New in the News
AbsoluteFuture.com, Agillion, AgriMall.com, asseTrade.com, Bell & Howell, Bidcom, Blue Nile, class.com, Confer Software, CyberSource, DDL Internet Incubator Fund, Driveway, eHealthInsurance.com, Ektron, Enterworks, EqualFooting.com, etang.com, Everest Broadband Networks, EZCD.com, FuelSpot.com, HotData, iMagicTV, InfoRocket, INTERMAT, Intranets.com, i-RealtyAuction.com, ishoni Networks, JustOn, Kasenna, Keen.com, Logistics.com, MayDream, Middleburg Technology Group, Money.net, National Transportation Exchange, Nimble.com, Notus Communications, Novatel Wireless, Nuera Communications, OnlineChoice.com, Onvia.com, OTelNet, perfumania.com, Prefer.com, Saffron Technology, SalesHound.com, Servicesoft Technologies, SIGHTSOUND.COM, SocialNet.com, SOFTBANK, softcom, Sportcut.com, Telecom Partners, Test University, The BigFNI.com, Ultraprise, Umagic.com, Urbana.ca, Venture Strategy, Voter.com, X:drive, Xpede
New in the News
SAN FRANCISCO– Keen.com closed its second round of funding, raising $60 million in operating capital from key investors and strategic partners. The company received its first round of funding from Benchmark Capital. Integral Capital Partners is the lead investor in this round. eBay, Microsoft Corp. and Inktomi also participated. Additional Investors include Amerindo Investment Advisors, Angel Investors LP, Attractor Investment Management, Benchmark Capital, Impact Venture Fund, Pivotal Asset Management, and Vulcan Ventures Inc. Keen.com is the first Live Answer Community, connecting people with questions to people who have answers over the telephone.
SKOKIE, Ill. — Bell & Howell Co. (NYSE:BHW) completed a round of private funding of $55 million for a new K-12 education Internet company. The company will focus on creating a virtual community for teachers, students and parents. Bell & Howell’s ownership position in the company is now slightly less than fifty percent. Infonautics Inc. (Nasdaq: INFO) increased its equity stake in the new company by purchasing approximately 4% of the new company for $3.5 million. Infonautics’ equity interest in the new company is now approximately 20%.
CHICAGO — The National Transportation Exchange Inc., a privately held business-to-business e-commerce company addressing global transportation and logistics needs through a transportation exchange for shippers and carriers, raised $53 million in a fourth round of private equity financing. Generation Partners led the financing, which also included investments by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, AT&T Ventures, CrossPoint Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, divine interVentures, inc., Weiss Peck & Greer and Dell Computer Corp. This is the second round of financing the company has closed in the last six months. FDX Corp. participated in the prior round. The company’s Exchange currently has over 500 members and executes automated buy and sell transactions between shippers and freight carriers.
SAN FRANCISCO — Bidcom Inc., an e-business services provider for the building industry, completed its third round of financing, totaling $46 million. This investment brings the total capital Bidcom has raised to $63 million. Investors included Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq:ICGE), Partech International, the equity and real estate divisions of GE Capital, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), Hines, one of the world’s largest privately-owned real estate firms, and Oracle Venture Fund, part of Oracle Corp. Ron Pressman, president of GE Capital Real Estate, was appointed to the board of directors. Bidcom helps companies manage risk, drive down costs, and complete building projects on time.
SAN FRANCISCO– Driveway secured nearly $45 million in its latest funding round. Lead investors include Generation Partners, Chase Capital Partners, RS Investment Management, Sandler Capital Management and Vantage Point Venture Partners. Driveway initially targeted $25 million for the round, which quickly became oversubscribed. Driveway’s latest financing round comes on the heels of two earlier venture rounds led by Vantage Point Venture Partners and supported by Battery Ventures, which raised $9.5 million. driveway.com offers more than 2 million members a reliable way to access, store and share digital information from any Web-enabled computer.
SUNNYVALE, Calif. — eHealthInsurance.com closed its second round financing totaling $42 million. New investors Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL), and The Sprout Group, the venture capital affiliate of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (NYSE: DLJ), join existing financiers who include Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and Weiss, Peck & Greer Venture Partners. eHealthInsurance.com will use the new financing to expand its selection of health insurance options to address a broader category of individual consumers, small businesses, and seniors.
