Private Equity Week Wire — Tuesday 3/19

ACTON, MA — Equipe Communications announced today a $40 million third round financing that brings the two-year-old company’s total funding to $103 million. New investor Sequoia Capital Partners led the financing round. Other new third round investors were CIENA(R) Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) and Silicon Valley BancVentures (Nasdaq: SIVB). Additional third round participants included first and second round investors Matrix Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners and Battery Ventures along with second round investors Pequot Capital Partners and Worldview Technology Partners.
In addition, CIENA and Equipe formed a relationship under which the companies will share technical and strategic information.




WAYNE, PA — 4R Systems Inc., a leading provider of analytical software that enables retailers and manufacturers of short lifecycle products to accurately match supply with demand, today announced that it has received a second round of funding from TH Lee Putnam Ventures and TSG Equity Partners.
The funds will be used for product development and sales support.




LOS GATOS, CA –As reported yesterday in Private equity Week, Agile Storage Inc. announced today that it has attracted $26 million in Series B funding, bringing its total equity investment to $40 million. This investment was finalized in under 90 days and is led by Worldview Technology Partners. Current investors Foundation Capital and Mayfield also participated in this round. With this funding, Agile Storage is poised to deliver a new class of networked storage solutions that combine file-level services with a unique high performance architecture.




GLASGOWSCOTLAND — Bringing with it eight years of photonic research, Essient Photonics has announced its first round of funding totaling US$7 million, led by Pond Ventures.
The Glasgow-based company is a supplier of integrated III-V optoelectronic components for modulation and detection in 10Gbps and 40Gbps systems. With the support of the University of Glasgow and Scottish Enterprise, Professor Charles Ironside developed the technology that will be the foundation for Essient’s product development.




MALIBU, CA — Only nine months after jointly
acquiring the nation’s leading luxury lifestyle monthly Robb Report from
Luxury Media Corp., CurtCo Robb Media and private equity group TD Capital
Communications Partners today announced plans to acquire and launch a variety
of new vertical titles within the industry categories addressed by their
flagship publication.



NEW YORK — Accenture (NYSE: ACN) expects its operating results for the second quarter ended February 28, 2002, to exceed analysts’ current consensus estimates. The company also outlined the actions it is taking to reposition its venture and investment portfolio and the resulting substantial charge to earnings.

With respect to its previously reported plan to reposition its venture and investment portfolio in order to eliminate the related earnings volatility, Accenture said that, after exploring a number of alternatives, it has decided to sell substantially all of its minority ownership interests that could cause volatility in its future earnings. To facilitate this sale, the company expects to aggregate these positions into a single subsidiary, which it would then sell. Related to this decision, Accenture’s loss on investments in the second quarter includes a charge of $212 million, before and after tax, related to the loss the company expects to incur on this sale transaction. After giving effect to the charge, the venture and investment portfolio is expected to have a net book value of approximately $95 million, $43 million of which is hedged. Accenture expects to receive offers that allow it to retain a modest percentage ownership of the subsidiary in connection with an ongoing alliance with the buyer. Accenture has engaged an investment bank and is currently in discussions with potential purchasers. The company hopes to complete the transaction by the end of the calendar year.

Accenture said that, going forward, it will continue to make investments and will accept equity and equity-linked securities using guidelines intended to eliminate volatility, but will discontinue venture-capital investing.



SANTA CLARA, CA — Covigo Inc., the emerging leader in multi-channel application platforms, today announced that Levensohn Capital Management LLC has joined Nokia Venture Partners and Norwest Venture Partners in Covigo’s second round of financing. The $2 million investment from Levensohn Capital brings the total amount of venture capital raised by Covigo to $20.5 million since the company’s inception in 1999. This additional infusion of funds further supports Covigo’s highly focused partner strategy.


SAN FRANCISCO — Bob Barrett, 57, has joined Financial Technology Ventures (FTVentures), the
San Francisco-based venture firm that primarily invests in technologies that
benefit the financial services industry. Barrett, who founded Battery Ventures
17 years ago and helped lead it to become one of the nation’s biggest and most
well-known venture capital firms, has spent most of his career working with
communications and software technologies. Among some of the now-recognized
companies his venture investments launched are Vastera, an industry leader
that provides fully-integrated technology solutions for global trade
management and Corillian, a global provider of efinance solutions that enable
financial institutions to rapidly deploy services such as online banking and
electronic bill payment over the Internet.




PORTLAND, OR — Tripwire Inc, a data integrity assurance company, today announced that
it has secured $9.3 million in growth capital through additional Series C
financing.

The funding, led by premier venture capital firm Institutional Venture
Partners (IVP), includes participation by two significant partners, Comcast
Interactive Capital and Visa International, and existing investors, including
Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV), Bessemer Venture Partners, ClearLight
Partners, Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown and Garage Technology Ventures. This
funding will support the company’s growing market leadership position and
corporate goals for 2002 and beyond. In addition, Tripwire has been selected
as a partner in Visa’s prestigious Global Strategic Alliance program.




HOPEWELL JUNCTION, NY — eMagin Corp. (AMEX: EMA) today announced that it has received a commitment to provide the Company with up to $15 million from a private equity fund.
The deal provides eMagin with the right, but not the obligation, to issue shares when it wishes to over the next thirty six months, subject to certain monthly maximum and minimum amounts up to a maximum of $15 million and in certain circumstances up to $20 million. The financing is subject to the filing of a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission covering the registration of the shares. Pricing will be based upon the volume weighted average price of the Company’s stock during the investment period.



RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — Gentris Corp.
announced today that it had secured $1.5 million in funding from a combination
of institutional and angel investors. The funding round will provide
expansion capital for the company to accelerate its efforts to become the
industry leader in the rapidly growing market for pharmacogenomic testing
products and services.




Click here for yesterday