Private Equity Week Wire for Wednesday 1/23

NEW YORK — Albert “Buddy” Coffrin and David Epstein have joined Joe Heller at NextLevel Venture Partners as managing directors. NextLevel is a new East Coast venture capital firm located in New York that helps build early and mid-stage technology companies into profitable businesses. The fund invests in firms from Maine to North Carolina. For the last five years Coffrin was a partner at North Atlantic Capital Corporation, a $60 million venture fund located in the North East. He had the full range of responsibilities for investments, from sourcing to exits. During his tenure, the fund had a high rate of return despite turbulent economic times.

REDWOOD SHORES, CA — Catena Networks has raised $75million in a fourth round of financing, bringing the total invested capitalin the company to $192 million. The new funds will help Catena continue toprovide systems that enable communications service providers to acceleratedeployment of broadband DSL services.

Eleven major investment firms participated in the $75 million fourth round,including new investors J. & W. Seligman & Co., Munder Capital Managementand WestAM, and current investors Morgenthaler, Menlo Ventures, BerkeleyInternational Capital, Worldview Technology Partners, the Goldman SachsGroup Inc., Bessemer Venture Partners, BCE Capital and Silicon ValleyBancVentures.

BOSTON – BancBoston Capital, the private equity investment arm of FleetBoston Financial, Harlingwood Equity Partners and SunTx Capital Partners jointly announced today the acquisition of Interface Security Systems, LLC, a leading Midwest Regional Security Alarm Company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

SUPERIOR, CO — NPULSE Software Inc. makers of performance management software for monitoring and managing complex distributed-application infrastructures, announced it has closed a Series A round of financing for $4 million. Mobius Venture Capital (formerly SOFTBANK Venture Capital) led the round with a minority investment by Feld Ventures.

NEW YORK — Bigfoot Interactive, the leading provider of strategic, ROI-focused email communications technology and services, today announced that it received $6 million in Series C financing led by new investor Hudson Ventures. Other participants in the financing include new investor Syndicat Technologies, and existing investors JPMorgan Partners, the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM); Flatiron Partners; HPJ Media Ventures; Constellation Ventures; Investcorp/(212) Ventures; Winfield Capital Corp.; and Grey Ventures, the venture capital arm of Grey Global Group (Nasdaq: GREY). The company also announced the appointment of Jay Goldberg of Hudson Ventures to its board of directors.
SAN CARLOS, CA — NeurogesX Inc., a neuroscience based specialty pharmaceutical company initially focusing on the development of products for the treatment of pain, today announced it has raised $22.86 million in a Series B round of funding. Leading the round was new investor Walden International and affiliated entities. Other firms participating in the round included Series A investors Alta Partners, ARCH Venture Partners and Montreux Equity Partners, as well as Grove Street Advisors for CalPERS, TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association), Duke University and the University of North Carolina. The company has raised $30.4 million in total equity investments since its first funding round in June 2000.
LOS GATOS, CA — Steve Wozniak, the technical visionary and co-founder of Apple Computer, announced today the launch of Wheels of Zeus (wOz), a new company focused on designing new consumer electronics wireless products to help everyday people track everyday things. The company has secured $6 million in first round funding from Mobius Venture Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Palo Alto Investors.

“wOz is designing new consumer electronics wireless products that will have universal appeal among consumers and corporations alike,” said Steve Wozniak. “Recent advances in global positioning software (GPS) systems and antenna technology coupled with the declining cost of processing power and two-way networking make the possibilities for new devices and services really exciting.”

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — today announced it has secured $5 million in Series B funding, led by private equity investment firm Otter Capital. IDEO, a world-renowned innovation and design firm and a customer, joined this round as a strategic investor. is the first company to offer a web-native solution for collaborative product development built around a bill-of-materials (BOM) framework. The product is a powerful tool for storing and organizing product specifications, managing suppliers and pricing information, integrating the supply chain into the design process and unifying members of the entire extended organization in a collaborative working environment.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — H. Wayne Huizenga, Chairman of Huizenga Holdings Inc., a diversified company that manages investments in a number of operating companies, announced today that its President, Richard C. (Rick) Rochon, has resigned as President of Huizenga Holdings to start Royal Palm Capital Partners a private equity investment and management company to be headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. Royal Palm Capital Partners will acquire or invest in businesses through one or more equity funds. While Mr. Huizenga will not be a general partner in Royal Palm Capital Partners, he does plan to invest in the Royal Palm fund as a limited partner.

SAN FRANCISCO — Burrill & Co.y, a San Francisco-based life sciences merchant bank, announced today that Ann F. Hanham, Ph.D. has been promoted to Managing Director. Dr. Hanham will join G. Steven Burrill, Dr. John Kim and Dr. Roger Wyse as the senior investment professionals who will oversee and manage Burrill’s various life science / biotech venture funds. Hanham has over 18 years experience in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Burrill & Company, she was a Vice President and co-founder of InterMune Pharmaceuticals.

RENTON, WA — Data Depth Corporation, d.b.a., has announced that it has raised an additional $1 million as part of a Series B financing. The funding was led by Rustic Canyon Ventures of Santa Monica, California, with participation from Bradley Resources Company and the company’s existing shareholders. Data Depth Corporation, which purchased some of the assets of iCopyright, Inc. in April 2001, has raised $2.6 million to date.

ANN ARBOR, MI. and BASKING RIDGE, NJ — A team of senior drug development executives formerly with Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert Company today announced the formation of a private biopharmaceutical company, QUATRx Pharmaceuticals Company. The Company is building a portfolio of compounds in a number of major therapeutic categories that can be rapidly developed for marketing by either QUATRx or its commercial partners. Compounds are being acquired from a variety of sources, including other biopharmaceutical companies, academic institutions and large pharmaceutical companies.

QUATRx has raised a total of $10 million from Frazier & Company and TL Ventures. These two venture capital companies are principal investors and co- founders of QUATRx.

NEW YORK — Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation(CSFB) today said it has agreed to a settlement with the United StatesSecurities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Association ofSecurities Dealers (NASD) resolving all outstanding investigations of CSFBinto the allocation of shares in initial public offerings (IPOs). Thisagreement fully resolves this matter for the Firm with each of theseregulatory authorities.

MERIDIAN, ID — Nuclear Solutions Inc. (OTCBB:NSOL) announced today that the Company has entered into a binding commitment for an initial equity investment of $500,000 through a private placement transaction for restricted stock with DMB enterprises, LLC.

For yesterday’s Wire, click here

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