CONCORD, Mass.– etang.com Inc., the exclusively Chinese language Web site aimed at the youth culture in Mainland China, completed a second round of venture capital financing aggregating over $40 million from a syndicate of investors led by of J.W. Seligman & Co. and Sycamore Partners. Including the first round, led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Sevin Rosen which closed in July 1999, etang has raised over $45 million since its incorporation. etang targets the 18-35 year-old demographic in Mainland China – coined “Generation Yellow” by etang. This group accounted
for 80 percent of China’s Internet users in 1998.
SAN DIEGO– Novatel Wireless Inc., a provider of wireless Internet solutions, completed a $30.4 million equity financing round. The financing was led by Cornerstone Equity Investors LLC. Other investors included MF Private Capital Inc., Gemini Investors and Capital Research & Management Co. The company designs and markets low-cost, turnkey wireless Internet solutions for both mobile and fixed environments.
BURLINGTON, Mass.– Logistics.com is integrating its suite of 15 established optimization-based decision support systems and products — currently an installed base of more than 100 carriers and shippers — with its new Internet-based Digital Transportation Marketplace. Through the company’s DTM, Logistics.com is bringing carriers and shippers together in an independent communications and trading environment, acting as a neutral market maker. The formation of Logistics.com was funded with $30 million from Internet Capital Group (NASDAQ:ICGE).
REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. — Confer Software, a provider of eCare — Web-based solutions for healthcare — completed a $25 million equity financing led by The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. This financing round was supported by seed investor Mayfield Fund along with new investors Frazier & Company, Rho Management & Co. Inc., LiveOak Equity Partners, Salix Ventures, Robertson Stephens, CIBC Oppenheimer, First Consulting Group, JC Bradford, and Matria Healthcare. Yag Patel of Goldman Sachs and Mark Leschly, managing director of Rho Management Company, joined Confer’s board of directors.
ASHBURN, Va.– Enterworks Inc., a provider of dynamic cataloging and process automation solutions for enterprise portals and e-marketplaces, completed a $25 million round of private funding from several institutional investors. General Electric Pension Trust, which is managed by GE Investment Corp., was the lead investor. Other investors include Chartwell Capital Investors II LP, Jefferies & Co. Inc., J. & W. Se
ligman & Co., and Tudor Investment Corp.
SEATTLE — Onvia.com closed a $23.5 million Preferred Series C finance round, assisted by Credit Suisse First Boston. The round was funded by newcomers Van Wagoner Capital Management, Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc., Aman Ventures Inc., and previous investors Internet Capital Group, Mohr Davidow Ventures, GE Capital, Comdisco, and Riverside Ventures. To date, this round brings Onvia.com’s financing to $71.5 million. Onvia.com acts as a business-to-business emarketplace for small businesses by offering a single destination for all the services, products, tools, news, and advice entrepreneurs need to run their business. Onvia.com wasprofiled in VC Watch last summer.
NEW YORK– softcom Inc. completed a $22 million second round of venture financing from a group of institutional and private investors led by J.W. Seligman. Other participants include Allen & Co., Tudor Private Equity Fund, Chilton Capital Management, Warburg Pincus Asset Management, Michael Price, and Essex Investment Management Co., as well as select individuals. Also participating are previous first round investors in the company, including PS Capital Ventures, LLP; Mitchell & Co. Ltd.; and Ramsey Beirne. softcom has developed an interactive video technology that combines video with e-commerce and other interactive applications within a single online display.
DULLES, Va. — Ultraprise Corp. secured $20 million in its third round of funding. The lead investors in the round include some of the largest buyers of whole loans in the secondary market and the most active participants on Ultraprise.Com. The three companies — Citigroup (NYSE:C), First Union (NYSE: FTU) and GE Capital — invested in Ultraprise Corp. through their investment funds and subsidiaries; e-Citi, First Union Capital Partners and GE Equity and GE Mortgage Corporation, respectively. Each company will take a seat on the Ultraprise Corp. board of d
irectors. Previous investors FBR Technology Venture Partners, FBR Financial Fund and Walker Investment Fund also participated in this round. Ultraprise.Com allows financial institutions to buy and sell mortgage loans in a secure, real-time environment using a standard Web browser.
