Private Equity Week Wire for Wednesday 12/3

NEW YORK — INVESCO Private Capital, a New York-based venture capital and private equity firm, is pleased to announce the closing of the INVESCO Partnership Fund III, bringing to $2.0 billion the assets raised in limited partnerships since 1997.

The INVESCO Partnership Fund III will make commitments of $300 million over the next two to three years to private equity partnerships in the following sectors: Venture Capital, U.S. Buyouts, and non-U.S. Venture and Buyouts on behalf of more than 30 limited partners. Managing partnership investments since 1982, this is the third fund of funds product that has been launched by INVESCO since 1997.

WESTWOOD, MA — Centerstone Software Inc., the premier integrated Internet platform for corporate Workplace Resource Management, today announced that it has secured $5.5 million in its initial institutional round of funding. The investment by four local firms was led by Boston-based Egan-Managed Capital, a venture capital firm focused on early stage funding for New England based high-tech and business-to-business companies. Additional investors include Corning Technology Ventures, Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation and Trans National Group. Centerstone will use the funding to broaden its sales and marketing outreach and to further enhance its technology platform.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — AV Labs, the Austin-based accelerator venture fund, today announced that it would work jointly with IBM to focus on issues critical to early-stage ventures. The initiative will provide AV Labs’ portfolio companies with access to IBM technology, product development initiatives and marketing and business resources.

JERUSALEM — Dow Jones is reporting that IXI Mobile, a U.S.-Israeli startup company that develops software for wireless communications, said Monday that it has raised $12.5 million from California’s Draper Fisher Jurveston ePlant Ventures and Israel’s Gemini Funds. The fundraising comes ahead of the February unveiling of IXI’s software package, which it said would pave the way for a new generation of cheaper and more sophisticated wireless devices.

MANCHESTER, NH — Segway LLC, the business founded by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen to transform the way people work and live, today announced the much-anticipated debut of the Segway(TM) Human Transporter (HT), the first self-balancing, electric-powered transportation machine. With dimensions no larger than the average adult body and the ability to emulate human balance, the Segway HT uses the same space as a pedestrian, and can go wherever a person can walk. The Segway HT will allow people to go farther, move more quickly, and increase the amount they can carry anywhere they currently walk.Segway is funded by: Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and individual investors.

SAN FRANCISCO — Avolent Inc., the leading provider of collaborative electronic bill/invoice presentment and payment (EBPP/EIPP) solutions, today announced that it has closed $40 million in its latest round of financing. This latest round, among the largest ever in the EBPP/EIPP market, was co-led by Constellation Ventures and Rho Ventures, and was joined by Columbia Capital, Norwest Ventures, Wells Fargo, and other existing investors. Avolent will use the funds to continue the development of its product offerings and expand its customer base.

PARIS, FRANCE — ExonHit Therapeutics, the functional genomics companyfocused on the development of therapeutics and diagnostics from the analysisof alternative splicing events, announced today the completion of its thirdfinancing round which raised EUR 30 million. The latest fundraisingattracted new, high profile, international investors: Dresdner KleinwortCapital (UK), Danske Bank (Denmark), LCF E. de Rothschild (France) andSudinnova (France). Existing investors: BNP-Paribas’ Banexi Venture III(France), CDC Innovation (France), AGF Private Equity (France), OxfordBioscience Partners (USA) et Sofinnova Partners (France) supported thisfinancing round. This successful fundraising comes just over a year afterExonHit Therapeutics’ EUR 14 million second round financing, and will enablethe company to develop its portfolio of therapeutics and diagnostics throughtheir clinical development.

FRANCE — CDC Equity Capital, the LBO team of CDC Ixis (Caisse des Dépôts group),launched CDC-Entreprises II, a fund dedicated to large-scale buyouts inFrance, with a target total of ? 450 million. The Fund is focused oninvesting in large leveraged buyouts in excess of ? 100 million andmedium-size leveraged operations valued between ? 50 and 100 million inpreferred sectors.

A first closing was completed in April and a second closing concluded inJune 2001 at about ? 300 million. As of November 2001, investors havecommitted an additional ? 60 million to the Fund.Caisse des Dépôts along with CDC IXIS Private Equity have jointly committed? 200 million to CDC-Entreprises II and the Fund is still open to otherinstitutional investors. The final closing is anticipated at the beginningof 2002.

SOMERSET, NJ — NanoOpto Corp., which is applying proprietary nano-optics and nano-manufacturing technology to design and make components for optical networking, announced today that it has closed a $16-million Series A round of venture financing. The deal was actually completed in February. The funding comes from four venture capital firms; Bessemer Venture Partners, Morgenthaler, New Enterprise Associates, and U.S. Trust’s Excelsior Venture Partners III, LLC. Bessemer and Morgenthaler led the round. Bessemer Managing Partner Rob Soni and Bessemer Partner Glenn Falcao assume board seats along with two Morgenthaler Ventures general partners, Greg Blonder and Gary Shaffer.

