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To:greg.whalley@enron.com, louise.kitchen@enron.com, jay.fitzgerald@enron.com,stephen.horn@enron.com, andy.zipper@enron.com, allan.sommer@enron.com, michael.miller@enron.com, john.norden@enron.com, drew.ries@enron.com
Subject:Venture News, Tuesday, November 28, 2000
Date:Tue, 28 Nov 2000 01:58:00 -0800 (PST)

o Cuantra Launches Latin American Ground Transportation Site

HOUSTON -- Cuantra, creator of transporteymas.com,
a business-to-business site for the ground transportation
industry in Latin America, said the site has launched.
Ground transportation companies in Mexico will be
able to use the site to purchase truck and bus parts
from suppliers. The company plans to expand into
other Latin American countries by the second quarter
of next year. The company is backed by undisclosed
individual investors and is currently seeking venture

o Austin Ventures Names 3 General Partners, 3 Partners

AUSTIN, Texas. -- Austin Ventures said it has promoted
three of its partners, Ross Cockrell, Chris Pacitti,
and Stephen Straus, to the position of general partner,
and also named John Dirvin, Venu Shamapant, and
Basil Horangic as partners. Mr. Cockrell joined
Austin Ventures five years ago from Lomas Financial,
and Mr. Pacitti, formerly with TL Ventures, joined
the firm last year and focuses on software and services.
Mr. Straus, who joined Austin Ventures in 1986,
leads the firm's semiconductor practice. Before
joining Austin Ventures three years ago, Mr. Dirvin
worked at Texas Instruments. Mr. Shamapant was with
Telecom Technologies and joined Austin Ventures
last year. New to the firm is Mr. Horangic, who
is a former principal Oak Venture Partners.


o Currency Exchange Currenex Has $27.6 Million Second Round

LONDON -- Currenex, which provides a global currency
exchange, raised $27.6 million in its second round
of funding led by Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies.
Additional investors in the round included Amerindo
Investment Advisors, Barclays Capital, TH Lee.Putnam
Internet Partners, and WR Hambrecht and Co. The
company said the investment from Shell, the first
from a client, will be used to continue the operations
of the independent exchange. Shell will take a seat
on the company's advisory board. Currenex raised
its initial funding from TH Lee.Putnam Internet
Partners and Hambrecht and Co.

o ASP VeriCenter Closes Series B Round at $11.5 Million

HOUSTON -- Application service provider VeriCenter
said it secured $11.5 million in its Series B round
of funding. Investors in the round included BMC
Software, Broadband Venture Partners, and Intel
Capital, which will add an observer to the company's
board of directors. The company said it would use
the funding to expand its operations, especially
sales and marketing. VeriCenter is also backed by
Santa Cruz Operations and individuals.
NYMEX sees private placement before IPO.

NEW YORK, Nov 27 (Reuters) - The New York Mercantile Exchange, which this
month converted to a for-profit company, is aiming to sell shares to the
public within nine months of a private placement to strategic investors,
NYMEX Chairman Daniel Rappaport said Monday. But no part of the world's
largest physical commodity exchange will be up for sale until after the
launch of its delayed eNYMEX electronic trading platform, now targeted for
early May, Rappaport told Reuters in a telephone interview. "I'd say three
to nine months (after the private placement) depending on market conditions
and eNYMEX traction," Rappaport said, referring to the initial public
offering (IPO). NYMEX faces intense competitive challenges to overhaul itself
and modernize for the 21st century. The reorganizing London Metal Exchange
(LME) voted in September to demutalize and is introducing screen trading
while the London International Financial Futures Exchange (LIFFE) went wholly
to electronic trading on Monday, waving goodbye to the shouts and hand
signals of traditional open outcry trade. NYMEX demutualized 10 days ago,
changing its not-for-profit membership structure into that of a
profit-seeking corporation and renaming itself New York Mercantile Exchange
Inc. No IPO can occur until shareholders vote to decouple their stakes from
the seats which give them rights to trade futures in crude oil, natural gas,
electricity, heating oil and gasoline on the floor. Rappaport said that
NYMEX's investment bankers advised a private placement first, in part because
of recent stock market jitters, and to capitalize on the 128-year-old
exchange's unique story and build credibility for a market offering. The
NYMEX said no decisions have been made yet as to how much to sell privately.
But plenty of potential investors have queued up. Among others, NYMEX has
open arms toward partners in Intercontinental Exchange, an Internet-based
trading competitor which NYMEX declined to join when Intercontinental was
launched earlier this year, deciding then on the solo route. "The deal that
was offered was then, and still today looking back on it, was unacceptable,"
he said. "That is not to say that some of partners in the Intercontinental
Exchange would not also be attractive partners to us today. "We would very
much like to have some of them join in and invest in the exchange. And I will
tell you that a lot of them have expressed very strong interest."
Intercontinental Exchange this summer started over-the-counter trade in gold
and silver and plans to open up Web-based dealing in energy products in the
fourth quarter. Backing it are some of the world's top oil companies and
banks, including BP Amoco Plc. , Royal Dutch/Shell Group Goldman Sachs and
Deutsche Bank AG . Rappaport said the unfriendly market environment for
listing shares was a "double edged sword" for NYMEX. "The fact that dot-coms,
and e-commerce in general, don't have the momentum that they had six months
ago is not good for us in terms of doing an IPO that has e-commerce as a
material part of its valuation," he said. But he said no competitor was
better positioned than NYMEX. NYMEX has linked up with Platts, a division of
publishers McGraw-Hill, for pricing on eNYMEX contracts and with software
applications company Kiodex Inc. to provide a trade engine for the order
matching system. But these have no equity stakes. Rappaport said any desire
to team up with big market partners who might give eNYMEX some critical mass
was balanced against NYMEX's condition that it maintain market neutrality.
"We cannot be perceived as being dominated by any company or small group of
companies," he said. "Having market neutrality will be critical to any
platform's long-term success." Rappaport said delays in eNYMEX, which was
first to start in the third quarter this year, was not now placing it at a
disadvantage against up-and-running over-the-counter platforms like
Intercontinental, which could yet be its main worry. "If Intercontinental
launches and clears futures than we're talking about a whole different
competitive landscape," he said. "The fact that Intercontinental has put
together such a powerful group of industrial players really forces us to view
them as a formidable competitive threat should they chose to go down that
road." NYMEX will begin e-trade with energy futures, leaving to a later date
gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper and aluminum in part because it has
yet to iron out a dispute with members of NYMEX's COMEX metals division over
the right to trade those electronically during New York hours. "We believe we
can establish terms that are equitable to the individual COMEX member's
interests and to the exchange's interests," he said. "But to the extent that
we can't, I don't view that has having any significant impact on either the
private placement or the IPO or the valuation issue." For now, Rappaport does
not envision his floor veterans herding dinosaur-like behind LIFFE traders
out the door. "The challenge for the U.S. exchanges, those that have a
history in open outcry is to wrap the open outcry market in technology in a
way that permits them to compete with electronic marketplaces. "I see it
almost an electronic trading system with human intervention at some point in
the liquidity chain, for certain products. We've already gone wholly
electronic in electricity."