MOUNT LEBANON, Pa.– SIGHTSOUND.COM received a $20 million investment from Intertainment A.G. in cash and stock, subject to regulatory approval. Intertainment A.G. is a German-based distributor of motion pictures in the European and Asian markets and is currently financing many large-budget films in Hollywood. SIGHTSOUND.COM distributes movies and music on the Internet through digital download.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.– SocialNet.com, a place on the Web to find people you “click” with, closed more than $17 million of new investments from a group led by media giant Knight Ridder’s investment unit, Knight Ridder Ventures. New investors Talk City, Tribune Ventures and the Ignite Group as well as current SocialNet.com investors Accel Partners, St. Paul Venture Capital and PRIMEDIA Ventures contributed to this latest round. SocialNet.com is a free service for people who want to make connections with others in their community for aspects of their lives, including romance, work, housing, and leisure.
WASHINGTON– Voter.com received $15 million in venture funding to bring its message of personalized political information to the voting public and the Internet marketplace. Investments of nearly $5 million each came from Charles River Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and Sigma Partners. The Voter.com Website is a forum of balanced partisanship, allowing voters many different views and perspectives on issues and candidates.
BERKELEY, Calif.– OTelNet, a startup that develops next generation network software for telecommunications companies, received $10.3 million in its second round of venture funding. Newbury Ventures, Star Ventures, Barnard and Co. and T-Venture were the primary participants in this latest funding round. In its initial seed funding in 1998, OTelNet received a total of $3 million from Newbury Ventures and Star Ventures. OTelNet also announced the addition of Steven Chang of Barnard & Co., to its board of directors immediately.
AUSTIN, Texas– HotData Inc., a real-time provider of value-added consumer and business information via the Internet, closed a $9 million round of financing led by J.H. Whitney & Co. and joined by existing investors TL Ventures and El Dorado Ventures. In addition, Harte-Hanks (NYSE:HHS) made a strategic investment. This new investment, combined with earlier investments from TL Ventures, El Dorado Ventures, and Rogue Wave Software (Nasdaq:RWAV), brings total funding for the company to $13.5 million. John Hockin of J.H. Whitney has joined the HotData board of directors. HotData provides software products and services for interactive Internet-based data delivery and cleansing, resulting in timely and accurate information for a wide range of commercial applications, including marketing automation, sales force automation, help desk, E-Commerce and ERP solutions.
DULLES, Va.– EqualFooting.com, a B2B marketplace for industrial supplies and equipment, received $8 million in its first round of financing from New Enterprise Associates, FBR Technology Venture Partners, Draper Richards, and former Federal Communications Commission chairman, Reed Hundt. EqualFooting.com named Suzanne King, partner at NEA, and Gene Riechers, managing director of FBR Technology Venture Partners to its board of directors. Implementing a business model that enables immediate price comparisons and bidding options, EqualFooting.com will initially focus on serving smal
l businesses in the manufacturing and construction sectors. Visitors to the site will be privy to over one-half million “in-stock” items, including industrial supplies and new and used equipment.
LINCOLN, Neb.– class.com Inc. completed a $7.5 million financing seed round. class.com provides Internet-based, on-line courses for high school students throughout the world. Investors participating in this round include a large number of regional investors. The University of Nebraska, through its Nebraska Technology Development Corporation, remains the major shareholder in class.com.
SAINT JOHN, NB – iMagicTV, a provider of interactive digital television software for telecommunications companies worldwide, received new equity financing of CDN $10 million (US $6.86 million). Whitecastle Investments Limited of Toronto led the financing with additional equity participation from Centara Investments Limited of Winnipeg and iMagicTV’s employees and directors. iMagicTV provides a software platform that enables telcos worldwide to provide consumers with leading-edge digital and interactive TV services, including Web-based email, Internet browsing and Video on Demand.
WEST ORANGE, N.J.– Worldwide Entertainment & Sports Corp. (NASDAQ:WWES) completed a $6 million private placement of its common stock. The proceeds from the private placement have been and will be used as working capital for Worldwide Entertainment & Sports’ Internet subsidiary, Sportcut.com Inc., and for general corporate purposes. Sportcut.com entertains the user through a combination of content and e-commerce. Sportcut.com cultivates the growing trend of athlete as celebrity and captures the excitement and fan interest by providing users with access to the activities and lifestyles of those celebrities.
CHICAGO– SalesHound.com, an online resource of local retail sales taking place at brick-and-mortar stores, closed a second round of financing of $5.25 million in venture capital from Gabriel Venture Partners and Trident Capital. J. Phillip Samper of Gabriel Venture Partners has joined SalesHound.com’s board of directors. SalesHound.com launched in Kansas City in November and will expand nationally by mid-2000.
LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. — The BigFNI.com completed a $5 million private placement of its common stock through its placement agent, J.P. Turner & Company LLC of Atlanta, Georgia. The company will use the net proceeds from the financing to substantially complete the interfacing of its proprietary credit rating and screening software with the Internet and to launch its consumer credit and insurance web site.
NEW YORK– Prefer.com, a business to business company focused on providing web-based growth solutions to a maturing catalog industry, completed its first round of financing, raising over $4 million. Contributors to the round of financing include: Prospect Street, E-Comm Partners, Draper Richards, Pennell Venture Partners, Ted Pamperin co-founder of J. Crew; and Steve Kahn, chairman and CEO of Delia*s and iTurf.
NEW YORK– Umagic.com received $3.6 million in funding from Wheatley Partners, Woodland Ventures, media investment bank CEA, advertising legend Jay Chiat, and other individual and institutional investors in an oversubscribed bridge round, raising the total capital invested in Umagic Systems Inc. to date to $8 million. Investment bank J.P. Morgan is currently raising an additional $20 million from strategic and venture capital sources. Additional early investors in Umagic include Sandler Media Capital Partners Fund and the partners of Richland Ventures. Umagic.com is a commercial application of a proprietary advanced artificial intelligence technology that enables an Internet application to display an unprecedented level of intelligence, mirroring the thought process and personality of celebrity experts.
NEW YORK– THCG Inc. (NASDAQ:THCG) acquired a 12% stake, for approximately $3 million, in Test University Inc., an Internet-based education company that intends to provide interactive and customized online test preparation courses that help students achieve superior results on standardized examinations. THCG Ventures also committed to provide the company up to an additional $2 million of capital over the next 12 months.
NEW YORK — MayDream, a Paris and New York-based new media company that owns and operates Adforum.com, a worldwide online directory of advertising agencies, received a $3 million first-round investment from 3i, a European venture capital firm. Adforum.com encompasses 7,750 advertising agencies in 113 countries to date and enables users to access agency profiles and creative portfolios online.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.– Saffron Technology Inc. closed on a $2.3 million convertible note bridge financing from The Aurora Funds and private investors. Saffron’s initial product, its proprietary Associative Database, combines the power of smart agents and associative memory technology to provide a new way for eCommerce sites to capture and share user knowledge. Saffron anticipates a Series B preferred stock financing within the first six months of 2000.
NEW YORK — Money.net, an online financial news and information community that offers real-time stock portfolio tracking for free via the Internet, closed it first round of financing in the amount of $2 million. The funding was placed with institutional investors, venture capital funds, and individuals. Proceeds of the placement will go to fund the operating expenses of money.net. Money.net has previously secured financing from C. Blair Asset Management, managed by Chris Blair, former manager of the Morgan Stanley Asset Management Fund.
BELLEVUE, Wash. — AbsoluteFuture.com (OTC BB:AFTI) secured $1 million in new financing through the issue of 4,488,000 shares of restricted common stock. This funding will enable the company to accelerate several new developments, including aggressive marketing of InternetInterview.com, its recruiting site for high tech professionals.
WALTHAM, Mass.– Lycos Ventures LP, a strategic investment fund created by Lycos Inc., (NASDAQ:LCOS), and a world-class group of limited partners, invested $1 million in OnlineChoice.com, a new Web-based consumer service providing individuals with the power of group buying. OnlineChoice.com aggregates customers to maximize buying power by driving prices down using a reverse auction among suppliersTo date, more than 5,000 customers have purchased electricity through OnlineChoice.com’s “Electricity Choice” feature.
NEW YORK — SITI-Sites.com Inc. (OTC BB:SITI) agreed to invest $500,000 in Volatile Media Inc., which does business as EZCD.com, a custom music compilation company. Over 13,000 independent and unsigned artists and 450 labels have adopted EZCD.com’s e-commerce tools to promote and sell their music. Upon closing of the investment, SITI will acquire convertible preferred stock and five-year warrants (exercisable at substantially higher prices) totaling approximately 4% of EZCD’s common stock equity, after conversion and exercise. A similar type investment is being made by another investor, and the privately-held EZCD.com is in the process of raising equity financing on a much larger scale.
