NEOPLANET ANNOUNCES $18 MILLION FIRST-ROUND FUNDING
Establishes corporate headquarters in Phoenix "Digital Desert"
PHOENIX, Arizona, July 13, 1999 -
NeoPlanet Inc., provider of the industry leading NeoPlanet "desktop portal," today announced that it has raised $18
million in financing from investment and technology leaders including: Constellation Ventures, LP (an affiliate of
Bear Stearns Asset Management); Network Associates, Inc. (Nasdaq: NETA), the leading independent supplier of
enterprise-wide network security and management software; Venture Frogs, a new venture capital firm formed
by the founders of MSN LinkExchange (Nasdaq: MSFT); Stephens Group, Inc., a subsidiary of full service investment
bank Stephens, Inc.; The Acorn Fund, a small-cap global fund investing in the U.S. and abroad.
"NeoPlanet presents a powerful new opportunity for Internet companies to
establish a truly 'sticky' relationship with consumers -- from the desktop
to the Web," said Tony Hsieh, General Manager, Venture Frogs, LLC. "Client
software will play an important role in next-generation Internet strategies
and NeoPlanet has earned a firm leadership position in this space, with an
installed base of 1.7 million. Venture Frogs is glad to come in on the
ground floor in this promising venture."
The recent round of investments will allow the company to grow its
infrastructure, fund NeoPlanet distribution, develop new product features
and promote the NeoPlanet brand.
"The variety of funding we've received from multiple sources is indicative
of the strength of NeoPlanet's strategy," said Drew Cohen, president and
CEO, NeoPlanet, Inc. "The growing interest in the desktop portal space has
created immense opportunity for NeoPlanet, and this solid investment round
underscores the leadership role NeoPlanet has taken in this emerging category."
With a current installed base of 1.7 million, NeoPlanet has forged key
distribution, content and technology partnerships with Lycos, Inc. (Nasdaq:
LCOS), New Line Cinema, Network Associates Inc. (Nasdaq: NETA), Centraal
Corporation; and Loral Space and Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LOR). In
addition, NeoPlanet has been recognized as a pioneer in the Mozilla Open
Source Initiative, developing the first publicly available consumer browser
based upon the Mozilla Gecko engine and emerging as the first corporate
contributor to the Mozilla.org open source development effort aside from
Netscape (Nasdaq: AOL).
"The Digital Desert"
NeoPlanet was "incubated" for two years at New York-based Bigfoot
International, Inc. and spun off as an independent company in January 1999.
Drawn by a strong talent pool and compelling local economy, NeoPlanet
established headquarters in Phoenix's "Digital Desert" in February.
NeoPlanet combines browser and portal features, bringing the best of the
Internet to the consumer's desktop. The company brings new personality to
the desktop by allowing users to customize the look and feel of their
browser through personalized "skins." Consumers also have control of
NeoPlanet's integrated web directory, allowing them to personalize their
surfing experience. NeoPlanet allows third-party distributors to re-brand
NeoPlanet's interface, including a Web browser and e-mail client for
localized and affinity marketplaces. Distribution channels include ISPs,
OEMs, Web sites and direct marketers. NeoPlanet is free and easy to
download at www.neoplanet.com. The company, privately-held and
headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona can be contacted at (602) 426-2800.
About Constellation Ventures
Constellation Ventures is a $100 million venture capital fun investing in
early to mid-stage companies that capitalize on the convergence of media,
communications and technology. Constellation Ventures aims to bridge the gap
between creativity and technology, investing in content networks and
enabling technologies that leverage multiple digital distribution systems.
Based in New York City, Constellation Ventures is the venture capital arm of
Bear Stearns Asset Management.
About Network Associates
With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, Network Associates, Inc. is a
leading supplier of enterprise network security and management software.
Network Associate's Net Tools Secure and Net Tools Manager products offer
best-of-breed, suite-based network security and management software. Net
Tools Secure and Net Tools Manager suites combine to create the net Tools
suite that centralizes these point solutions within an easy-to-use,
integrated systems management environment. For more information,
Network Associates can be reached at 408-988-3832 or on the Internet at
About Venture Frogs
Venture Frogs was formed by founders of LinkExchange (acquired by Microsoft
in November 1998). Focusing on the Internet, e-commerce, information, and
telecommunications technology markets, Venture Frogs provides angel
investment in and consulting for private companies which are in early
development of new strategic opportunities and in a phase of unusual growth.
So far this year, Venture Frogs has made over a dozen investments, ranging
in size from $100k to $3 million.
About the Acorn Fund
Acorn Fund is a small-cap global fund investing in the U.S. and abroad. It
has approximately $3.5 billion in assets. The investment advisor to the
Fund is Wanger Asset Management, L.P. ("WAM"). WAM currently manages about
$7 billion in small and mid cap equities and is also the investment advisor
to Acorn International, Acorn USA, Acorn Twenty and Acorn Foreign Forty.
About Stephens, Inc.
Stephens Inc. is a subsidiary of Stephens Group Inc., a full service
investment bank. Stephens Group has core operations in media - the Donrey
Group of Newspapers; oil & gas exploration and production - Stephen's
Production Company and Camwest, Inc.; and in non-publicly traded Special
Investments, such as NeoPlanet, Inc.
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