Private Equity Week Wire 6/11

CAMBRIDGE, MA — BioVentures II-Group of Funds managed by MPM Capital announced today the acquisition of a major ownership stake in Biovitrum AB, a Stockholm (Sweden) based biotechnology company formed by Pharmacia Corporation. MPM co-led the transaction with Nordic Capital, a leading private equity firm based in Stockholm. Additional investors include MPM BioEquities, Karolinska Investment, ABN-AMRO Ventures, Carnegie Asset Management, H&B Capital and Next Gear. The investor group has committed a total of up to $130 million, most of which will finance Biovitrum’s operations while a smaller part will be used to buy shares directly from Pharmacia Corporation which will remain a large shareholder of Biovitrum.
Biovitrum has about 900 employees and consists of three main business units, a metabolic research&development unit, a recombinant protein development&manufacturing unit and a blood products (plasma) unit. The metabolic R&D effort focuses on indications such as diabetes and obesity and it has been successful in advancing a broad and diversified pipeline of potential drugs. The first of these drug candidates has entered clinical trials and the near future will see more compounds enter clinical development. The recombinant protein unit has a long and very successful track record in the drug development area that includes Refacto, a hemophilia product marketed by American Home Products in Europe, the USA and other countries. Biovitrum will continue to produce Refacto for American Home Products, generating a significant revenue stream for Biovitrum going forward. Biovitrum’s longstanding experience in biopharmaceutical R&D will be used for in-house projects as well as for selected partnering. The plasma unit is a blood fractionation business with a number of marketed products and a very significant market share as well as a great reputation in Scandinavia.

NEWARK, NJ — ADIR VoIP Technologies Inc., a leading provider of VoIP platform and network management software, today announced it has raised, thus far, a $25 million second round of funding from investors.
The round, which will remain open to accommodate additional investors until mid-August 2001, shows an increase in participation from the company’s original investors: Cisco Systems, Inc. and the SOFTBANK Asian Infrastructure Fund.
ADIR has raised a total of $48 million in capital to date, and with the second round of financing the ADIR business plan is now fully funded. Funds from this round will be used to accelerate product development and to expand sales and marketing initiatives globally into Asia, Europe and Latin America for the Company’s best-of-breed VOIP solutions.

SANTA CLARA, CA — AmmoCore Technology Inc. today announced that it successfully completed its second round of financing and has received approximately $14 million in funding. Investors from leading venture capital firms and strategic partners include Bay Partners, Telos Venture Partners, Donald L. Lucas, Crescent Ventures, Cadence Design Systems, and RWI Group. With this investment, Ammocore plans to continue the expansion of its technology development and delivery organizations.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — Maaya Corp., a provider of e-services software infrastructure, announced today that it has received $8 million in a second round of financing led by SoftBank Venture Capital. Joining SoftBank in the round is Cambrian Ventures, a venture capital firm whose investors include CEO Jeff Bezos and executives and founders of Compaq, Netscape, and several other leading technology companies.
Founded in 1998, Maaya’s customers include Cisco Systems, Maxtor and Quantum Corporation. Maaya’s core technology is an e-services mediation platform that facilitates and manages the exchange of web-based services between enterprises, customers, partners and service providers. In addition, Maaya also provides specific applications on top of this software platform that address specific customer pain points. The Maaya application suite currently supports the e-learning and e-support markets with plans to extend the platform to serve other vertical categories.

ANDOVER, MA — CMGI Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI), a leading global Internet operating and development company, today announced that Virginia Bonker has been elected to the Company’s Board of Directors.
Virginia Bonker is co-founder and General Partner of Blue Rock Capital, a venture capital fund focused on investing in early-stage private companies in the Mid-Atlantic region. Blue Rock invests in information technology and service businesses. Before Blue Rock Capital, Virginia served as Vice President at the Sprout Group, the venture capital affiliate of Credit Suisse First Boston. Earlier, she was with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette’s Investment Banking Group. Virginia also worked as a Systems Analyst and Product Marketing Engineer at Hewlett Packard.

WILIAMSTOWN, MA — Village Ventures Inc.along with Philip Ferneau, a professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and Jesse Devitte, chairman of the Software Association of New Hampshire, will launch an early-stage venture capital fund to invest in technology-driven companies in northern New England.
The fund will invest in companies engaged in information technology (including software, wireless technologies, Internet infrastructure, electronic commerce, and digital media), communications, life sciences, physical sciences, and other technology businesses. The resources of Village Ventures’ fund in Maine will be combined with those of the New Hampshire fund to form one larger entity with offices in Hanover, NH and Portland, ME. The size of the fund is not disclosed, but the typical fund in the Village Ventures network is $15-25 million. By adding New Hampshire, Village Ventures provides venture services to 12 early-stage venture capital funds in emerging technology markets in 11 states.

PALO ALTO, CA — Full Degree Inc., an innovative marketing content management company that helps manufacturers and retailers overcome the challenges of product information management, today officially launched with industry-leading pilot program members: The North Face, and Future Shop Ltd. (TSE:FSS).
Full Degree’s marketing content management system enables manufacturers and retailers to increase consumer brand preference and streamline workflow processes by centrally creating, managing and publishing digital product information to fit strategic, marketing and branding goals. Customers leveraging Full Degree’s technology can significantly cut costs because product information can be created once and then automatically shared across all marketing channels — from Web Sites to sales brochures. To date, Full Degree has received $9 million in series A financing from Convergence Partners, a leading Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm.

RICHMOND, CA — zipRealty Inc., one of the nation’s fastest growing real estate brokerages, today announced that the company has secured a total of $8 million in Series D funding. Pyramid Technology Ventures, a transatlantic venture capital firm, led the round. Previous investors Benchmark Capital, Vanguard Venture Partners, and Barrington Partners demonstrated continued support by joining the round. Marc Cellier, Partner and co-founder of Pyramid Technology Ventures, will join the Board of Directors. zipRealty will use the funds for continued expansion of its REALTORS(R) sales force to meet the overwhelming demand for its services in the 15 metropolitan areas that it services.

FREDERICK, MD — Ultraprise Loan Technologies, Inc., the mortgage technology company created by the merger of Ultraprise Corporation and LoanTrader, Inc., announced today that it has closed a $9.5 million round of equity funding led by Capital Z Financial Services Fund II, L.P.
Ultraprise Loan Technologies will use the new round of venture funding to integrate the two companies and expand its customer base by marketing an end-to-end solution that significantly addresses the operational inefficiencies in the mortgage industry’s primary and secondary markets.

WESTWOOD, MA — Prism Venture Partners (PVP), a
leading venture capital firm with early-stage investments in Communications,
Internet Business Infrastructure and Healthcare, today announced the addition
of four seasoned investment professionals with extensive experience in
starting and building technology companies. Joining Prism’s investment team
are Jack Sweeney, Michael Baum, James Counihan and Steven Weinstein.

NEW YORK — DataSynapse, a leading provider of peer-to-peer distributed computing software platforms for the financial services and energy sectors, announced today that it has completed a $15 million round of financing led by Bain Capital Ventures. New investors include First Union eVentures and Intel Capital.

DataSynapse, a privately held company, is one of the world’s leading providers of distributed computing platforms. DataSynapse’s flexible peer-to-peer architecture can harness idle PCs or dedicated servers to increase application turnaround by 100x or more, at 10% or less than the cost of other computing alternatives. DataSynapse recently announced First Union as its first customer, and it is currently testing its application with a dozen other financial services and energy firms. The company will use proceeds from this round of financing to expand its sales and technology efforts.