E-commerce upstart Perfect.com raises $4.5 million

Despite taking the wraps off its name and funding, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company is being cagey about its technology.

Paul Festa Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Paul Festa
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Paul Festa
The latest e-commerce start-up to hit Silicon Valley apparently isn't afraid of raising expectations too high.

Dubbed Perfect.com, the new firm today said it raised $4.5 million in seed financing from unidentified investors. The company's original backer is Ron Conway's Angel Investors. Perfect.com was founded in May and is located in Palo Alto, Calif.

Despite today's announcement taking the wraps off its name and funding, Perfect.com is being cagey about its technology. But in a statement announcing the funding round, Conway compared the company's potential to that of the firms that provide caching products for the Internet's infrastructure. Cache technology is used to store copies of frequently accessed content closer to end-users to reduce congestion on the broader Internet and speed downloads.

"Perfect.com is an outstanding, highly focused attack on a huge opportunity--making e-commerce markets perform more perfectly," Conway said in a statement. "If they hit their goals, this company has the potential of another Inktomi or Akamai."

Formerly known as "iwanto.com", Perfect.com is headed by Marc Porat, who cofounded General Magic, and by chief executive Kevin Surace, former executive vice president of General Magic. That company, now focusing on unified messaging products, has had a less than perfect history since spinning out from Apple Computer, reinventing itself numerous times, generating steep losses, and earning the derision of Wall Street as a technology ne'er-do-well.

Perfect.com said it has more than thirty engineers, economists and merchandising specialists devising a "'perfect' market mechanism" that will apply both to consumer and business-to-business markets.