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Internet

Start-up keeps nascent Net companies honest

Through its Contracts products, DiCarta aims to help rapidly growing Internet companies manage their contracts and revenue and ensure compliance with federal regulations.

Scott Martin, DiCarta CEO For small Internet businesses just starting out, dealing with the unexpected rush of success is sometimes so overwhelming that accounting mistakes occur that could lead to trouble with federal regulators.

That's where DiCarta, a Silicon Valley start-up, says it can help.

Through its Contracts products, DiCarta aims to help rapidly growing Internet companies manage their contracts and revenue and ensure compliance with federal regulations, thereby lowering financial and legal risks, Scott Martin, DiCarta's chief executive, said in an interview.

"We help companies that are growing like mad, are understaffed, and have to follow all these (Securities and Exchange Commission) regulations," Martin said, citing a Stanford University report. The report showed that 57 percent of all class-action lawsuits filed against technology companies in 1998 were results of irregular accounting practices or the failure to comply with regulations.

Company executives are scheduled to introduce the Contracts product tomorrow, but it will not be widely available until Feb. 15.

The service's cost will be based on the size of the company. For example, if a company's annual revenue is less than $3 million, the price for DiCarta's service would be about $10,000, Martin said.

To test the new product, DiCarta turned to companies that are experiencing rapid revenue growth, such as Ariba, Centra Software and SilverStream Software.

Investors in the Redwood City, Calif.-based start-up include Sequoia Capital, the Roda Group, Skywood Ventures and other private investors.