Private Equity Week Wire for Monday 1/7

BOSTON — Dr. Peter Barrett, a co-founder, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer of Celera Genomics, will join Atlas Venture, the leading international venture capital firm investing in life sciences, information technology and communications companies. The firm announced today that Dr. Barrett will join Jean-Francois Formela in Boston to lead its investments in U.S. life sciences companies.

Dr. Barrett was a co-founder of Celera Genomics in 1998, together with Dr. J. Craig Venter and the Applera Corporation management team. Celera announced the first successful sequencing of the human genome in June 2000. This milestone event ushered in a new era of gene-based drug discovery and medicine.

SAN DIEGO — Medinox, Inc. today announced the completion of a $13.8 million private offering of preferred stock, which brings the company’s total equity financing since its inception in 1995 to $29.2 million. The investors in this round included an international group of venture capital funds, led by China Development Industrial Bank of Taiwan. Other major investors in the offering were Industrial Bank of Taiwan, Chiao Tung Bank Co., Ltd., CIH Investment Capital Limited, Core Pacific Venture Capital, Hua Hsia Investment Holding Co., IBT Venture Co., Taiwan Biotech Co., Ltd. and Prudence Venture Investment Corporation.

The proceeds of this offering will be used to fund the ongoing Phase I/IIa septic shock clinical trial of NOX-100, Medinox’s nitric oxide (NO)-blocking agent, at Stanford University, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the University of Rochester in New York. Several additional centers for this study are now being recruited. The trial was initiated in July 2001 and will be completed within one year. This trial will evaluate the efficacy of NOX-100 in restoring blood pressure and improving organ function of critically ill sepsis patients. In pre-clinical studies performed by Medinox’s scientists and its collaborators, NOX-100 significantly improved these measures in models of septic shock.
The proceeds will also provide working capital to initiate two other clinical trials in Europe in 2002: A Phase I/IIa clinical trial of NOX-700, an oral NO-blocker for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, and a Phase I clinical trial of MX-1094, a new anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of arthritis.

SAN FRANCISCO–Walden International, a leading global venture capital firm, today announced the appointment of Gary Stroy to partner. Stroy brings more than 20 years experience to Walden International and will be responsible for leading the firm’s investments in healthcare and the life sciences. The appointment of Gary Stroy underscores Walden International’s commitment to funding promising companies in these sectors.

SALEM, N.H. — AmberWave Systems Corp., the global leader in advanced semiconductor intellectual property (IP), today announced that it has completed its Series B round, raising $25 million from Adams Capital Management, Arch Venture Partners, Dow Chemical, TeleSoft Partners and The Hillman Company and bringing AmberWave’s total venture funding to $47 million. The Series B investment was led by The Hillman Company, a Pittsburgh-based diversified investment holding company. All prior investors from AmberWave’s first venture round, which was closed in May 2000, maintained or increased their pro rata equity stake. A small group of private investors also participated.

PETALUMA, CALIF. — Gluon Networks, Inc., developer of next-generation converged switching and access systems for local service providers, today announced the closing of $50 million in venture financing, including the addition of a lead investor, U.S. Venture Partners (USVP).

The company intends to use these funds to roll out the first release of its Converged Local Exchange (CLX) product, and to build-out its sales and customer support team. A portion of this funding will also be used to structure the company for volume production.

BASEL, SWITZERLAND and BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — The Speedel Group, a cardiovascular and metabolic drug development company based in Basel, Switzerland, announced today the successful completion of an additional funding round amounting to CHF 22.2 million.
Speedel has recently engaged in this additional funding round in order to broaden its financial basis in line with its strategic objective, the growth of its staff and the enlarged scope of its development activities. A sum of CHF 20 million was originally fixed as target but has been exceeded. Shares and participation certificates of CHF 22.2 million were subscribed by private investors and the Novartis Venture Fund that already had participated in earlier rounds. This increases the aggregate capital subscriptions to more than CHF 44 million and brings the total sum secured for development activities since inception (including a convertible loan and R & D contributions) to over CHF 82 million.

NEW YORK — RestaurantTrade (www.RestaurantTrade.com), the leading provider of Web-based software for the hospitality industry, today announced that it has closed $5 million in Series C funding led by Silicon Valley-based Cobalt Ventures and New York City-based TH Lee Putnam Ventures.
Also funding the Company are several strategic investors, including Peter Tafeen (Managing Partner, Tafeen Ventures), and Ken Himmel (CEO of The Palladium Company and owner of Grill 23 in Boston) and Rob Stavis (Partner at Bessemer Ventures and co-partner in Main Street Restaurant Partners in New York City), both of whose restaurants are RestaurantTrade clients. RestaurantTrade will use the funding for sales expansion, business and product development and marketing initiatives. With the close of this round of funding, RestaurantTrade is properly capitalized to reach breakeven in 2002.

MARLBOROUGH, MASS. — Xevo Corp., the leading developer of service management software for service providers, today announced it has secured $20 million in a Series C financing round led by Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) and Morgenthaler. Additional investors include Prism Venture Partners and Catalyst Health and Technology Partners. Global service providers use the company’s software, XevoWorks, to automate the management and provisioning of hosted applications such as Microsoft Exchange.
Xevo will use capital raised in this round to support continued expansion into international markets and further product development to meet the infrastructure requirements of global telecommunications carriers delivering software as a service. Global service providers can use Xevo’s service management software to reliably and cost-effectively host and manage applications as services.

TAMPA, FLA. — iLIANT Corp., a leading provider of outsourced technology management and business services for physician practices, today announced it has closed a $10 million round of equity financing led by Lovett Miller & Co. and Jefferson Capital Partners, Ltd. with participation from the Wakefield Group. iLIANT’s senior management also made a significant co-investment in the round. This financing is the first institutional venture capital round for iLIANT.
The investment will support iLIANT’s significant 2002 growth efforts which focus on expanding its line of services and building its sales and marketing efforts. iLIANT will also selectively seek out acquisition opportunities which support its long-term goals.

LONDON — Private Scottish specialty drugmaker Strakan Group Ltd. said on Monday it had raised 15 million pounds ($21.7 million) through a rights issue, ahead of a planned stock market flotation.
The company, which is considering an initial public offering this year or next, has now raised a total of 68 million pounds in equity capital from venture capital groups and private investors, including a 30.5 million funding round last May.
The latest deal values the company at 90 million pounds but the company’s chief executive, Harry Stratford, who co-founded Shire Pharmaceuticals Group Plc , hopes to achieve an IPO valuation of some 250 million.

CLEVELAND — Complient Corp. announced the completion of an equity funding, totaling approximately $8.2 million. Simultaneous with the closing of the funding, Complient announced that it had spun out its software division, now named Axentis LLC. Both entities are remaining in their current facilities with their current management teams, which were already separate. The funding was provided primarily by Complient’s existing venture capital investors, including: JP Morgan Partners, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Helathcare Equity Partners, Key Principal Partners, National City Equity Partners, and Fleet Ventures.

For Friday’s Wire, click here

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