LOWELL, Mass. — FuelSpot.com, a business-to-business e-Commerce portal for the refined petroleum products industry, closed its first round of venture capital financing. The multi-million dollar investment in FuelSpot.com was led by Zero Stage Capital. The company expects to raise additional capital early in 2000. FuelSpot.com is a trading, exchange, content and community platform for gasoline and other refined petroleum products.
AMHERST, N.H. — Ektron Inc., a provider of affordable next-generation dynamic Web development and content management solutions, closed its first round of private placement funding. Ektron will use this infusion of capital to expand its global sales and marketing initiatives, including aggressive efforts to integrate, embed and resell its solutions through strategic partners. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.
MIAMI– i-Incubator.com Inc. (OTC BB:INQU) announced its i-RealtyAuction.com Inc. property received its first round of venture financing from Global Realty Management Group Inc. It was a cash and stock-for-stock transaction, terms of which were not disclosed. Global Realty Management Group, is a residential and commercial property manager based in New York City. i-RealtyAuction.com, which will launch within 180 days, will be a nationwide residential and commercial real estate auction site for bidding on properties in a secure environment.
SAN DIEGO– Nuera Communications Inc., a developer of IP telephony solutions, announced a strategic investment from SBC Venture Capital Corp., a subsidiary global telecommunications leader, SBC Communications. Nuera’s technology enables carriers to offer new personalized voice services to their customers. Nuera’s entire product line has been developed to “packetize” voice, fax and data to allow switched packet services, using advanced protocols that facilitate efficient transport and introduction of new services.
SANTA MONICA, Calif.– X:drive, the Internet hard drive company, announced an investment from CNET Inc. (Nasdaq:CNET). CNET will incorporate X:drive services into CNET Download.com, an Internet catalogue of free software downloads. X:drive’s venture partners include Goldman Sachs, eCompanies, Wit Capital, Alex Brown and David Bohnett.
FT. LEE, N.J.– Pequot Capital Management and SOFTBANK Venture Capital helped launch and invested in Everest Broadband Networks, a new company that provides high-speed Internet, digital telecommunication and electronic-community services to commercial, lodging and residential facilities. Everest will also offer a package of Internet applications, such as a portal with access to e-mail, Web hosting, back-up services and video services.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — SGI (NYSE:SGI) has formed a new company out of its successful media streaming server software, SGI MediaBase. SGI will be a significant minority shareholder in the start-up, named Kasenna Inc., and has secured additional funding U.S. Venture Partners, Alloy Ventures and Entertainment Media Ventures. MediaBase was developed by SGI to address all aspects of media serving — including streaming delivery services, networking, content and operations management — all from a Web-based console.
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — eBusiness solutions and services provider Navidec Inc. (Nasdaq:NVDC) announced its latest eBusiness incubation project. Navidec will design and implement a comprehensive eBusiness solution for MBT International (OTC BB: MBTIE), an industry-specific Internet portal developer. Navidec has also taken an equity interest in the firm. Navidec will transform MBTI’s AgriMall.com web site into a full service agricultural Internet portal. The initial part of the multi-phase project is expected to launch in spring of 2000.
BOSTON — Intranets.com, a provider of a free intranet portal, announced a joint venture with Hikari Tsushin to offer free intranets to the Japanese market. Last month, Hikari Tsushin led Intranets.com’s $20 million second round of venture capital funding. The service will launch in Japan this quarter. The joint venture targeting Japan’s five million small and mid-sized businesses will be hosted in Japan and offer localized content, support and services.
NEW YORK — Rare Ventures, the investment arm of Rare Medium Group Inc. (Nasdaq:RRRR), completed the acquisition of Notus Communications Inc., a privately held Internet communications company that has developed a business-to-business Internet Unified Messaging technology solution. This is Rare Medium’s sixth incubator company. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The enhanced messaging service from Notus Communications provides users with their own phone number for voicemail, fax, and e-mail. Users can listen to voicemail messages and view faxes on their computer, listen to e-mail messages over the phone, or forward faxes and voicemail messages to any e-mail account as attachments, all for free.
