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VC watch: Myrio grabs $8 million

Mantas gets a pledge of $17.5 million...Myrio reels in $8 million...Evoxis grabs an additional $1.2 million.

Which companies 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 frequently. 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

Recent deals

• Mantas, whose data-mining software helps banks and brokerages track customer behavior, said Safeguard Scientifics has agreed to invest $17.5 million in the company. Including this round of funding, Mantas has raised a total of $29.5 million since SRA Ventures, a joint venture formed by Safeguard Scientifics and SRA International, spun off the company last May. Mantas customers, such as Merrill Lynch and the National Association of Securities Dealers, use its systems to monitor securities trades for irregular activities and transaction quality. But the company says its technology can also be used to detect fraud and money laundering. "Recent regulatory mandates, such as the passage of the U.S.A. Patriot Act, have created opportunity for our anti-money laundering and fraud solutions," Mantas Chief Executive Simon Moss said in a statement.

• Myrio pulled in $8 million to close its first round of funding, the company announced, bringing its total to $14.8 million for the round. The new funding came from NeoCarta Ventures, Ridgewood Capital and Alexander Hutton Venture Partners. Myrio offers software and services that enable phone companies to offer television services over broadband networks, a technology that puts carriers in direct competition with cable TV providers. The company will use the funding to target customers such as local carriers, long-distance phone companies and international carriers. Myrio makes two kinds of software products: one for phone company networks and the other for TV set-top boxes in consumers' homes. The company announced that it has secured customer contracts with phone and local utility companies in Nevada, Texas, Washington and Ohio.

• Evoxis raised an additional $1.2 million in private funding, on top of the $1 million it collected from angel investors in November. The company makes mass-messaging technology that enables companies to simultaneously send hundreds of thousands of customized voice messages to wireless phone users. In addition to advertising, Evoxis said that companies could use its product to inform customers of time-sensitive services. For example, financial companies could inform clients of trading opportunities, and airlines could notify passengers of flight changes. The company, which was founded in 2001, intends to start seeking investors to raise between $7 million and $10 million for its first round of funding.

• Optical components maker NanoOpto raised an additional $4 million for its first round of funding, which brings its total financing to $20 million. The cash infusion came from new investor Draper Fisher Jurvetson and from previous investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and U.S. Trust's Excelsior Venture Partners III. The company, which raised $16 million for the first round in December, makes chips for telecom equipment that power networks run by carriers. NanoOpto started initial production in its Somerset, N.J., chip plant in March and will reach volume production in mid-2002.

• Software maker Season Tickets has received more than $1 million as part of a second round of venture funding, the company said. Investors included AZ Ventures and Harvey Vechery, trustee of the Vechery Family Trust. Chicago-based Season Tickets, which provides software that enables sports teams and fans to sell and exchange season tickets, has raised about $2.5 million in its second round of funding, a company representative said. Season Tickets originally expected the round to bring in $5 million in five months, but the representative said the company has waited to ask for money when it needed it rather than try to get it all at once.

• Digital media provider Pathfire says it has closed $27 million in its fourth round of financing, bringing its total funding to $115 million. CNN News Group participated in the round and will hold a minority equity stake in Pathfire. Other investors included Quadrangle Group, Bank of America Capital Investors, Reuters Greenhouse Fund and AT&T Ventures. Pathfire CEO Mike Eckert said the company will use the funding to develop new products and continue releasing servers to its customers.

• Wireless chipmaker SyChip closed its third round of funding with an additional $4.6 million, bringing the round to $19.3 million. New investors for the extra contribution include Genesis Park, Global Strategic Investment, Intel Communications Fund, Markpoint Venture Partners, Masthead and TechQuest. The Plano, Texas-based company closed the first part of the round last November at $14.7 million, according to SyChip Chief Executive George Barber. 3i led the first stage along with participation from Alliance Technology Ventures, Lucent Technologies and Pacesetter Capital. SyChip will use the financing for marketing and development of chips used in cell phones and wireless LAN (local area network) equipment that runs on 802.11b, or Wi-Fi technology.

• Telecom software maker Tornado Development raised $20 million in its fifth funding round, the company said, bringing its total financing to about $70 million. The round includes contributions from previous investors such as GE Equity, QuestMark Partners, Intel Communications Fund and Kipco. The El Segundo, Calif.-based company makes unified messaging software, which offers customers the ability to check voice mail, e-mail and faxes from a PC, phone or other devices. Tornado Development has formed partnerships with Siemens, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems.

• Optical equipment start-up Lumentis has raised $19 million in its second round of funding, the company announced. Previous investor Deutsche Bank Industrial Holdings, a unit of Deutsche Bank, contributed to the round along with Japan-based Santec, a maker of optical components. In addition to the investment, Santec will distribute the Sweden-based company's equipment in Asia and partner with Lumentis in research and development activities.

• Pelago Networks, a communications service company, said it has raised $32 million in new equity and debt financing in a second round of funding, bringing the company's total financing to $50 million. Investors in the second round included Advent International, Charles River Ventures, Columbia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Brooktrout. Pelago, headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., said it plans to use the new funding to support the introduction of new services later this year.

• Software start-up Bravanta raised $11.4 million in its third and final round of funding. Bravanta, based in San Francisco, makes employee incentive applications that help companies track and reward employee performance. The company has raised a total of $46.2 million and said it needs no more venture capital to become profitable. Bravanta sells services to help companies define their business goals and identify employee behaviors that help it reach those goals. It also hosts software on the Web that helps managers keep track of employee achievements and award them noncash rewards, such as a watch or pen, sold by Bravanta. Customers include Gateway, British Airways and Ericsson.

