Private Equity Week Wire for Tuesday 4/24

NEW YORK — Inc., a leader in the field of Web site globalization and language solutions, today announced that the company has closed its first round of Series A financing. Deutsche Asset Management, through its affiliate Deutsche Bank Sharps Pixley, Inc., led the financing round with an investment of $2.5 million. Other investors in the company include advertising legend Jay Chiat, Scient founder, Eric Greenberg, and Pennell Venture Partners, a venture capital fund.

OTTAWA — BitFlash announced today that it has closed US $15.45 million in venture capital funding. Hot on the heels of the launch of the BitFlash Mobility Suite last month, this influx of cash gives the company more momentum to take command of the wireless Internet graphics software industry. In this latest round of financing, VenGrowth Capital, Skypoint Capital Corporation, Working Ventures, CBC Pension Fund and co-leader BMO Nesbitt Burns Equity Partners among other private investors are investing in the wireless software development platform company.

TORONTO — MDS Capital Corp. is pleased to announce the successful completion of a $17 million private placement in Excel-Tech Ltd. (“XLTEK”). MDS Capital Corp. led the transaction and Funds managed by MDS invested $10 million including the MDS Life Sciences Technology Fund, Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund and SC Biotechnology Development Fund. Other participating investors included Covington Capital, and Yorkton Securities. The net proceeds from the offering will be used to support the increased demand for the company’s technology, expand customer service, research and development and general working capital purposes.
WASHINGTON, DC ? Allied Capital Corporation (Nasdaq: ALLC) today announced that it hasbeen cleared to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange, and will begin trading on June 6, 2001under the symbol “ALD”. This listing transfer to the NYSE underscores Allied Capital?s position as one of theleading publicly traded private equity firms in the United States.Bill Walton, Chairman and CEO, remarked, “As Allied Capital has grown and prospered, our fundamentals andtrading characteristics have continued to attract both retail and institutional investors. We believe our move tothe NYSE will establish the Allied Capital name more firmly with investors in the United States and abroad.Our move to the NYSE is just one more visible sign of Allied Capital?s commitment to increase value for ourshareholders. Nasdaq has been a strong partner for Allied Capital for more than 40 years, and we thank Nasdaqfor its support and high quality of service.”

SUNNYVALE, CA & SANTA ROSA, CA — Symmorphix Inc., a developer of amplifying planar integrated components (APICs), today announced that it has secured approximately $13 million in venture equipment leasing. The new funds will be used to purchase manufacturing equipment and expand facilities for the company’s revolutionary new family of distributed amplification components, which will improve optical network equipment performance and scalability. A syndicate of leading venture capital firms, led by Dominion Capital Management and including GATX Ventures and Third Coast Capital, will supply the new funds.

SANTA MONICA, CA — TheBrain Technologies Corp., the leading provider of visual knowledge environments, today announced that it has received a $16 million equity investment from a group of investors led by GE Equity, the private equity arm of General Electric Company. Key participants in the round also included Accenture Technology Ventures, the venture capital unit of Accenture, and TH Lee.Putnam Internet Partners (THLi), a $1.1 billion private equity fund. Proceeds from the financing will be used to expand the company’s sales, marketing and product development efforts. In conjunction with the investment, Pierre Casanova of GE Equity, Joel Friedman of Accenture Technology Ventures and Christine Kim of THLi joined the company’s board of directors.

SAN JOSE, CA — Sevin Rosen Funds, a top-tier, early stage venture capital firm, today announced four new appointments. The additions include three new venture partners: Murray Freeman, John Oxaal and Rosemary Remacle; and an executive-in-residence, George Schneer. Murray Freeman has worked with technology companies for 27 years starting with Mostek, a pioneer in DRAMS. Freeman will help the firm’s portfolio companies develop expansion plans into international markets, evaluate deals based on his technical expertise and support the growing number of ventures based in Austin, Texas. John Oxaal has been appointed to venture partner after serving as a Sevin Rosen Funds entrepreneur-in-residence since 1999. In 1992, he co-founded and served as CEO of VolumetricsMedical Imaging, which developed the world’s first real-time 3D ultrasound imaging system for hospitals and clinics. Rosemary Remacle has over 20 years of experience spanning several technology sectors in business planning, strategy development, competitive analysis and positioning and branding. Remacle runs Sevin Rosen Funds’ MarketFocus Services, which has grown out of the firm’s long history of closely supporting its portfolio companies. MarketFocus helps companiesdrive their marketing and growth, which is often where start-ups need the most help. George Schneer has over 35 years of experience as an executive and management consultant in technology businesses. He serves on the boards of several start-up companies and currentlyis the interim president and CEO of Ethertronics, a Sevin Rosen Funds venture developing RF antennas for mobile wireless applications. During his career, Schneer has held several executivepositions at Intel and was a founding director of Sematech, an industry consortium. Prior to that he spent many years in research and development at Bell Telephone Laboratories. Schneer leverages his extensive operational experience by helping the executive teams of the firm’s portfolio companies define and build the type of business infrastructure required forsuccess.

