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Edocs scores funding in Net bill payment push

Aiming to expand in the growing online bill payment market, the privately held company drums up about $40 million in its latest round of funding.

    Aiming to expand in the growing online bill payment market, privately held Edocs has drummed up about $40 million in its latest round of funding.

    Led by Amerindo Investment Advisors, Edocs said Monday the additional financing brings its total capital raised to about $80 million within three years.

    Although customers have been slow to move to online bill payment, Net portal giants Yahoo and America Online, financial institutions such as Bank of America and Citibank, and other companies have been throwing their weight behind the idea.

    In October, First Data and iFormation Group committed a total of $600 million to jointly launch eOne Global, a new company aimed at creating and improving electronic payment systems that process transactions over the Internet.

    The U.S. Postal Service in April also made its way into the digital bill payment market. Through its alliance with CheckFree, the USPS is allowing its customers to pay bills electronically over its Web site.

    Edocs, based in Natick, Mass., serves a roster of large clients including credit card giant American Express, finance company GE Capital, phone behemoth Sprint and telecommunications company Telstra. Last month, the company introduced its latest suite of Web-based services that help clients manage accounts, billing and customer relationships.

    Charter Growth Capital, Aurora Technology Funds, Armada Venture Group and other Edocs investors such as Sigma Partners, JAFCO Ventures and Charles River Ventures also contributed to the financing round.