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Net services firm gets venture funding

Net services start-up Vividence announces a second round of funding, bringing total investments in the company to $18 million.

Net services start-up Vividence yesterday announced a second round of funding, bringing total investments in the company to $18 million.

Venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia made the investments, although Vividence said it also received earlier funding from Compaq Computer chairman Ben Rosen, Angel Investors founder Ron Conway and Yahoo counsel Jim Brock.

Vividence executives say the company intends to define a new category of Internet services focused on evaluating the experiences people have when they use Web sites.

The company said its first service, due next February, will help companies better understand their sales or content by polling customers for feedback about their experiences and tracking why they go to the site.

As part of the announcement, Vividence said Russ Siegelman, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is joining the company's board of directors.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company has 50 employees and is headed by co-founder and CEO Artie Wu and chief technology officer and co-founder Steve Ketchpel.

Vividence's name sprung from the idea that the company would "offer vivid evidence to the head of marketing to help them with problems they are facing," according to Bill Demas, the company's vice president of marketing.

"For whatever target, we can measure [consumer] behavior and intent," he said, noting that when a shopper buys a tie on the site, the e-tailer using their service would not only gather sales data, but glean the fact that the buyer was making a Father's Day gift purchase.

"We want to let [customers] know what the customer is trying to do," Demas said.

Demas said the company has 20 customers testing its services--ranging from two Fortune 500 companies to three of the top six portal firms to smaller start-ups.