BIGFOOT SPINS OFF NEOPLANET, FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND BROWSER-PORTAL FEATURING INTELLIGENT BROWSING
Spin-Off Fueled by Investment from Vulcan, Network Associates' Internet Venture Fund
NEW YORK, JANUARY 7, 1999 - Bigfoot International, Inc., a New York City-based Internet services firm, today announced that it has spun off its NeoPlanet division, a first-of-its-kind browser-portal featuring intelligent browsing, into an independent company. The spin-off, effective January 1, 1999, was fueled by new capital from an investment group that includes Network Associates, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: NETA) recently formed Vulcan Internet Venture Fund.
The current investment round will provide NeoPlanet with the funding it needs to implement its business plan, continue development of future products and support the marketing of NeoPlanet 2.0, which provides users with a complete Internet environment, fusing the best of portal and browser functionality into one highly intuitive and personalized interface to the Web. Since its release in November 1998, NeoPlanet has acquired an installed base of over 250,000 Internet users and the company has signed distribution agreements with more than 50 regional and local Internet Service Providers (ISPs), covering eight of the top 10 U.S. markets.
"NeoPlanet and NAI previously announced the development of a McAfee branded version of NeoPlanet, giving their millions of users a fun, easy way to surf the Net. The McAfee On-Line version will be available in early 1999," said Drew Cohen, president and CEO of NeoPlanet, Inc. "This is a great strategic fit with NAI's McAfee On-Line portal strategy and the investment allows NAI to benefit in the value it creates in NeoPlanet."
Prior to the spin-off, NeoPlanet was one of several distinct divisions within Bigfoot's operations. The other divisions include E-mail Campaign Management (ECM), and the consumer offerings, Bigfoot for Life and Bigfoot Directory. The spin-off is part of Bigfoot's strategy to maximize shareholder value and allow for direct investment in its stable of properties while providing autonomy to the individual businesses.
Network Associates Investments
"McAfee has always been a pioneer in use of the Internet to meet business needs, offering electronic delivery of products and services online even before there was a World Wide Web," said Srivats Sampath, general manager of the McAfee Software Division of Network Associates. "McAfee's next Internet initiative is our smart portal service and the Vulcan Fund will invest in companies whose technologies are core to aiding our differentiation in this new Internet space of computing and commerce."
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