PROVO, Utah — Novell Inc. (Nasdaq:NOVL) announced its acquisition of JustOn Inc., a provider of hosted Internet file sharing and publishing services. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. JustOn’s hosted Internet services enable users to store, share, manage and publish files on the Internet.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — CyberSource Corp. (Nasdaq:CYBS), a provider of a suite of outsourced real-time eCommerce transaction services, acquired privately held ExpressGold Inc., a developer of an Internet stored value platform and a leader in the private-label, Internet-based gift certificates market for online businesses. The acquisition and the addition of an Internet Stored Value platform allows CyberSource to offer a variety of new merchant services, beginning with virtual and physical gift certificates, corporate incentive certificates and promotional certificates. CyberSource will issue approximately 1.6 million shares of CyberSource common stock (worth about $70 million) to purchase all of the issued and outstanding capital stock of ExpressGold and will assume ExpressGold’s outstanding employee stock options and stock purchase rights. ExpressGold is closely held by its founders and employees.
MIAMI — Perfumania Inc. (Nasdaq:PRFM), a large national perfumery chain, received $12 million from the sale of two million shares of perfumania.com (Amex: PF) common stock to Alta Limited, a European investment firm. As a result of this transaction, Perfumania Inc. will own two million shares of perfumania.com, of which Alta Limited may acquire prior to Dec. 31, 2000, 500,000 at the price of $8.00 per share.
ONTARIO, CANADA– Urbana.ca Inc. (OTC BB:URBA), an Internet and content company providing community-based
entertainment and information services, closed its two most recent acquisitions. The company acquired 100% beneficial right title and interest in all the issued and outstanding shares of Urbana Enterprises Corp. and Enersphere.com Inc. Urbana Enterprises Corp. is a distributor of the world’s first Linux-based Set-Top Box, manufactured by Eagle Wireless Inc. Enersphere.com Inc. is a content company that utilizes the STBs as their medium to deliver various Internet and Intranet services on a localized basis to communities across North America. The aggregate purchase price to acquire Enersphere.com is 4.5 million restricted common shares in the capital of the corporation and cash payments totaling US$122,999. The total consideration paid to acquire Urbana Enterprises Corp. is 3 million restricted common shares in the capital of the corporation.
BEDFORD, Mass. — PSDI (Nasdaq:PSDI), a provider of enterprise asset maintenance systems and MRO e-Commerce systems, signed a definitive agreement to purchase INTERMAT Inc., a provider of MRO content management tools and cataloging services. PSDI will acquire the capital stock of INTERMAT from Strategic Distribution Inc. (Nasdaq: STRD) for approximately $55 million.
NORTHFIELD, Ill.– Entrade Inc. (NYSE:ETA), a business-to-business e-commerce company, agreed to acquire by merger an additional 14.65 percent equity interest in the privately-owned asseTrade.com, doubling its holding to 29.3 percent. Entrade Inc. will acquire the additional shares from Positive Asset Remarketing Inc. for an undisclosed number of Entrade Inc. common shares in a transaction expected to close in April 2000. Internet Capital Group Inc. (Nasdaq:ICGE) made an equity investment of approximately $11.5 million (a 25.3% equity interest) in asseTrade.com in September 1999.
NATICK, Mass — Servicesoft Technologies Inc., a provider of eService product solutions, merged with eServices consulting firm, Internet Business Advantages Inc. Servicesoft Technologies’s flagship product eCenter is a robust knowledge base and includes applications for self-help, e-mail response and live customer interaction. Investors in Servicesoft include Sigma Partners, Internet Capital Group (NASDAQ:ICGE) , Gemini, Sofinov, JL Albright, Grey Advertising (NASDAQ:GREY), FT Ventures, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and CIBC Capital Partners.
DENVER– Telecom Partners officially closed its third fund, Telecom Partners III LP, the largest venture capital fund based in Colorado and among the largest communications-focused funds in the United States. The $500 million fund will invest primarily in start-up and early stage communications service providers operating in the areas of broadband last mile networks, Internet applications and wireless networks in both domestic and international markets. Among the investors in Telecom Partners III are the Washington State Investment Board, Brinson Partners, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Virginia Retirement System, Norwest Equity Capital, Pantheon Ventures, HarbourVest Partners and Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America.
TOKYO and NEWTON CENTER, Mass.– SOFTBANK CORP. established a new venture capital fund focusing primarily on the Internet market in Latin America. The fund, called SOFTBANK Latin America Ventures, will be principally funded by SOFTBANK, with potential additional participation by strategic limited partners. SBLV’s first fund, with commitments of $100 million, will become operational in late January. Jan Boyer as managing general partner will head the operations of the new fund in Latin America. SOFTBANK Latin America Ventures is the latest of SOFTBANK’s global Internet initiatives. In December SOFTBANK announced the formation of SOFTBANK Holdings Korea, a joint venture with Naray Telecom. Last year SOFTBANK also established @viso, a joint venture with Vivendi that is developing Internet companies in Continental Europe, eVentures, a joint venture with News Corp. focusing on the U.K., eVentures Australia, eVentures New Zealand and eVentures India.
