Private Equity Week Wire for Monday 11/19

PITTSBURGH — AcceLight Networks Inc. today announced $60 million in
new equity and debt financing that will be used primarily for strategic
investment in product development and research, as well as to expand the
company’s sales and customer engagements in key North American and
International markets.

In addition to AcceLight’s initial investors, Menlo Ventures and Venrock
Associates, the company attracted new venture capital from investment firms,
including: CDIB Ventures, Granite Global Ventures, Mitsubishi Corporation, NIF
Ventures, Stonewood Capital Management, Western Technology Investment,
Whitecap Venture Partners and Vertex Management.

FAIRFAX, VA — NextGen Capital. led a $1,575,000 equity investment in ServiceBench, Inc., a complete Internet-based supply chain service company to Fortune 1000 manufacturers for after-the-sale transactions such as warranty repair claims, parts ordering, product registration and electronic payments. NextGen invested $1.3 million; the remaining capital came from Washington, DC-based WomenAngels.net and angel investors. The funds will be used for sales and marketing and product research and development.

MAYNARD, MA — Rachis Corp., a leading interactive TV software solutions company, today announced it has secured second-round equity financing led by Venture Investment Management Company (VIMAC), a Boston-based venture capital management company specializing in early-stage technology investments. Rachis raised the capital at a significantly higher valuation than its first-round funding that closed in the first quarter of 2000.

SAN FRANCISCO — Laszlo Systems, a developer of software that enables the next generation of Web applications, announced today that it has secured $1M in seed financing from General Catalyst and Sofinnova Ventures. Laszlo will use its funding to further strengthen its development team and complete the initial release of its network-based application platform.

NEW YORK — Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), aleading international communications venture capital firm, announced today theclosing of JVP IV, the largest fund in the firm’s history. The $400 millionfund has already spawned seven new companies in the communications andenterprise software industries.

JVP also announced several new limited partners joining the fund today. HarbourVest, one of the world’s largest private investors in private equity and venture capital funds; Adveq, a leading fund of funds; and the Technion, Israel’s premier technical university, are contributing significant funds to JVP IV. JVP’s limited partners comprise an international network including France Telecom, Infineon, Boeing, Nortel Networks, Reuters, Columbia University, MIT, Flag Venture Partners, Horsley Bridge, and AXA. Asian investors such as the Government of Singapore, Jafco, and Temasek join long-standing Israeli investors such as Bank Leumi and Hebrew University in their commitments to JVP IV.

NORWALK, CT — Mentor Communications Group, the developer of the Mentor(TM) line of communications,
learning and support applications currently used by more than six million
individuals in corporations worldwide, today announced it has raised $4.5
million in equity financing, led by Allegra Partners. A New York-based
venture capital fund, Allegra Partners focuses on expansion funding of
technology companies with market-proven products or services that have strong
management teams, unique strategies and well-defined target markets.



RESTON, VA — New Enterprise Associates (NEA) announced today that George P. Stamas will join the venture capital firm as a Venture Partner, working closely with the firm and current portfolio companies where he will take several board seats on NEA’s behalf. He is currently Vice Chairman of the Board of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, Inc., a position from which he will retire as of January 1, 2002. At that time, Mr. Stamas will assume his role as Venture Partner at NEA. Mr. Stamas has also been named to the Advisory Board of DB Capital Partners, Inc., Deutsche Bank’s private equity arm.

NASHUA, NH — Four top venture capital firms joined together to invest an additional $17 million in funding in Octave Communications(R), a leader in developing and deploying hardware and software for audio conferencing. This round, the largest ever for Octave, was led by new investor, ABS Capital, with participation from original investors Bessemer Venture Partners, St. Paul Venture Capital, and Pilot House Ventures Group.

LOS ANGELES — Former Vice President Al Gore has been named vice chairman of Metropolitan
West Financial, Inc., a diversified financial services firm with more than $50
billion in assets under management, the company announced today.

As vice chairman, Gore will be a member of the company’s executive
leadership team. He will focus on developing private equity strategies in the
biotechnology and information technology fields, and will explore
opportunities for MetWest Financial to expand its business in international
markets. The appointment is effective immediately.



SAN CARLOS, CA & BONN, GERMANY — Open Harbor Inc. (formerly myCustoms) the innovation leader in trade automation for global enterprises, today announced the completion of its second round of financing. Led by strategic investor Deutsche Post Ventures GmbH, the $10 million round also includes Mitsubishi International Corporation (MIC) and current venture capital investors, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Alloy Ventures. This round brings the total investment in Open Harbor to more than $29 million.


STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN — Alta Partners and HBM BioVentures acquire a 16 per cent ownership stake in Biovitrum, one of the largest independent biotech R&D company in Europe. Biovitrum’s research in the field of metabolic diseases zeros in on areas of growing medical needs and with a proven track-record in developing biopharmaceuticals, the company is looking to push its commercial programs forward aggressively.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Three of Austin’s major venture capital firms