New in the News
Adventureseek, Barrington Partners, BIGWORDS.com, Eclectic Radio, edocs, EDS – A.T. Kearney Ventures, eHatchery, Embion, Evisor, Fast Search & Transfer, gazoontite.com, GrooveTone.com, InfoNow, InfoSpace.com, NetCel360, reflect.com, StarVox, Sterling Vision
New in the News
SAN FRANCISCO– gazoontite.com, a multi-channel e-tailer offering products, services and information in the asthma, allergy and respiratory market, raised $26.5 million from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Oak Investment Partners. Existing investors Doll Capital Management and Baccharis Capital Inc. also contributed to the investment.
SAN JOSE, Calif.– StarVox Inc., a developer of enhanced voice application software for converging networks, completed a third round of funding. The new funding, totaling $20 million, attracted first time investment from Invesco Private Capital, Transpac Capital Private Limited and CDIB Venture Management (USA) Inc. The company’s current investors – Aspen Ventures, Compass Technology Partners, Information Technology Ventures, and Novus Ventures – all participated in the funding.
DENVER — InfoNow Corp. (OTCBB:INOW) announced an agreement with a group of institutional investors for a $16 million equity investment in the company. The investor group includes affiliates of Soros Private Equity Partners LLC, two investment funds advised by Putnam Investments, and Stolberg Equity Partners LLC, an affiliate of Stolberg, Meehan & Scano II, L.P. Under the terms of the financing, the investor group will purchase 800,000 shares of preferred stock from the company. The preferred stock is priced at $20.00 per share and is convertible into approximately three million common shares at the option of the purchaser. After the first anniversary of the closing date, the preferred stock will automatically convert if certain stock performance criteria have been met. The financing is to be completed in two rounds. InfoNow expects to complete the first round of five million dollars on or about Dec. 31, 1999. The second closing for the remainder of the investment is expected to be on or about Jan. 24, 2000.
MINNEAPOLIS — Embion Inc. and ProviderLinks.com have merged, creating a next generation procurement service provider for the healthcare industry. The merged company, operating under the name Embion Inc., provides business-to-business e-commerce and information solutions to physician offices, medical clinics and outpatient surgery centers. The company will have offices in Minneapolis and California. Embion raised $10 million from Acacia Venture Partners, San Francisco, and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Ventures, Minneapolis.
BOULDER, Colo.– Eclectic Radio, a three-year-old Internet radio company, best known as the creator of GoGaGa.com, closed its first outside financing. Participants in the round include Roser Ventures, of Boulder, Colorado, Wolf Ventures, of Denver, and I-Hatch Ventures, based in New York City, as well as several individual investors. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — GrooveTone.com received seed-funding from eConception, an Internet business incubator that recently closed itsinitial round of funding for over $7.5 million in private equity fundraising. In addition to the ability to purchase CDs and merchandise related to Americana music, fans can also listen to digital downloads, online radio and more unique content at http://www.GrooveTone.com.
BRUSSELS, Belgium– PricewaterhouseCoopers, a large professional services organization, acquired a 50 percent interest in Evisor, a web design organization based in Belgium that specializes in the development and implementation of web sites and web-enabled business applications. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ investment in Evisor is the latest in a series of investments by the management consulting practice to enhance its ability to deliver total e-business solutions to global companies. Evisor was founded in 1998 by Lode Vandermeulen and Jan Teblick and the venture capitalist company Arkos Invest.
ATLANTA– United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) has taken an equity position and has entered into a strategic alliance with NetCel360 Limited, the first pan-Asian provider of total Internet-based e-commerce outsourcing solutions. As part of the agreement, the UPS Logistics Group is providing NetCel360 with supply chain management services including warehouse management, service parts logistics, and logistics technology. Hong Kong-based NetCel360 was established by Phillip E. Kelly, former president of Dell Computer Asia-Pacific.
SEATTLE– Outdoor retailer Recreational Equipment Inc. acquired a minority equity stake in Adventureseek, an online portal for active travelers. REI will be the exclusive travel and outdoor gear provider on Adventureseek, while Adventureseek’s travel services will be featured on REI’s web site REI.com. The two companies will also pursue joint marketing opportunities. REI’s investment in Adventureseek, an initial 10 percent equity stake with options to acquire an additional 10 percent, allows Adventureseek to accelerate the addition of new services and products. Matt Hyde, REI’s vice president of online sales, will serve on the Adventureseek board of directors. In addition to REI, investors include Baccharis Capital; the partners of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice; the former chairman and CEO of Rand McNally & Company; the former president of Ziff-Davis Inc. and bankers from Hambrecht & Quist.