LAFAYETTE, CA — Logilent, a leading provider of e-Learning for the IT industry, today announced that the company has secured a total of $14million at the completion of its Series C round of funding. The investors, led by Mellon Ventures, also include Sigma Partners and Novus Ventures (previous investors), iMinds, andCompass Technology Partners. Logilent will use the new round of venture funding to expand its customer base through strategic partnerships with corporations whose businesses rely heavilyon IT infrastructure. In addition, Logilent has formed strategic partnerships with Cisco, Novell and Microsoft to provide online training for their certification programs.

MENLO PARK, CA — Sprout Group, a leading venture capital firm, today named Joshua Goldman, former President and CEO of mySimon Inc.,as an entrepreneur in residence. In his new role, Goldman will provide strategic advice to Sprout’s existing portfolio companies while developing plans for his next new venture. Goldman is resuming his relationship with Sprout Group, which was the lead investor in mySimon when he served as CEO. Sprout helped Goldman lead mySimon through a period ofrapid growth, resulting in CNET’s (NASDAQ:CNET) acquisition of the company for $736 million in February of 2000. In addition to his new role at Sprout, Goldman recently joined theboard of Synaptics, a human-interface design and engineering company currently in IPO registration. Sprout Group is a lead investor in Synaptics. Goldman joined mySimon in November 1998 as the Vice President of Marketing, and was named President and Chief Executive the following year. Previously, Goldman served as Partnerand Vice President of Business Solutions at USWeb Corporations (later acquired and renamed MarchFirst (NASDAQ:MRCH)), Vice President of Technology at Softbank Content Services,and held multiple marketing and business development roles at Apple Computer Inc.

CHELMSFORD, MA — Paceline Systems, a developer of data center networking products, announced today it has received $20 million in financing from top-tier venture capitalists. The funds will enable Pacelineto develop data center networking products based on InfiniBand(TM) technology, a new switching technology that interconnects servers, storage systems and communications equipment in ahigh performance network. The series B financing was led by BancBoston Ventures and included Commonwealth Capital Ventures, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, Kodiak Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs andprominent individuals from the networking industry. The new funds will enable the company to expand its staff of experienced hardware and software engineers and to purchase productdevelopment materials. The company received $1.5 million in seed financing from Kodiak Venture Partners last year.

HAYWARD, CA — Kosan Biosciences Incorporated (Nasdaq:KOSN) announced today that its Chairman and CEO and funds affiliated with AltaPartners have purchased the entire stock position of a pre-IPO investor in Kosan. The 1,502,931 shares of unregistered Common Stock were purchased by Alta BioPharma Partners II, LLC,Alta Embarcadero BioPharma Partners II and Daniel V. Santi from AG Biotech Capital, LLC in a private placement. Alta Partners was Kosan’s initial venture capital investor, and participated in each of Kosan’s pre-IPO financings. Prior to this purchase, other funds affiliated with Alta owned a total of1,194,937 shares of Kosan common stock. AG Biotech had been an investor in Kosan since April 1998. Dr. Peter Davis, a member of the Executive Committee of Pulsar International, S.A.,an affiliate of AG Biotech Capital, will continue as a member of Kosan’s board of directors, a capacity he has served in since April, 1998.

ST. PAUL, MN — The St. Paul Companies (NYSE:SPC) today announced first-quarter 2001 operating earnings from continuing operations of $173.9 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, compared with$150.3 million, or $0.63 per share in the first quarter of 2000. “These strong results demonstrate that the aggressive refocusing of our business we have pursued over the past two years has positioned us extremely well to benefit from tighteninginsurance market conditions,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Douglas W. Leatherdale. “Based on our performance to date and trends we see in the market, and barring unforeseen events in the balance of the year, we remain confident in our previous guidance for 2001 ofoperating earnings in the range of $3.00 to $3.25 per share, based on a loss ratio of 71 to 73, an expense ratio of 31 or lower and premium growth above 15 percent. “The company reported net income of $0.87 per share in the first quarter of 2001, vs. $1.51 for the comparable quarter last year, which benefited from $0.90 per share of after-taxinvestment gains, primarily due to the sale of one venture capital investment.

For yesterday?s Wire, click here.