Global Invests in

Inspired by the success of Internet holding companies Internet Capital Group and CMGI Corp., scores of publicly traded investment entities are bypassing limited partnerships in favor of direct investments in early-stage and under-valued technology companies.

Philadelphia-based Global Technologies Ltd., which is traded on the Nasdaq exchange, incubates and manages growth-stage technology companies in the e-commerce, networking solutions, telecommunications and gaming industries. Last week, the firm invested $1 million for a 4% equity stake in

New York-based is an online shopping community that provides cash rewards to members for shopping on participating merchant Web sites.

“We like how the company is positioned to get to its customers,” said Irwin Gross, chief executive of Global Technologies. “They will help us in developing shopping Internets and intranets for our other portfolio companies.”

Gross was specifically referring to The Network Connection Inc., of which Global Technologies owns an 81% equity stake. The Network Connection designs, manufactures and installs interactive information and entertainment systems that deliver video on demand to cruise ships, trains and hotels.

Additional portfolio companies include networking company U.S. Wireless Corp., which has generated a 500% return since last May’s investment, and an as yet-unnamed online lottery based in England. Gross said the company will close its fifth investment in the next few weeks.