SAN FRANCISCO– Venture Strategy, an early stage venture capital fund, announced it surpassed the halfway mark with $55 million on their second fund, VS-2, targeted to be a $100+ million venture capital fund. Venture Strategy completed the first close with existing investors along with a group of new investors. VS-2 is geared towards developing long-term capital appreciation through equity investments in emerging companies that are at the nexus of technology and brand. Venture Strategy founder, Joanna Rees Gallanter, is the managing partner of VS-2. Venture Strategy’s first fund completed its final close in March 1999 raising over $25 million.
ARLINGTON, Va. — Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc. (NYSE:FBR) has formed a strategic alliance with London-based Dawnay, Day Lander Ltd., the U.K.’s first Internet-focused corporate finance and venture capital firm. As part of this agreement, FBR will raise $20 million for the DDL Internet Incubator Fund, and has purchased a minority equity interest in DDL. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. DDL’s Internet Incubator supports promising Internet companies based in the U.K and Continental Europe. DDL specializes in advising and investing in early-stage Internet companies. It is led by Guy Naggar, chairman of DDL, and Jonathan Lander, DDL’s chief executive.
MIDDLEBURG, Va.– The Middleburg Technology Group opened a state-of-the-art incubator facility which will host and nurture a number of hand-chosen technology microbusinesses on-site. The new Middleburg Technology setting includes secure and dedicated space featuring high speed Internet access with centralized business and support services. Assistance in accessing venture capital is available, as is legal support, management development and provisions for technology and marketing assessment. Several professional service partners have agreed to offer MTI members their services and/or products in exchange for equity positions giving them a vested interest in the success of the business.
Who’s Who & Where
AUSTIN, Texas — Agillion, an Internet business service provider for small and medium-sized businesses, added three key executives to its management team. Dave Henkel, former chief financial officer for Prodigy, joins Agillion as its chief financial officer; Mary Oliver, former vice president of marketing for the small business division of American Express, as executive vice president of sales, marketing and business development; and Paula Ellis, former director of corporate marketing for IBM’s Tivoli Systems division, as vice president of corporate communications. Agillion is backed by more than $40 million in first-round financing by lead investor Goldman Sachs & Co., and by Cisco Systems, Morgan Stanley & Co., Integral Capital Partners, MSD Capital, and Hambrecht & Quist.
SEATTLE– Nimble.com, a company behind advanced extensible markup language (XML) technology for business and consumer applications, named former Microsoft and drugstore.com executive Suzan DelBene as its new CEO. She replaces Nimble.com co-founder Linden Rhoads who served as interim CEO for the company since its inception in June 1999. Rhoads will remain with the company as a member of its board of directors. Nimble.com’s lead investors are ARCH Venture Partners and Madrona Investment Group.
NEW YORK– InfoRocket, a Silicon Alley company backed by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Prospect Street Ventures and Garage.com, appointed Beth Haggerty as president and chief executive officer. Haggerty joins the company from the Go Network where she was senior vice president of business development and worldwide sales.
SANTA CLARA, Calif.– ishoni Networks appointed three specialists to round out its management team: Greg S. Gum was named VP of business development, Virendra Kirloskar was appointed VP of finance and Deepak Satya joined as director of product marketing. ishoni Networks investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Infinity Capital LLC/Information Technology Ventures and Invesco.
SEATTLE — Blue Nile, an online resource for buying diamonds and diamond jewelry, announced the appointment of Diane Irvine as chief financial officer. Prior to joining Blue Nile, Diane Irvine served as vice president and CFO for Plum Creek Timber Company, a publicly held forest products company, where she oversaw $750 million in acquisitions. Blue Nile’s initial investors were: Bessemer Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. In October 1999, these investors were joined by Weiss, Peck & Greer Venture Partners, Integral Capital Partners, and Comdisco Ventures.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Xpede Inc., a provider of online loan solutions, announced that Michael DeVico has joined the company as chief operating officer. DeVico spent the past 10 years at Bank of America, most recently as executive vice president and head of strategic development and business solutions for Bank of America’s Integrated eCommerce Division. The company is funded by Mayfield Fund, Rosewood Capital and Arbor Investors.
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