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Oracle, Kleiner Perkins back ASP Portera

The software giant and the venture capital firm are among a large group that is investing $35 million into software maker Portera.

Oracle and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers are among a large group that is investing $35 million into software maker Portera.

Portera, an application service provider (ASP), makes professional services automation software to help companies automate everything from filling out expense accounts to accounting and public relations.

Analysts predict that the burgeoning ASP market is on the verge of hitting it big. Gartner analysts estimate that the ASP market was worth $1 billion last year and will reach $3.6 billion worldwide by the end of 2000. International Data Corp. estimates that the market will grow to $7.8 billion by the end of 2005.

Some of privately held Portera's competitors include Evolve, Opus 360 and Niku. Chase Hambrecht & Quist also took part in this fourth round of funding for the Campbell, Calif.-based company, which has raised more than $90 million.

Portera chief executive Gary Steele said the money will help pay for its continued expansion.

Some of its clients include Hewlett-Packard, Commerce One, British Telecom and Oracle, which signed a deal earlier this year for Portera to make Oracle's software available to a select group of customers. Portera, which launched in 1998 and services 160 companies in 12 countries, hosts Oracle's financial, human resources and purchasing software.