Done Deals: Freeman Spogli Bolsters WebVision –

Freeman Spogli & Co. this month invested $18.4 million in WebVision, an e-business services provider, leading a $45 million third round of financing for the company.

The deal marks the latest in a series of early-stage Internet-related transactions for Los Angeles-based Freeman Spogli.

WebVision focuses on building the infrastructure that enables companies to launch Internet-based businesses.

Mark Doran, a managing director at Freeman Spogli, said e-commerce-enabling companies are undergoing hyper-growth, and his firm wants to take full advantage of everything the Internet has to offer.

The services WebVision provides are in great demand, Doran said. The growth of the Internet economy coupled with the high cost of buying software and a shortage of IT professionals perpetuates the demand for Web and application hosting, as well as management services, he added.

Doran also described the deal as an early-stage investment in a company that operates within a well-proven model, making it less risky.

Other investors in this round of financing include Goldman Sachs, with $7.5 million; TL Ventures and SCP Private Equity Partners, with $5 million each; Denota Ventures, with $5 million; and $3.5 million divided among several other private investors.

Combined with $17 million raised from rounds one and two, WebVision has acquired $62 million in equity financing in the past 12 months.

This latest round will help the company roll out its Internet data centers.

Torrance, Calif.-based WebVision’s customers include Toshiba, Visa, Seagate, First American Financial and International Rectifier.

Freeman Spogli’s other Internet investments include MVP.com, Greenlight.com, PartsAmerica.com and Miadora.

Even though it may appear that the firm’s investment strategy is beginning to lean toward early-stage deals, Doran said that is far from true.

Freeman Spogli invests in companies positioned for growth, he said, and will not commit more than 10% of its current fund to early-stage deals.

Fund IV closed on $915 million in 1998.