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Tech Industry

VC watch: Full Degree seals $9 million

Full Degree receives $9 million in a first round of funding...Fourthchannel grabs $9.5 million in a fourth round...DataPlay secures $55 million.

Companies have lived through the boom, and some have survived the bust, but which players will be the trendsetters of the future? The following list is the latest news from start-ups here and abroad that have received venture funding. This page is updated daily. Keep checking back for the latest.

Has your company just completed a round of financing or received other venture capital support? E-mail the editors at

Friday's deals

• Palo Alto, Calif.-based Full Degree picked up $9 million in its first round of financing that comes from Convergence Partners. Full Degree provides marketing content management that aims to allow companies to streamline marketing content flow to various platforms such as those serving catalogues and personal digital assistants.

• Columbus, Ohio-based Fourthchannel announced that it closed the deal on a $9.5 million investment. The investment--its fourth round--brings the company's total to $35 million. Fourthchannel's software, ProfitBuilder Commerce Suite, is designed to help companies increase revenue and improve efficiency with sales force tools that configure, price and order products. Participating investors included Adams Street Partners, ABN-AMRO Private Equity, ABS Ventures, CID Equity Partners, Primedia Ventures, and River Cities Capital Fund.

• DataPlay announced it received a $55 million funding commitment, bringing its total financing to $119 million. Boulder, Colo.-based DataPlay creates digital storage, measuring about the size of a quarter, used in devices for storing images, software, games and video. It expects to sell a 500MB version of its storage product for $10. The current round of investors includes Eastman Kodak, Intel Capital, Olympus Optical, Trans World Entertainment, MeVC Draper Fisher Jurvetson Fund, Imation Corporation, Sequel Venture Partners, Colorado PERA, Portage Venture Partners, SG Cowen Securities, A.G. Edwards Capital, Graystone Ventures and musician David Crosby.

• Optical networking company Aurora Networks received $20 million in second-round funding. ComVentures led the round and was joined by Castile Ventures and Battery Ventures, Aurora's first backer. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, founded in late 1999, has raised a total of $30 million. Aurora develops optical transport equipment for HFC, or hybrid fiber coaxial cable networks, which are the networks of choice for cable TV operators. Aurora Chief Executive Tony Werner previously served as chief technology officer for AT&T Broadband, Ma Bell's cable unit.

Thursday's deals

• ChipData received a $23 million second round investment from Trinity Ventures and EDS Ventures, the investment arm of services company EDS. Richardson, Texas-based ChipData will use the funding to create design efficiency products, which aim to shorten design cycles for electronic design engineers and thereby boost revenues for companies. Since the company's founding in August 1999, it has raised a total of $33 million in funding.

Wednesday's deals

• GotMarketing has raised $3 million in a third round of funding, led by Celtic House. Campbell, Calif.-based GotMarketing has raised a total of $9.4 million. The company develops software designed to help create, send and measure the results of e-mail marketing campaigns.

Tuesday's deals

• Cytura has raised an $11 million first round of funding. The Heathrow, Fla.-based company attracted investments from Noro-Moseley Partners and Lovett Miller, both of which will receive seats on Cytura's board of directors. Cytura provides technology to personalize and manage Web content as well as build communities using Extensible Markup Language (XML). Efforts are underway in the technology industry to make XML the preferred online communication standard.

• OmniCluster Technologies announced on Tuesday it received a $10 million first round of funding led by HIG Ventures. Other investors included Mellon Ventures and CrossBow Ventures. Boca Raton, Fla.-based OmniCluster designs hardware and software that links servers together so they can perform as one unit. OmniCluster's customers use its technology for such tasks as Web serving, firewalls and distributing processing power.

• DataCert announced on Tuesday it received a $5 million second round of funding from Palmetto Partners, Kestrel Document Services and prior investor UPS. The Houston, Texas-based company has raised a total of $7.2 million with this latest round. DataCert's ShareDoc software allows companies to transfer encrypted invoices and documents over the Internet. The company currently markets its software to the legal industry, but it plans to expand its efforts to insurance and healthcare companies by next year.

Monday's deals

• AP Engines announced it received a $30 million second round of funding, led by Thomas Weisel Capital Partners. Other investors included Lighthouse Capital Partners, Mentmore Venture Partners, Enron Broadband Services and previous investors Atlas Venture, Bessemer Venture Partners and Commonwealth Capital Ventures. The Maynard, MA.-based company has raised a total of $40 million. AP Engines plans to use the latest round to further develop AP InterLink, software that accommodates current and planned services that use configurations for the Internet--from broadband data to video conferencing. The technology helps synchronize various databases.

• Online database marketing company Naviant received a $15 million third round of funding, led by Softbank Capital Partners. The Newtown Square, Pa.-based company received a $14 million investment from Softbank, which now holds a majority stake in the company, and a $1 million investment from TL Ventures. Naviant has raised a total of $135 million.

• Connected announced it has raised a $30 million in a sixth round of funding. Connected, which has raised a total of $66 million. The Natick, Mass.-based company provides software that continually backs up data on PCs to prevent a loss during a virus attack or system crash. Investors in this latest round include Peregrine Systems, StarVest Partners, New York Life Capital Partners, Ironside Ventures, Deutsche Banc Alex Brown and previous investors Baker Capital, Fidelity Ventures, Granite Ventures, Applied Technology and Solstice Capital.

• William Blair Capital Partners announced it closed a $403 million fund. The Chicago-based William Blair Capital Partners VII fund will focus on technology, healthcare and consumer services investments. The WBCP VII fund plans to make investments ranging from $7 million to $30 million in upwards of 30 companies.

• Atrenta announced that it received an $8 million first round of funding, led by Venrock Associates. San Jose, Calif.-based Atrenta produces SpyGlass software, with speeds up the design process for electronic products by receiving, distributing and applying information from the development team to the project.

• Bluefish Wireless has raised a $1.75 million second round of funding, led by venture firm NetworkAsia. NetworkAsia will receive a seat on the company's board. Other investors include Allen & Buckeridge. Bluefish has raised a total of $2.5 million. The San Francisco, Calif.-based company offers wireless technology designed to serve two-way infrared communication between handheld devices, using Palm's operating system and the Internet.

• Banderacom, a start-up working on chips that will help transfer data between servers using the fast, new InfiniBand standard, announced it has secured $35 million in second-round venture funding. Banderacom said it would use the money to accelerate development of InfiniBand chips. A number of new and established technology companies are investing in InfiniBand as the new standard for high-speed server communications.