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Internet

Idealab draws $1 billion in investments

High-tech and finance companies including BancBoston Capital, Dell Computer, Sumitomo, T. Rowe Price Associates and 24/7 Media join founder Bill Gross in the Series D round of financing.

Idealab, a widely regarded Internet incubator, said it has raised $1 billion in new investments.

Joining Idealab founder and chairman Bill Gross in the Series D round of financing are a group of high-tech and finance companies, including BancBoston Capital, Dell Computer, Sumitomo, T. Rowe Price Associates and 24/7 Media, according to a statement.

The influx comes as venture funding is experiencing an unprecedented boom. Total VC investments rose to $48.3 billion in 1999, compared with $19.3 billion the year before, according to a recent report.

Idealab said it will invest the money in new Internet businesses, acquire strategic assets, and increase its stake in select Idealab companies.

Founded in March 1996 by Bill Gross, see story: Venture funding soars in 1999Idealab has won a reputation for identifying and backing prominent Internet businesses. The incubator has backed seven public companies--including local guide service CitySearch, online retailer eToys, and free online access provider NetZero--that have a total market capitalization of more than $10 billion, the company said.

Idealab is quietly testing a new search venture called Find.com that will feature several search engines organized by topic.