Friday, May 12, 2000

The Cyber Scene in Atlanta ~ by Frank Wrenn

More news from Atlanta’s hot cyber scene. Know of Atlanta events or news? Write me at

Smashing Launch

Atlanta’s Rock Bottom Brewery was the home of a rocking launch party for on May 4. With over 350 people attending, CEO Bryan Wempen tells me it was “a smashing success.” After closing several deals at the event, he’d love to launch once a week! After the official unveiling of the site,, the crowd enjoyed an evening of food, Rock Bottom’s own beer (which I highly recommend) and over 40 prizes, including a Mitsuba computer and $50,000 in job postings. The event was co-sponsored by and was held in conjunction with its national staffing conference.  Just incorporated in April, specializes in Online Recruiting. It’s currently negotiating with two Angel funds, seeking $500,000 in the Angel Round.

Other Atlanta News

Entertainment Weekly named Atlanta’s the  “most addictive website of 1999.” MediaMetrix ranked it the #1 site on the Internet in usage days per visitor in 1999. Now, eTour is expanding its “personal tour of the web” to Microsoft’s WebTV and its one million subscribers. As part of a new agreement, eTour will be fully integrated throughout WebTV’s Internet service. Integration is planned for launch during the second half of 2000. eTour CEO Roger Barnette called WebTV and eTour “a perfect match.”  In other eTour news, on  May 15, eTour announced a strategic partnership with eMachines, the third largest vendor of desktop PCs sold through U.S. retailers. Under terms of the agreement, eMachines will feature eTour as the exclusive tenant on the “Surf” key located on the eMachine’s Internet enhanced keyboards.

Another high tech firm is coming to Atlanta. OpenAvenue Inc. ( announced on May 3 the opening of its new Atlanta headquarters. OpenAvenue is a privately owned, Web-based B2B company specializing in hosting, management, and distribution for worldwide collaborative software development projects. According to CEO Paul Hessinger, “Atlanta is centrally located and provides a dynamic market built upon a rapidly growing high technology sector…. We look forward to becoming a key contributor to its success.” 

Atlanta’s NetVendor Inc. ( announced May 8 that it has secured $52 million in its third round of private funding. The transaction was led by Internet Capital Group, Inc, and followed by investors Wheatley Partners, RRE Ventures, CSFB Private Equity and Bluevector LLC. NetVendor provides B2B solutions, enabling suppliers to establish Internet sales channels and integrate into multiple e-marketplaces.

And speaking of funding, according to the National Venture Capital Association ( and Venture Economics (, Georgia companies had the second highest percentage growth in venture capital investments during the first quarter of 2000. Quarter 1 VC investments totaled $700 million, up from $122 million for the first quarter of 1999, a growth of 472%. Illinois claimed the number one spot with a percentage growth of 850%. Georgia ranked #5 in total amount invested in the first quarter trailing only California, Massachusetts, New York and Texas.