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VC watch: Yipes grabs $54 million

The metro network operator receives $54 million... Ample gets $21 million... Thor raises $19 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

• Yipes Enterprise Services, the new incarnation of bankrupt Yipes Communications, raised $54 million as part of its restructuring efforts. A group of investors bought the assets of the metropolitan network operator for $20 million with the approval of a federal bankruptcy court in San Francisco. The group included many original Yipes investors, such as Norwest Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates and J.P. Morgan Partners. Yipes Communications filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in March.

Yipes Enterprise said it had lost four percent of its customers during the bankruptcy process, according to new Chief Executive Dennis Muse. The company currently has less than 100 employees, with plans to add 10 to 20 more by the end of year.

• Chipmaker Ample Communications raised $21 million in a second round of funding led by CenterPoint Ventures and Rho Ventures. Former investors such as InterWest Partners, Storm Ventures and company founders also participated in the financing. The Fremont, Calif.-based company raised $17 million in a first round in September 2000. Ample makes chips for telecommunications equipment. It used the proceeds from its first round to distribute samples of its products to gear makers earlier this year. The company said some equipment makers are now using its chips on a commercial basis.

• Thor Technologies received a $19 million second round of funding led by Bain Capital Ventures, the venture capital arm of Bain Capital, along with contributions from new investors such as Longworth Venture Partners and Boston Capital Ventures. As a result, Bain and Longworth will each receive a seat on the business software maker's board of directors. Thor already received $9 million of the funding last month and has the option to draw on the remainder at any time before its next round of outside funding. The New York City-based company makes software that automates the process of granting and revoking user access to enterprise IT systems and resources.

• Dirig Software raised a $15 million in its most recent round of funding. New investor Battery Ventures led the round and will receive a seat on Dirig's board of directors. Previous investors JMI Equity, Longworth Venture Partners and Aprisma Management Technologies also participated in the funding round. The Nashua, N.H.-based company will use the financing to develop new products and beef up its sales and marketing efforts. Dirig makes software that helps companies manage and maintain e-commerce operations.

• Chipmaker Simtek collected $3 million in funding from Renaissance Capital Group. In exchange for the financing, Renaissance will receive debt notes that are convertible under certain conditions to stock at 31.2 cents a share. Renaissance will also occupy a seat on the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based company's board of directors. Simtek said in a statement that it will use the cash for working capital purposes to support its growth plans. The company designs chips for computer data storage systems, industrial control computers, and office equipment such as fax machines and copiers.