o Vector Gets $30 Million Round Two, Acquires Two Firms

HOUSTON -- Vector esp, Inc., which provides managed
technology services to the mid-size enterprise market,
said it has secured $30 million in its second round
of funding. New investor Norwest Equity Partners,
and previous investors Nassau Capital, and Centennial
participated in the round. Vector, which has raised
$42 million in financing to date, said it will use
the funds to support its growth and future acquisitions.
The company also announced it has acquired Moose
Logic, a provider of local and wide area network
design, installation, and support services, and
InfoLAN, which focuses on local area networks at
the enterprise level. The financial terms of the
acquisitions were not disclosed.

o Pacific Broadband Communications Launches With $10 Million

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Pacific Broadband Communications,
which intends to develop dense, noise immune systems
for broadband service providers, announced its launch
and a $10 million Series A funding. The capital
was provided by Raza Foundries, which builds and
operates broadband networking and communication
companies. Pacific Broadband is headed by Alok Sharma,
founder, president and CTO, who formerly served
as a consultant at Redback Systems, and Atiq Raza,
chairman of the company's board and president and
CEO of Raza Foundries. The company also said it
named Tony Werner, president and CEO of Aurora Networks,
and Alex Best, executive vice president of engineering
and CTO of Cox Communications, to its board of directors.

o B2B E-Commerce Firm MarketMile Raises $16 Million

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. -- MarketMile, a business-to-business
e-commerce company, said it raised $16 million in
additional funding from eVolution Global Partners.
The company is also backed by American Express and
Ventro and has raised $46 million to date. David
Sanderson, managing director, U.S. of eVolution
Global Partners, will join the MarketMile board
of directors. MarketMile said it will use the money
for corporate development. MarketMile serves companies
seeking Internet procurement services for corporate
needs, including office supplies, computers, and
temporary labor.

o B2B Marketing Services Firm Magnifi Gets $25 Million

LOS GATOS, Calif. -- Magnifi, which provides business-to-business
marketing extranet services, said it received $25
million in a strategic round of funding. Investors
in this round include EMC, PSINet, and Madge.web,
all of which will provide the company with global
infrastructure, networking, storage, and support.
Previous investors Rustic Canyon Group, Crystal
Internet Venture Fund, IDG Ventures, Draper Fisher
Jurvetson, Gideon Hixon, Batterson Venture Partners,
and Triad Media Ventures also participated in the
funding. The company will use the funds to expand
its client support.

o Net Securities Firm Recourse Raises $20 Million Round Three

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Recourse Technologies, an Internet
and network security company, said it has raised
$20 million in its third round of funding led by
Canaan Partners. Other investors include Intel Capital,
as well as previous investors Doll Capital Management
and Menlo Ventures. The company said it will use
the funds to expand its product development services,
and for sales and marketing. Deepak Kamra, a general
partner at Canaan Partners, will take a seat on
Recourse's board of directors.

o Kasna, Eastern European Trade Exchange, Launches

LONDON -- Kasna, provider of an international exchange
portal for Central and Eastern Europe, announced
itself. The company intends to facilitate transactions
within the region by offering translation and language
services, regional business data, and trading platforms.
The company raised its Series A funding from 3Legs
Capital. Philip Jeffcock of 3Legs Capital will take
a seat on the company's board of directors.