Rare VC funding sparks interest in tiny start-up

CIOL Bureau
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PALO ALTO: "It's amazing what $30 million will do for you in this

environment," Web-based accounting software firm, NetLedger president and

chief executive Evan Goldberg told Reuters on Thursday. "Normally we get

two to five resumes a day but in the last two we've gotten about 100."


In addition to the resumes, Goldberg said his company has been deluged with

dozens of offers to provide services to the San Mateo, Calif. firm: everything

from wanting to sell them more computer hardware to providing payroll services.

But was the sudden interest the $30 million sparked in the 100-person firm a

function of a promising, young company that can get more money even in these

tough times or was it more akin to vultures circling above the New Economy


"I think their interest was more of them thinking, 'Here's a customer

that will probably pay the invoice," Goldberg said. NetLedger, whose market

is companies with less than 100 employees, told Reuters on Tuesday that Oracle

Corp. founder and Chairman Larry Ellison, who owns about 55 per cent of

NetLedger and is its chairman, and New York-based Starvest Partners LP had

invested in the company again.


The fresh found of funding came amid the longest-running contraction in

venture investment since the stock market crash of October 1987. NetLedger now

has about 3,000 paying customers, Goldberg said, adding that the company is

still hiring, though very selectively.

Goldberg said that - even though his firm is tiny at 100 employees - amid the

harsh downturn in Silicon Valley and the evaporation of venture capital several

companies have contacted him about selling what was left of their company to


"It's the notes I get from other CEOs saying that in this harsh funding

environment, we need to either merge or sell our assets and would NetLedger be

interesting in buying?" Goldberg said, who worked at Oracle as a programmer

and vice president before helping to found NetLedger.

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.