Private Equity Week for Tuesday 4/3

BETHESDA, MD — Beacon Global Advisors (BGA) reported today that its Private Equity Fund I, Ltd., which closed on March 31, 2000, already has redistributed 41 percent of its invested capital to investors. The Fund will distribute an additional 19 percent within the next four weeks, BGA announced. This distribution represents a liquidation of the Funds holdings in one of the twelve portfolio companies. The investment objective of the BGA Private Equity Fund I is to produce an above-average rate of return consistent with prudent risks. Though it focuses in large part on technology companies, the Fund does not exclude companies in other sectors if they represent viable business opportunities. The Fund’s pre- money valuations for the companies to be invested in generally range from $5 million for early-stage financings and up to $100 million plus for post-IPOs.

NATICK, MA — OutStart Inc., a leading provider of comprehensive e-learning technology and service solutions to enterprises, today announced that the company has secured a $10M equity investment from Sigma Partners. The investment will enable OutStart to accelerate the expansion of its North American sales team, increase the scope of the company’s professional services offerings, build a significant European presence and expand the product footprint and leadership position.

SAN FRANCISCO — Progress-Putnam Lovell Advisors LLC today announced its fourth investment under the California Public Employees’ Retirement System Manager Development Program (CalPERS MDP). The CalPERS MDP is investing a total of $3.0 million in Philippe Investment Management, Inc., a New York based woman-owned firm specializing in international growth equity investment strategies. In addition, CalPERS MDP will allocate to Philippe $150 million in assets to manage as an International Equity portfolio. Progress-Putnam Lovell Advisors LLC is a joint venture between Progress Investment Management Company, one of the country’s leading multi-manager investment management specialists and a member of the Liberty Financial Companies, Inc. (NYSE: L) family of companies, and Putnam Lovell Capital Partners Inc., the private capital affiliate of investment bank Putnam Lovell Securities Inc.

TORONTO, CANADA — Datawire Communication Networks, developer of the revolutionary VXN(TM) fault-tolerant distributed e-transaction network, today announced its second round of financing in the amount of $9.15 million US. This second round of financing was lead by Telesystem Ltd., a private equity company of the Digital Economy, with additional investments by NB Capital Venture Partners and Andwel Partners.

NEW YORK — Q-Link Technologies, Inc., the leading business process management software firm, announced today that it has completed a first closing on a $3.5 million Series A round led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham Ventures, with the participation of Eyes of Texas Partners. The Tampa (FL) based company plans to use the funding for sales, marketing and infrastructure expenditures.

MENLO PARK, CA — Canaan Partners, a national venture capital investment firm, today announced that Brent Ahrens has joined the firm’s healthcare investment team to research and manage investments in the healthcare field. Ahrens joined Canaan in 1999 through the Kauffman Fellows Program, which is designed to train future venture capitalists and future leaders of high-growth companies through education and hands-on experience. Prior to joining Canaan, Ahrens worked for General Surgical Innovations, a venture-backed start-up in the medical device industry. Previously, he worked for a division of Johnson & Johnson in several roles including product development, patent analysis, market research, and business development. Ahrens also spent five years at IAP Research, a defense contractor, conducting research for the Strategic Defense Initiative. He holds both a BS and a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

PALO ALTO, CA — Despite the recent sell-off in optical networking stocks, the optical components and subsystems sectors are well positioned to provide handsome returns for high-growth investors during the next 10 years. The conclusions, contained in a new report, “Optical Components and Subsystems,” were published today by Crescendo Ventures, a global early-stage investment firm specializing in communications and Internet infrastructure. Two of the report’s key findings are that: (1) The transition from 10 Gbps to 40 Gbps systems and higher, requires very substantial improvements and evolutions in component technologies, materials and manufacturing processes such as the development, for example, of a cost-effective PMD compensator and InP (Indium Phosphide) based high-speed electronics and (2) To drive the adoption of optical technology beyond long-haul networks, the industry needs to change its emphasis from focusing on performance to optimizing or reducing cost. This necessitates new materials and processes that will produce integrated components.

MENLO PARK, CA — The Sprout Group announced today that the firm led the Series B preferred equity financing of Atesto Technologies, which provides an automated web testing service to save time and money for businesses. Sprout invested $12 million of the $15 million round, which included investments from existing investors Labrador Ventures, Draper Richards, Staenberg Capital and Wilson Sonsini Ventures.

STAMFORD, CT — OutlookSoft Corp., developer of the market’s first enterprise analytic portal, has closed its third round of funding through the sale of Series C preferred stock totaling $19 million. GE Equity led the round with Merrill Lynch Ventures, ML Taurus, and Pequot Private Equity also participating. With this round of funding, OutlookSoft expects to reach profitability.

CHAPEL HILL, NC — The 2001 Venture Capital Investment Competition(R), which prepares M.B.A. students nationwide to be responsible venture capitalists and successful entrepreneurs, announces the winners of its national finals competition. The VCIC, held March 29-31, 2001, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, drew finalists from the nation’s top business schools. The team from Yale University, a first-time participant in the event, won the competition and received a check for $10,000. The University of Maryland came in second, earning $5,000. Washington University in St. Louis came in third, winning $3,000.

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Global Technologies, announced that it has entered into a common stock purchase agreement with Equilink Capital Partners LLC whereby Equilink will buy up to $25.0 million of Global Technologies’ common stock. Funding of the $25.0 million shall occur from time to time after the Securities & Exchange Commission has declared effective a registration statement covering the shares of common stock to be purchased by Equilink Capital Partners.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — VitalLink Business Systems has received additional funding under the terms of its recently announced third round financing commitment, bringing its round C financing total to $26 million. Riverside Management Group led the funding alongside Crosspoint Venture Partners, VitalLink’s original funding partner, and Lafayette Equity Fund.

For yesterday’s Wire, click here.