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Ellison targets Web hosting with start-up

The Internet start-up NetLedger, funded by Oracle chief Larry Ellison, opens shop to provide small businesses with Web-based accounting software.

An Internet start-up, funded by Oracle chief Larry Ellison, opened shop today to provide small businesses with Web-based accounting software.

NetLedger is jumping into the growing application hosting market, which lets businesses rent their software over the Web instead of buying it.

NetLedger, which is targeting small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, is charging $4.95 a month for the accounting software, which includes accounts receivable, accounts payable, and general ledger. Oracle's Business OnLine hosting service will operate NetLedger's software, said Evan Goldberg, NetLedger's president and CEO and former vice president of new media at Oracle.

So far, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is the lone investor in NetLedger, sinking several million dollars into the company and serving as its board chairman, Goldberg said.

NetLedger's software is accessible by users with an Internet connection and a Web browser. The company plans to charge more money for additional services in the future. Goldberg said the company will strike partnerships in the coming months to connect Web stores with NetLedger's software, allowing Web purchases to automatically be entered into the accounting software.

Goldberg said the company plans to start off with 100 companies and hopes to grow to 1,000 by the end of August.