Tech Industry

Tech giants pump $115 million into B2B start-up

Business-to-business software start-up Asera says it has raised $115 million in its third round of funding, nabbing part of the investment from several high-profile companies.

Business-to-business software start-up Asera today said it has raised $115 million in its third round of funding, nabbing part of the investment from several high-profile companies.

As previously reported by CNET News.com, venture capital firm Bowman Capital led the round with a host of other investors including BP Amoco, Andersen Consulting Ventures, Nortel Networks, SAP Ventures and Siemens. Investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter were also investors in the round.

Asera said it plans to use the funding to meet the growing demand for its software products and services and to expand its business both in the United States and overseas.

The financing round would bring the 1-year-old company's market capitalization to nearly $1 billion. Belmont, Calif.-based Asera offers hosted Web-based applications that help companies conduct business and improve communication between their sales channels, partners and customers via an online marketplace. The company charges on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Business-to-business companies have been popular on Wall Street and among venture capitalists. But despite the explosive growth of the sector, companies have a long way to go before profits are realized, analysts warn.

The privately held company's list of investors counts some big names from the tech industry, including Cisco Systems, Intel and General Electric. The company was initially backed by Kleiner Perkins. Vinod Khosla, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins, who also co-founded Sun Microsystems, sits on Asera's board.

Last December, the company secured funds in a second round of financing that totaled $47.4 million from a list of investors that included Bowman Capital, Cisco, GE Capital Equity Investments and Integral Capital Partners.