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Private Equity Week Wire for Tuesday 3/12

SANTA CLARA, CA — Peribit Networks, the only developer of DNA sequencing-based network optimization products today announced that Mayfield, a top tier venture capital firm, is leading a $20.5 million venture round in the company. At a time when many start-up companies are being forced to accept venture capital financing that values their companies at far lower levels than in the past, Peribit Networks secured financing that values the company significantly higher. Mayfield competed with several other VC firms for the opportunity to become a new investor in Peribit Networks. Peribit’s previous investors, Accel Partners and Foundation Capital, have significantly increased their overall investment in the company. This Series C funding round brings Peribit’s total funding to $31 million.

Peribit has a novel approach to optimizing the efficiency of wide-area networks (WANs). The company’s Molecular Sequence Reduction (MSR) technology marks the first time techniques used in DNA research have been applied to bolstering the performance and capacity of IT applications. Through MSR, Peribit has discovered that more than 70-90 percent of WAN traffic is repetitive data. By identifying and eliminating this repetitive data, MSR increases the network capacity of wide area network links by up to ten times. As a result, Peribit customers frequently realize a return on investment in three to nine months.

PASADENA, CA — Phasebridge Inc., a developer of chip-scale integrated modules for 10 GB and 40 GB fiber-optic systems, announced that it closed its Series A investment round in September with funding from Clearstone Venture Partners, Intel Capital, and TriQuint Semiconductor.

This investment provides Phasebridge with resources to further develop and deploy its high-speed integrated modules, add staff, and help bring its first generation product to market.

Phasebridge has operated in stealth mode since it was founded in June of 2000. Dr. Ronald Logan, the company’s founder, CEO and chairman, and various individual investors funded Phasebridge prior to the Series A round.

CAMPBELL, CA — AOptix Technologies, a leading provider of Free Space Optics (FSO) communications systems, today announced the closing of an $18 million Series B round of financing, co-led by Lehman Brothers and 3i. The round also included participation from existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Clearstone Venture Partners. As part of the financing, Brian Paul of Lehman Brothers and David Aslin of 3i have joined AOptix’s Board of Directors.

AOptix Technologies designs and builds carrier-class FSO systems used by telecommunications service providers to deliver high-speed communications to business customers. FSO systems transmit optical signals over a laser beam sent through the air (or “free space”) at a fraction of the cost and time needed to trench and install fiber optic cables.

NORWALK, CONN. — HealthMarket, a leading provider of Self Directed Health Plans, today announced it has closed its $15 million, second-round of capital financing led by General Atlantic Partners, the global private equity investment firm focused on information technology and communications, and Whitney & Co., LLC, a leading manager of alternative assets, including private and public equity and debt. This new infusion of capital allows HealthMarket to continue its rapid growth and expand into new geographic markets.

Since launching these products in the fall, HealthMarket has enrolled over 500 employer groups, who have replaced their previous managed care policies with HealthMarket’s innovative Self Directed Health Plans (SDHPs). These new plans give consumers more control over their insurance coverage using Savings Accounts and HealthMarket SMARTFUNDS(SM). Members have no network restrictions, pre-authorizations or referral requirements. They simply choose a provider and obtain care when the need arises — they decide how to use their healthcare benefits.

SAN FRANCISCO — LiquidSeats, the industry leader in providing integrated solutions for the secondary ticketing market, is pleased to announce the closing of its Series B Round of financing. Investors included New York investment firm Allen & Company Incorporated, former CEO of HBO and Time Warner Music Group Michael Fuchs, former Microsoft executive and Starwave Chairman Mike Slade, and former Robertson Stephens Chairman and current Francisco Partners co-founder Sandy Robertson. They join LiquidSeats Series A investors, who included BEA Systems co-founder Edward Scott, Jr. and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young.
LiquidSeats is also pleased to announce that Slade, Harold Silen, and Jerry Seltzer have all joined the Company’s advisory board. Silen and Seltzer co-founded BASS Tickets in 1974, building it into one of the most formidable ticketing companies in the country before selling it to Advantix in 1997.

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