. The infusion of capital will be used to expand NSS’ sales and marketing efforts. Zimri C. Putney, managing director of NextGen Capital, joined the company’s board of directors. NSS produces network attached storage solutions that optimize data access and performance in network infrastructures. NSS’s technology, SPANStor, runs on industry standard hardware that attaches directly to the network providing shared file service to UNIX, Windows and the World Wide Web.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Hughes Supply Inc. (NYSE:HUG) made an equity investment in bestroute.com LLC, a business-to-business distributorship for construction and industrial products. This strategic investment is one aspect of a multi-pronged approach to addressing e-commerce opportunities for Hughes Supply. bestroute.com will provide contractors, plant personnel, engineers, traditional electrical distributors and others with access to hard-to-find products. The Web site will also become a news and information resource for professional buyers, offering new-product information along with industry news and research. bestroute.com plans to publicly unveil its site, http://www.bestroute.com, in two stages: a spring 2000 rollout for the electrical industry information resource function, followed by an early summer 2000 “Grand Opening” for the real-time inventory store.
ATLANTA – fibermarket.com, a leader in business-to-business e-commerce solutions for the forest products industry, closed its second round of financing, with J.P. Morgan Capital Corp. leading the round. Oracle Corp., Charterhouse Group International Inc. and existing investor NeoCarta Ventures also participated in the round. The company’s Fiber Management Marketplace makes it easy for paper mills and their customers, suppliers, and brokers to transact in real-time, and to access accurate, up-to-the-minute information, allowing them to better manage the supply chain in a cost-effective manner.
PHOENIX, Ariz. and ROANOKE, Va. — CSK Auto Inc. (NYSE:CAO), Advance Auto Parts and Sequoia Capital signed an agreement to form a new company, PartsAmerica.com, an automotive parts and accessories e-commerce destination serving both the consumer and commercial markets. CSK Auto and Advance Auto Parts will own equal stakes in PartsAmerica.com. Sequoia Capital will be the lead investor with additional funding from CSK, Freeman Spogli & Co., Sears, Roebuck & Co. (NYSE: S) and Ripplewood Holdings LLC. CSK Auto is approximately 40% owned by Investcorp and affiliates of the Trump Group.
ELMWOOD PARK, Ill.– Akoo.com, a comprehensive audio and video information and entertainment provider on the Internet, closed its second round of funding from several undisclosed angel investors. The company announced that it is meeting with select venture capital firms to raise additional funding in early 2000. Akoo.com beta launched a website for Internet broadcasting on Jan. 1, 2000, including introducing a search engine for audio broadcasting and a proprietary, web-based scheduler/manager that allows end-users to customize and automate programming on a daily basis.
GLOUCESTER, Mass.– Cyrk Inc. (Nasdaq:CYRK), a global leader in the promotion industry, made a strategic investment in Skulogix Inc., a privately-held provider of cost-effective, direct-to-consumer product fulfillment services for Internet-based electronic commerce. Financial details were not disclosed.
AUSTIN, Texas — Vignette Corp. (Nasdaq:VIGN), a provider of e-business applications, signed a definitive agreement to acquire DataSage Inc., a provider of e-marketing and personalization applications that help organizations create a comprehensive single e
nterprise-wide view of their customers. Vignette will acquire 100 percent of the outstanding stock and assume all stock options of DataSage in exchange for approximately 3.16 million shares of Vignette common stock, worth about $550 million. DataSagerecently received funding of $23.5 million led by QuestMark Partners and others.
NEW YORK — Privately held News Alert LLC, a domestic and international content and application service provider for finance Web sites, announced that a consortium of international investors has acquired a controlling interest in the New York-based company. The $22.5 million buyout was led by New Media Capital LLC, a partnership of Howard and Edward Milstein, from the real estate and banking family, and venture capitalist Laurent Ohana. Also participating in the transaction are the Phoenix-based Pivotal Group; Hollinger Digital, the venture capital arm of publishing giant Hollinger International; Mondadori.com USA, an affiliate of Italy’s largest publisher; Arnoldo Mondadori Editore SpA; and RAF Net Ventures LP, an Internet venture capital fund. The company’s founder, Sol Menche, a successful Internet entrepreneur, will retain a minority interest in the company.
SAN MATEO, Calif. — iScribe, a healthcare technology company that has developed mobile, handheld wireless electronic prescribing technology, announced the acquisition of the electronic prescribing technology company eMedicus, as well as the acquisition of a wireless prescription writing product and exclusive rights to its underlying technology. These acquisitions allow iScribe to provide healthcare professionals with a choice of electronic prescribing solutions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. iScribe is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Mayfield Fund and Skyline Ventures.
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Creative Planet, a network of business-to-business vertical Web sites for creative content professionals, announced its acquisition of Planetpoint. Planetpoint is an online resource of creative talent for creative buyers in entertainment, advertising, marketing, corporate communications, film, music and the arts. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Creative Planet recently received $25 million in afunding round.
AUSTIN, Texas — AV Labs, the new accelerator fund spun out of Austin Ventures, and McKinsey, the global management consulting firm, announced a strategic partnership focused on early stage Internet ventures in Austin. The partnership will combine the proven practices and strategy development of McKinsey with the operating and entrepreneurial talent of AV Labs. The mission of the partnership is to develop and implement market-leading strategies at a pace that reflects Internet time.
