Netscape founder sells start-up MyCFO

The company Jim Clark started to help wealthy families manage their fortunes is snatched up for $30 million, or one-third of its total funding.

Paul Festa Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Paul Festa
covers browser development and Web standards.
Paul Festa
A company started by Netscape founder Jim Clark to help wealthy families manage their fortunes has sold for one-third of its total funding.

The Chicago-based Harris Private Bank, a division of the BMO Financial Group in Toronto said it plans to acquire by year's end "certain assets" of Clark's MyCFO for $30 million.

MyCFO, located in Mountain View, Calif., raised $90 million since launching in 1999. Its board of directors resembled an Internet boom hall of fame, including Clark, fellow Netscape veteran Jim Barksdale, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner John Doerr.

Its chief executive, Art Shaw, will remain as head of MyCFO Harris and will report to the head of the Harris Private Bank.

MyCFO is just the latest of Jim Clark's ventures to collapse despite generous funding and high-profile stewardship. Clark walked away from Silicon Graphics to found Netscape, which survives as a unit of AOL Time Warner. Clark two years ago this month pulled the plug on his teen-centered site Kibu, shortly after resigning from his health care venture Healtheon/WebMD.

Failure and frustration on some fronts have not discouraged Clark from continuing to fund and steer start-ups. In addition to online photo shop Shutterfly and biotechnology firm DNA Sciences, Clark last year launched, again with Barksdale, Neoteris, which provides an alternative to extranets and virtual private networks.