WALTHAM, Mass. and OSLO, Norway– Lycos Inc. (NASDAQ:LCOS), an Internet portal and online community, entered into an agreement to acquire stock and warrants to purchase up to 15 percent in Fast Search & Transfer, an Internet search technology provider based in Oslo, Norway, and traded on the OTC market. As part of the agreement, Bob Davis, president and CEO of Lycos will join FAST’s board of directors. Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) also agreed to acquire stock and warrants to purchase approximately 4 percent in FAST.
NEW YORK– Rare Medium Inc., the Web consulting services arm of Rare Medium Group Inc. (Nasdaq:RRRR), and Sterling Vision Inc. (Nasdaq: ISEE), have signed an agreement to develop a world-class, web-based, optical portal business. In addition to a cash payment, Rare Medium will receive an equity interest in Sterling Vision. Sterling Vision is one of one of the oldest U.S. operators of corrective laser surgery centers and one of the largest retail optical chains in the United States.
PLANO, Texas – Global information technology services company EDS (NYSE:EDS) announced plans to form EDS – A.T. Kearney Ventures. This new e-business fund will focus its investments on Internet and B2B companies over five years. When fully funded at $1.5 billion, it will enable EDS to take equity positions in its Internet-based clients, primarily those that are either consulting clients or alliance partners. EDS also announced the fund’s first investments: EDS CoNext and Tradex Technologies Inc. Plans call for half of the seed money for the new unit will be committed by eds in the next five years. the other half will be funded by others, including clients and select private equity funds. the fund will be co-headed by Rick Deney, EDS senior vice president of corporate strategy and development, and David Asper, an A.T. Kearney vice president.
REDMOND, Wash. — InfoSpace.com (Nasdaq:INSP), a provider of infrastructure services to Web sites, merchants and wireless devices, announced the formation of the InfoSpace.com Venture Capital Fund in order to pursue strategic investments in start-up Internet companies that are synergistic to InfoSpace.com’s business. InfoSpace.com will contribute $30 million to the fund that will go into effect on January 1, 2000. Bernee Strom, who has served as president and chief operating officer at InfoSpace.com, will become president of the fund and will continue to serve as a director of InfoSpace.com.
BELMONT, Calif.– Barrington Partners, a venture catalyst partnership in Silicon Valley and Boston, raised $10 million to expand its commitments of seed capital to Internet start-up ventures. Barrington’s current portfolio of seed investments include E-Loan.com (Nasdaq:EELN), SpeedyClick.com, and zipRealty.com.
Who’s Who & Where
SAN FRANCISCO– reflect.com, an interactive, personalized beauty service created solely for the Internet, announced the appointment of former Hasbro U.S. toy sector president Virginia “Ginger” Kent as chief executive officer and member of the board of directors. The company was formed in September by Procter & Gamble and Institutional Venture Partners (which recently merged with Brentwood Venture Capital to form Redpoint Ventures).
SAN FRANCISCO– BIGWORDS.com, an online textbook retailer and an e-commerce provider for 18-24 year-olds, announced that Richard McKinley has joined the company as chief financial officer. McKinley joins BIGWORDS.com from Gap Inc., where he was most recently VP of finance for Old Navy. BIGWORDS.com is funded by 21st Century Internet Venture Partners and Geocapital Partners.
NATICK, Mass. — edocs, a provider of Internet billing software solutions, named three veteran executives, Phyllis Doherty, Dan Kielar and Jeff Barnett, to senior management positions. Doherty was appointed chief financial officer, Kielar is the new director of strategic accounts and Barnett will serve as director of international operations. The companyrecently received funding from GE Capital.
ATLANTA– eHatchery, a next-generation e-business incubator, announced the addition of Mike Dickerson to the eHatchery management team. Mr. Dickerson will serve as entrepreneur in residence as well as director of eCeleration, eHatchery’s patent-pending process that anticipates and plans for each critical event within the e-business incubation timeframe. A member of the Atlanta Technology Angels group, Dickerson served as acting CEO for an online apparel retailer and currently serves as an advisor for companies such as Pivotal Communications, Wired Retail Network, Insider Advantage, Interactive Apparel and Figleaves. eHatchery institutional investors include idealab!, United Parcel Service, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Botts & Company.
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