DURHAM, NC — Arsenal Digital Solutions (Arsenal), a leading Storage Service Provider (SSP), today announced that it has raised $23 million in its latest round of financing (Series C). With this new round of financing, Arsenal has raised a total of $42 million in equity since its inception. The round was lead by Southeast Interactive Technology Funds, and included Covestco, Task USA, and MCNC. Arsenal will use the funding to support both existing and new partners, capital expenditures required to grow the business, and to increase its workforce by 15%.

BRISBANE, CA — Intraspect Software, Inc., the leading provider of c-business(SM) solutions, today announced that it has completed a $33 million strategic round of private financing. Demonstrating strong validation of the company’s market position and performance, new investors GE Equity, Reed Elsevier Ventures, Diamondhead Ventures, and JEGI contributed $20M. The remaining $13M came from previous investors AVI Capital, Bay Partners, RWI, Sand Hill Financial, Sippl MacDonald Ventures and Telos Venture Partners, signifying their continuing commitment to the company. The money raised in the round will be used to expand Intraspect’s market leadership position and to strengthen development, sales, and marketing initiatives.

DENVER — Vericept Corp. (formerly eSniff Inc.), developer of unique plug-and-play network security appliances designed to end the problem of network abuse, today announced it has closed $8.5 million in venture financing from Sequel Venture Partners of Boulder, Colorado and Sigma Partners of Boston and Menlo Park. In conjunction with the funding, Vericept also announced the addition of Bob Davoli to the Company’s Board of Directors.

The financing will be used to support continued expansion in sales and marketing, and accelerated development of new products that will extend its lead in the burgeoning market for content monitoring, information security and network misuse/abuse management.

SEATTLE — Amnis, an emerging biotechnology company focused on innovative advancements in biological cell analysis, has announced the completion of second-round financing for $8.75 million. Secured from Orbimed Advisors, LLC, Emerging Technology Partners, TVM Techno Venture Management, and Sunshine Capital as well as existing investors in Amnis including Hillman Ventures, Integra Ventures, WRF Capital and Stratos Product Development, LLC, the funding will help accelerate the company’s research and development process and allow for additional hiring, enhanced facilities and new sales and marketing programs.

CAMBRIDGE, MA — John T. O’Connor, a one-time Congressional candidate who founded the Greenworks incubator for environmentally-friendly businesses, passed away last Friday night. He apparently suffered a heart attack while playing basketball at the Cambridge YMCA. O’Connor was just 46 years old.

WALTHAM, MA — Charles River Ventures (CRV), one of the nation’s leading early-stage venture capital firms, today announced that Joel Rosen, former president and CEO of NaviSite, has joined the firm as a venture partner. Rosen will focus on making investments in the software and services sector.

Rosen has more than 15 years of operating experience, including nearly 10 years at the senior management level. Most recently, Rosen served as president and CEO of NaviSite where he led the company through a successful initial public offering, grew revenue tenfold to $100 million, recruited a first-rate senior management team and introduced innovative strategies for service delivery and cost management.

FREMONT, CA — Talkway Communications, a leading Multimedia Content Delivery Service Provider, announced today it has completed its second round of financing led by Asset Management Partners, with ABN AMRO and Vantage Partners participating.

NEW YORK & MONTREAL — Airborne Entertainment Inc., a creator, aggregator and distributor of mobile games and other entertainment programming for mobile devices, has closed a $6.3 million series “A” funding round. Participants in the round include Bell Mobility Investments, Telesystem Ltd., new strategic investors from the entertainment industry, and follow-on investments from Airborne’s prior shareholders. Airborne will use the proceeds to continue to build its library of exclusive branded programming as well as to enhance its proprietary content management and distribution platform to support emerging network protocols, device types and integration with carrier billing systems.

SAN CARLOS, CA — NuGEN Technologies, Inc., a privately held genetic analysis company, today announced the completion of its Series B round of financing. The company raised $10.8 million from an investor group led by Pequot Ventures, the direct venture investment arm of Pequot Capital Management, Inc. Other investors included SoftBank LifeScience Ventures, Radius Venture Partners, MedCapital, Band of Angels Fund and Tenex Medical Investors. This follows a Series A round of financing of $2 million led by Tenex Medical Investors completed in November 2000.

HELSINKI, FINLAND — Nokia(NYSE: NOK): Nokia’s (Euro)40 million Early Stage Technology Fund Expands Corporate Tools For New Business Development To strengthen the company’s venturing initiatives, Nokia today launched the Nokia Early Stage Technology Fund, a (Euro)40 million corporate venture fund aimed at providing early-stage financing for new business ideas inside the company. This fund is the newest venture arm of Nokia Ventures Organization, which exists to develop new business opportunities that fall outside of the current development path or focus of Nokia’s core businesses. TORONTO — Mobile Computing Corp. (MCC) (TSE:MBL), a supplier of wireless information solutions for mobile workers, announced today that it has completed an additional debt financing of $5,000,000 with Telesystem Ltd. This is a follow-on financing from that previously completed on August 9, 2001 and brings the total investment from these two financings to $10,000,000, consisting of $9,000,000 from Telesystem and an aggregate of $1,000,000 from the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Board and The VenGrowth Investment Fund Inc.

For Friday’s Wire, click here

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