Who’s Who & Where
SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Chipshot.com, a website for personalized golf products, services, and information, announced the addition of five new executives to the company’s senior management team. They are: Grant Rollin, chief financial officer; Rob Pinkham, vice president of marketing; Sharon Cardinal, vice president of merchandising; Gary Connor, vice president of engineering; Tom Loretan, vice president of production and design. Company investors include Sequoia Capital, Oracle Venture Fund, Sumitomo Corporation, The New Economy Fund, Glynn Ventures, Damac Investors Inc., Comdisco Ventures, and others.
SEATTLE — Appliant.com, a technology leader in monitoring Internet infrastructure and applications performance, availability and usage, with a focus on customer performance, named Brian Bershad as chief executive officer. As professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington, Dr. Bershad founded Appliant.com in 1997 to transform the technologies he was working with at the University into commercial products that solve critical problems for e-businesses. Appliant.com has received more than $12 million in funding from ARCH Venture Partners, Venrock Associates, Tredegar Investments Inc., Madrona Investment Group, and Hook Partners.
WATERTOWN, Mass.– HighWired.com, an online community of high schools, announced that Donald R. Young has joined its management team as president and chief executive officer. Young was previously executive vice president for Cabot Corp. In July 1999, Highwired.com raised $7 million in venture funding led equally by Charles River Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners. HighWired.com provides free Web-publishing tools for the five major areas of high school life: classrooms, activities, newspapers, guidance and sports.
rry Machovina Named New CEO of Adauction.com
SAN FRANCISCO– Adauction.com, an exchange that brings media buyers and sellers together in one online marketplace, announced that Jerry Machovina will assume the position of president and chief executive officer of Adauction.com. Most recently, he served as executive vice president of media services for the advertising sales division of AT&T Broadband and Internet Services, the successor company to Tele-Communications Inc. The company has received financing from Amerindo Investment Advisors, Convergence Partners, Fayez Sarofim & Co., Geneva Partners, Lehman Brothers, New Millennium Partners and VIVENTURES Partners.
SAN FRANCISCO — ChemConnect Inc., an Internet exchange for all types of chemicals and plastics, named Robert E. Drury as the company’s chief financial officer. Prior to joining ChemConnect, Drury was senior vice president and corporate treasurer of Sodexho Marriott Services. ChemConnect is backed by Institutional Venture Partners, Weiss, Peck & Greer, Goldman Sachs, CMEA Ventures, and Highland Capital Partners. Andersen Consulting, Dow Chemical Co., Eastman Chemical Co. and Rohm & Haas are also equity investors in ChemConnect.
PORTSMOUTH, N.H.– Bowstreet hired Gary J. Kraemer as CFO and Christopher M. Ronzoni as vice president of professional services to help lead the company in its efforts to transform the Web into an intelligent provider of highly customized business-to-business services. Immediately before joining Bowstreet, Kraemer was vice president of finance and acting CFOat Ezenia! Inc. and Ronzoni was director of business development for USWeb/CKS. Bowstreet has raised $27.6 million Charles River Ventures, Integral Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Matrix Partners and Pequot Capital Management.
PALO ALTO, Calif. — WhiteLight Systems Inc. announced that Richard Ghiossi joined the company as vice president marketing. Ghiossi was most recently vice president of product marketing for General Magic. Prior to that he spent 16 years with Tandem (a Compaq company). Investors in WhiteLight include Warburg, Pincus Ventures L.P. and GE Capital.
SAN FRANCISCO — Further strengthening its commitment to lead the Internet in in-context retailing, eHow.com appointed Josh Prince to the company’s recently established position, vice president of commerce. Prior to joining eHow.com, Prince was the director of the consulting services group at Gap Inc. and senior manager of Andersen Consulting’s strategic services practice, retail and consumer product
s industry group. The company’s investors include Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Media Technology Ventures, GE Financial Assurance, Fingerhut, Freedom Communications, Presidio Venture Partners LLC, Scripps Ventures and select private investors.
PORTLAND, Ore. — ProSight Inc., a new company dedicated to enabling IT to “manage itself like a business,” announced that Barbara Gaffney, former senior vice president of business programs at IBM, NUMA-Q Division, (formerly Sequent Computer Systems), has joined ProSight as vice president of sales and strategic alliances. ProSight received its seed funding from the BRM Group and recently secured a second round of funding from the Prism Opportunity Fund, Sequoia Partners and the BRM Group.
VANCOUVER, Wash.– New Edge Networks appointed Richard E. Baker to the newly created position of chief information officer of the national wholesale DSL provider in underserved small, medium and rural markets. Before joining New Edge Networks, Baker was vice president of information services for CommNet Cellular Inc., Englewood, Colo., which recently merged with Vodafone-AirTouch Communications. Last June, the company completed its first round of equity funding from Accel Partners, Greylock and Crosspoint Venture Partners.
SAN FRANCISCO– Geneva Venture Partners, a seed and early stage venture capital fund, appointed David Parker as a special advisor to Geneva Venture Partners II, a $60 million investment fund in the process of formation. Geneva Venture Partners LP was spun off from GenevaGroup International, an internet and software search firm, in 1997. Parker is co-chairman of Enlighten Software (NASDAQ:SFTW) and board of directors member of several internet companies.
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