Antfactory fund nets $350m investment

If bees make honey, do ants make money?

Internet incubator fund antfactory has scored a $350 million deal with three top flight venture capital firms. The three - JH Whitney, CVC Capital Partners and Citicorp Venture Capital - are among the largest private equity companies in the world and JH Whitney was one of the original founders of antfactory in 1999. CVC and Citicorp Venture have, between them, a portfolio of some 200 companies, many of which will be suitable antfactory development partners. Antfactory already holds interests in 17 companies and a further 40 coming on stream this year will boost this. Antfactory's chairman and CEO, Harpal Randhawa, said: "We are delighted that three of the world's premier private equity firms have chosen us as their strategic partner to co-invest in new ecommerce and technology opportunities across Europe." Antfactory focuses on four particular areas of business development. They are: online aspects of traditional off-line businesses; developing what it calls neutral marketplaces by partnering with companies that have mutual interests; bringing fledging ecommerce companies together with experienced business managers; helping established ebusinesses expand into new markets. ®

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