Private Equity Week Wire for Wednesday 10/3

LONDON — Kleinwort Development Fund PLC (KDF), an investment trust, and Dresdner Kleinwort Capital (DrKC), the private equity business of Dresdner Bank, are pleased to announce a new joint venture company, Kleinwort Capital Ltd. (The new joint venture arrangements and the intention of KDF to change its name to Kleinwort Capital Trust PLC are subject to the approval of KDF shareholders and are expected to complete by the end of October 2001).

In addition, both KDF and DrKC intend to commit £50 million as anchor investors to a new fund, Kleinwort Capital Partners IV. The fund will be marketed to new and existing investors.

Under the new arrangements, it is further proposed that the current activities of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson Private Equity Ltd. (DrKBPEL) and the management team currently known as DrKBPEL will transfer to Kleinwort Capital Limited, following recent IMRO approval. Richard Green and Andrew Hartley of DrKBPEL will become joint Managing Directors of Kleinwort Capital Limited. This management team will also have a minority equity participation in the joint venture company Kleinwort Capital Ltd.

SAN FRANCISCO — Novare Inc., a leader in product lifecycle automation solutions, today announced it secured $8 million in an initial round of funding from SOFTBANK Venture Capital (SBVC). Novare delivers a collaborative, Internet-based solution that dramatically improves the way companies invent, develop and market new products. The company also announced that Rex Golding, principal managing director of SBVC, will join Novare’s Board of Directors.

LANGHORNE, PA — NxtWave Communications Inc., which designs and markets broadband-communications integrated circuits (ICs) for digital broadcast television and high-speed data transmission, today announced that it has concluded the first tranche of its fourth equity round, in which $12.5 million in venture capital was raised. The investment round included additional investment by its preceding equity-round investors ANADIGICS Inc., C.E. Unterberg Towbin Capital Partners, Intel Capital, Millennium Technology Venture Partners, Mitsubishi International Corp., MC Capital Inc., MC Silicon Valley Inc., Oak Investment Partners, Venture First Associates and Whitney & Co. Also participating in the financing were Alps Electric Co. Ltd., NEC Corp. and The Walt Disney Co. Further financial details of the investment were not disclosed.

JERUSALEM — Unicorn Solutions Inc., pioneer of the next generation in information integration, today announced it has closed its initial financing round of over $6 million extending the preliminary closing of $3m announced earlier. Jerusalem Global Ventures (JGV) led the round.

DAVIS, CA — Sagres Discovery, a biotechnology company that rapidly identifies oncogenes for the development of novel cancer therapeutics, today announced it secured $20 million in a second round of financing. Led by Forward Ventures, the round included equity investments from Novartis BioVentures Fund, Burrill Biotechnology Capital Fund and Axiom Venture Partners, with additional investments from Blue Dot Capital Pte Ltd., Walden VC, JAFCO Co. Ltd., China Development Industrial Bank and others.

BARCELONA, SPAIN — LeatherXchange, the service provider for the global leather industry, today announced it has secured 7.5 million euros in second round financing. This is one of the largest venture capital investments this year in a vertical sector services provider with a significant electronic commerce presence, and will enable the company to grow and consolidate its operations. The financing reaffirms the confidence of leading venture capitalists in LeatherXchange’s future and recognizes its growing influence in the $110 billion global leather sector.

SUNNYVALE, CA — Sanera Systems, Inc., a start-up building industry’s first terabit, protocol transparent storage area network (SAN) switch, announced today that it has secured $38.3 million in second round financing. Enterprise Partners Venture Capital and Greylock Ventures led the funding. Current investors Storm Ventures, CMEA and E*Trade also participated in the second round funding validating Sanera Systems’ vision. First round investors included Storm Ventures, CMEA, Acorn Venture Partners, E*Trade Ventures and angels who collectively invested $17.5 million in September 2000, bringing total venture funding raised to $55.8 million.

The company also announced that Alex Mendez, former Cisco Systems and StrataCom executive and founding partner of Storm Ventures, has been named interim CEO. In addition Bill Stensrud of Enterprise Partners Venture Capital and Charles Chi of Greylock Ventures will join the board of directors. The company was founded in August 2000 by industry veterans Raj Cherabuddi and Joe Chamdani, formerly with Sun Microsystems and Sudhakar Muddu, formerly with SGI.

CUPERTINO, CA — Tropian Inc., a Silicon Valley-based advanced wireless communications products company, announced today that it has closed $45 million in Series D equity funding. Merrill Lynch Ventures LLC led the financing and was joined by several new and existing financial investors and a new strategic partner. In its largest funding round to date, Tropian received substantial investments from existing investors Crosspoint Venture Partners, Convergence Ventures and Investar Venture Capital. In addition to round leader Merrill Lynch Ventures, new investment was received from Bank of America Investment Corporation, China Development Industrial Bank, and TCW/YFY Investment Partners. Tropian also received funding from strategic investor Agilent Ventures, a unit of Agilent Technologies Inc.

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