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VC watch: Eschelon raises $35 million

The Internet service telecom carrier raises $35 million... Alan Dick & Co. gets $26.8 million... Santur receives $23 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 News.com.

Recent deals

• Eschelon Telecom said that it raised $35 million in funding from previous investors such as Bain Capital, Stolberg Equity Partners and Wind Point Partners. The voice, data and Internet service telecom carrier said the money would be used to expand their business plans. Minneapolis-based Eschelon previously raised $277 million in equity funding.

• Wireless gear maker Alan Dick & Co. has raised $26.8 million from Lloyds TSB Development Capital. As a result of the deal, Lloyds will receive a seat on the U.K.-based company's board of directors. ADC will use the funding to continue its global expansion and increase the range of its service offerings. The company manufactures and installs wireless telecom equipment such as antennas, and also offers services for radio frequency and network planning. The company's customers include Vodafone, Orange, Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson.

• Santur closed a $23 million second round of funding. Thomas Weisel Partners led the round with participation from all the company's former investors, including Sequoia Capital and Menlo Ventures. Menlo Ventures led the Fremont, Calif.-based company's $20 million first round in June 2001. Santur will use the financing to complete qualification of its tunable laser by Telcordia, a company that clears telecom equipment and components for use in the networks of Baby Bell phone companies such as Verizon Communications, SBC Communications and others. The company expects to receive qualification later this year.

• Savvis Communications, an Internet and data service provider, pulled in $20 million in equity funding, bringing its total to $178 million. Constellation Ventures, a unit of investment bank Bear Stearns, supplied the financing and will receive a seat on Savvis's board of directors. The Herndon, Va.-based company, which provides telecom services such as hosting, VPN (virtual private network) and Internet services to businesses, will use the cash to expand. Under terms of the agreement, Constellation Ventures will receive 26.7 million shares of Savvis stock, or an 8 percent voting stake in the company, and the firm has the option to buy 10 million additional shares. Savvis' customers include the New York Stock Exchange, the Montreal Derivatives Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange and Fitch Ratings. Savvis announced last March that it received $158 million from Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and other investors.

• Software maker DiCartaraised $19 million in a recent round of funding led by Menlo Ventures. Other participants included new investor Needham Capital Partners, along with previous investors Sequoia Capital, Deloitte Ventures, Skywood Ventures and others. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company will use the financing to expedite the development and market adoption of its products and to continue to focus on its customer service and profitability goals. DiCarta makes software that helps businesses manage contracts with customers, suppliers and partners. The company closed a $26 million round in July 2000 led by Capital Research and Management Company, along with contributions from other VC firms including Comdisco Ventures, Cooley Godward, Octane Capital Management and Prang Enterprises. The company's total funding now exceeds $54 million.

• IronPort Systems received $16.5 million in equity and debt funding in its most recent round from Menlo Ventures, Allegis Capital, Starter Fluid, Amicus Capital and Western Technology Investment. The round gives both Menlo Ventures and Allegis Capital a seat on the San Bruno, Calif.-based company's board of directors. Starter Fluid and Amicus participated in IronPort's $3.9 million seed round in November 2001. Iron Port makes e-mail gateways, the hardware that sits between a company and the Internet, to route e-mail efficiently, and also develops the software that operates the gear. The company said in a statement that it expects to reach profitability by early 2003.

• Chip Express raised $16 million of funding in its most recent round, bringing the chipmaker's total financing to $44 million, the company announced. Wasserstein Venture Capital led the round and received a seat on the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company's board of directors. Other participants in the round included Elron Electronic Industries, Needham Capital Partners, Newlight Associates, Parker Price Venture Capital and chip manufacturer UMC. Chip Express will use the cash to boost its research and development activities, expand global marketing efforts and increase its sales force, especially in Asia.

• Princeton eCom received $10 million from Lazard Technology Partners. The deal, announced this week, completes a total of $31 million the company has raised since late 2001 from New Century Equity Holdings, Mellon Ventures and Terra Lycos Ventures. The Princeton, N.J.-based company said in a statement that the funding will be used to enhance its position in the marketplace. Princeton eCom provides electronic payment and billing services to banks and large financial institutions. Prior to the recent funding, the company announced that it raised $20 million of debt financing in April 2001, and $33.5 million of equity funding in early 2000.

• Expresiv Technologies collected $9.8 million in a first round of funding led by Polaris Venture Partners along with contributions from Eaglestone Capital and Independent Bankers Capital. The Austin, Texas-based company said it will use the new financing to support its marketing, sales, product development activities as well as the expansion into new markets. Expresiv makes speech-recognition and transcription software for the health care industry. In addition to the funding announced last week, the company said that it appointed Tom Herring, former chief executive officer of NuMega Technologies, as its new chairman and CEO. Expresiv also hired Frank Reeves as its chief financial and chief operating officer. Reeves most recently served as executive vice president and CFO of Luminex.

• ProClarity closed a $7.75 million funding round. Summit Partners led the round and received a seat on the Boise, Idaho-based company's board of directors. The company raised its $2 million first round in March 2000 when it was named Knosys. ProClarity makes analytics software, which analyzes business data, and will use the financing to continue its growth and global expansion strategies. The company's customers include AT&T, Allstate, CompUSA, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, Nordstrom, Pennzoil QuakerState and the Veterans Health Administration.

• Sourcefire raised an additional $5.5 million of first-round funding, bringing its total financing for the round to $7.55 million. Sierra Ventures and Core Capital Partners led the additional funding. Sierra has three seats on the company's six-person board of directors, and Core Capital controls one seat. The Columbia, Md.-based company will use the money to fund research and development and hire more employees, especially in its sales and marketing divisions. Sourcefire makes hardware and software that helps businesses protect their computer networks against intrusions and hacker attacks.

• 24/7 Real Media, a provider of technology for digital marketing, raised $5 million in equity funding with an option to secure an additional $2 million from international investment group Sunra Capital Holdings. The funding comes as the company plots a turnaround strategy to reach profitability during a severe slump in the technology sector. As part of the agreement, 24/7 Real Media issued $1.6 million of preferred stock to Sunra, convertible at $0.20535 per share, and $3.4 million of nonvoting convertible preferred stock, which will automatically be converted per shareholder approval.