• Neocera raised $13.3 million in its second round of venture financing, the company announced Tuesday, bringing its total funding to $20.3 million. Digital Power Capital and Tudor Investment co-led the round along with participation from FEI Company and Intel Capital. The funds will be used to develop products, expand sales channels and improve customer support functions. Washington, D.C.-based Neocera makes manufacturing and test equipment for chipmakers.

• Cyber-Ark closed a $12 million second round of funding, led by Jerusalem Venture Partners. Other investors include Vertex Management Israel and previous investors SCP, J.P. Morgan/Chase Partners, IDB and Cabaret-ArbaOne. Dedham, Mass.-based Cyber-Ark has raised a total of $20 million. The company develops data security software for connecting companies with their remote offices and business.

• Digital watermark developer Verance says it has secured $13 million in its latest round of funding. The company said leading investors included Constellation Ventures, an affiliate of Bear Stearns Asset Management, and MMC Capital, a subsidiary of MMC. Verance said that to date its total financing exceeds $40 million. The company will use the additional funds to enhance its products and services. In November, San Diego-based Verance filed a lawsuit in federal court charging its rival Digimarc with violating antitrust and unfair competition laws. Among other things, the suit alleges that Digimarc illegally submitted Verance's digital watermarking technology to a standards group.

• Airvana has raised $40 million for its third round of funding, bringing its total financing to about $81 million. The round was led by Matrix Partners with additional investment from Qualcomm, CommVest and Gururaj Deshpande, chairman of telecom equipment maker Sycamore Networks. Airvana makes equipment for wireless networks based on Qualcomm's CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology, which offers high-speed Internet access to cell phone users. Chelmsford, Mass.-based Airvana will participate in trials of the so-called 3G, or third generation, technology starting this June in San Diego, which will be conducted by Verizon Wireless and telecom equipment maker Nortel Networks.

• Start-up Equipe Communications garnered $40 million in a third round of funding from investors, bringing the company's total funding to $103 million since its inception. New investor Sequoia Capital Partners led the third round of funding, which also included new investors Ciena and Silicon Valley BancVentures. In addition, optical networking equipment maker Ciena and Equipe pledged to share technical and strategic information as part of a new relationship between the two companies, Equipe said. Equipe makes a network device that lets a service provider migrate from networks based on asynchronous transfer mode, or ATM, to the Internet, or IP, and its associated technologies.

• Polaris Networks closed its second round of funding of $52 million, the company said. The round was led by Advanced Technology Ventures, which gains a seat on Polaris' board of directors, with new investors WK Technology, First Hand Capital Management and others. Previous investors such as Redpoint Ventures, Venrock Associates and Storm Ventures from the company's $22 million first round contributed to the funding. Polaris makes an optical switch for metropolitan telecom networks, which handle data within urban areas. The company, which was founded in June 2000, plans to have its gear completed for customer trials in the second quarter this year and ready to ship to customers sometime in the fourth quarter. Polaris has signed four trial agreements with either local "Baby Bell" carriers such as Verizon or long-distance phone companies such as AT&T.

• Dynamicsoft has raised an $18 million fourth round of funding. Sun Microsystems, Siemens Venture Capital, and previous investors ComVentures, The Sprout Group, UBS Capital and VantagePoint Venture Partners have participated in this latest round. East Hanover, N.J.-based Dynamicsoft has raised a total of $70 million. The company develops software to allow mobile carriers to offer such services as instant messaging and one-button dialing. Dynamicsoft's software is based on the session initiation protocol, which is designed to make it easier for carriers to build new communications services for real-time sessions.

• Agile Storage has raised a $26 million second round of funding, led by Worldview Technology Partners. Previous investors Foundation Capital and Mayfield also contributed to this latest round. Los Gatos, Calif.-based Agile has raised a total of $40 million. The storage-networking company pulls together a company's storage boxes and manages them through a single storage network box.

• Arbortext has raised a $13.5 million third round of funding. Investors include Norwest Venture Partners, Invesco Private Capital and North Coast Technology Investors. Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Arbortext has raised a total of $38 million. The company provides XML-based software that allows customers to create, edit and publish information to the Web, print, CD-ROM and wireless devices using the same content source.

• A group of investors that includes Bank of America Venture and Lucent Venture Partners has pumped $15 million in funding to wireless and high-speed Internet service provider Wayport, the company said Tuesday. The money will be used to expand the Austin, Texas-based company's sales efforts, increase the number of partnerships and network activities, Wayport said in a statement. Privately held Wayport caters to companies including 450 hotels and nine airports.

• Azanda Network Devices raised a $19 million second round of funding. Previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Commonwealth Capital Ventures led the round, which also included earlier investor Goldman Sachs. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Azanda has raised a total of $29 million. The company designs chips for managing data traffic in optical networks in metropolitan areas, as well as the edge of corporate wide-area networks.

• Resonext Communications raised a $25 million third round of funding, led by Invesco Private Capital and WK Technology Fund. Previous investors Norwest Venture Partners, Bessemer Capital and Oak Investment Partners also participated in the round. San Jose, Calif.-based Resonext has raised a total of $53.5 million. The company develops semiconductor products for wireless local area networks.

• Peribit Networks has raised a $20.5 million third round of funding, led by Mayfield. Previous investors Accel Partners and Foundation Capital also participated in the round. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Peribit has raised a total of $31 million. The company develops products to increase bandwidth capacity for wide-area networks by eliminating repetitive data.