Ridgewood Adds Two Portfolio Cos.

Ridgewood Capital the private equity affiliate of The Ridgewood Cos., has added two Web site operators to the portfolio of its second fund.

In early December, Ridgewood invested $2.5 million in Horsepower.com of San Luis Obispo, Calif., taking an approximate 28% stake in the company. Horsepower has launched a business-to-business e-commerce site that is focused on serving all components of the agriculture economy.

“All the participants in that space can get their business online, post products, advertise and transact online,” said Robert Gold, president of Ridgewood Capital.

He said that proceeds from the transaction will be used to continue to develop the company’s technology, which will contain code geared toward transactions that cover the breadth of the agriculture economy, including farming, processing, trucking and distributing.

Following the transaction, Elton Sherwin, a Ridgewood partner, and Gerald Johnston, vice chair of Tyson Foods, joined Horsepower’s board of directors.

The second deal, which closed in late December, saw Ridgewood commit $3 million to Iwin.com’s $25 million Series B round.

The round was led by Rader Reinfrank of Los Angeles, TransAtlantic Venture Fund and individual investors, Gold said.

Iwin operates a game site that Gold considers a content play. According to PC Data, Iwin is the 33rd most visited site and nineteenth in page views. Visitors to the site stay for an average of 60 minutes.

Ridgewood made these two investments from Fund II, which Gold said he expects to close at approximately $125 million in the next 45 days.