ALEXANDRIA, VA -- The Motley Fool, a leading financial media company, announced today the completion of a $26.5M round of financing. Noted venture capital firm Maveron L.L.C. led the round with Mayfield Fund providing additional investment. A private group of family, friends, and employees of The Motley Fool, including David and Tom Gardner, also invested in the company. These groups join America Online, which invested in The Motley Fool as part of its Greenhouse Program in 1995.
This initial round of financing will enable The Motley Fool to expand marketing efforts, build on its success internationally, and increase staffing resources.
"We're delighted to have additional funding from two of the world's leading venture groups,"said Tom Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool. "With stakes in eBay and Drugstore.com, Maveron has quickly proven itself a leader in designing consumer-technology brands, and we're proud to represent their biggest investment ever. In Mayfield Fund - the financier of industry leaders like Amgen, 3Com Corp. and Genentech - we gain a world of incredible technology expertise."
"Most importantly," added co-founder David Gardner, "We've found people who share the unique mission and long-term interests of The Motley Fool and our community."
"The Motley Fool has built a reputation for providing the individual investor with helpful, relevant financial information in an entertaining way," stated Dan Levitan, founding partner of Maveron. "This investment represents a perfect alignment of our mission to serve as a partner and value-added investor to outstanding management teams and provide the necessary expertise to help guide the growth of the company."
"We invested in The Motley Fool because it is an exceptional brand in a market with huge growth potential. They give advice with an attitude,"said Michael J. Levinthal, General Partner of Mayfield Fund. He added, "The Motley Fool has developed significant customer loyalty and has built a solid platform that can be extended beyond financial advice."
The Motley Fool is one of the fastest growing companies on the Web. The latest Media Metrix report, which provides a monthly measurement of both online and Web usage, showed a 40.5% growth in Unique Visitor (UV) count at fool.com. Over the past three years, The Motley Fool has successfully branched into numerous traditional mediums. The company has produced five best-selling books in its partnership with Simon&Schuster, as well as starting its own line of self-published titles. The newest editorial offerings include a monthly magazine and research reports. The company's newspaper column is syndicated to more than 150 newspapers, and The Motley Fool Radio Show has over four million listeners and is syndicated nationally to more than 100 stations every weekend. The Motley Fool is a strategic partner with some of the Internet's biggest players, including America Online, Yahoo!, About.com, Netscape, Reuters, and E-Trade.
About Maveron L.L.C.
Maveron is a $75 million venture capital fund dedicated to bringing a differentiated perspective to consumer investing. It was founded in 1998 by Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, and Dan Levitan, former head of Consumer Banking for Schroder Wertheim & Company in New York. Maveron is focused exclusively on consumer businesses, including specialty retailing, electronic commerce and consumer products and services. Its group of limited partners, comprised of a broad number of sophisticated individual investors and a few key institutions, is committed to providing experience and capital to outstanding management teams of consumer businesses. Transactions as of August 1999 include eBay, Drugstore.com, DoughNET.com, Advoco.com, Flooz.com and Illuminations. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Maveron can be reached at (206) 447-1300 or visit www.maveron.com.
About Mayfield Fund
Mayfield Fund is a private venture capital partnership based in Menlo Park, California. Since Mayfield's founding in 1969, the firm has invested in more than 340 companies and has taken approximately 85 companies public. Today, these Mayfield-backed companies represent an aggregate market value of more than $100 billion. A partial list of Mayfield's current portfolio of companies includes: Assured Access Technology, Inc.; BroadVision, Inc; Calico Technologies; Cielo Communications, Inc.; Citrix Systems; Concur Technologies; Geocast; InfoRay; Intuitive Surgical; Latitude Communications, Inc.; Legato Systems, Inc.; Millennium Pharmaceuticals; Narus, Inc.; Netcentives, Inc.; Nuance Communications; NuvoMedia, Packet Engines,Inc.; Rapid City; Redback Networks; Skystream; Teralogic, Inc.; Third Voice, Inc.; Tiara Networks, Inc.; Tibco Software, Inc.; webMethods, and Woodside Biomedical, Inc.
About The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool's mission is to educate, amuse, and enrich individual investors around the world. Having started with 60 readers its first day in August 1994, The Fool now reaches millions of investors each month by providing financial information and strategies online at Fool.com and America Online (keyword: Fool) and in different mediums including books, newspaper columns, and radio. The Fool's first international site, Motley Fool UK, can be found at http://www.fool.co.uk and on America Online (keyword: FoolUK). The Motley Fool's community has helped propel the company to win numerous awards including Cool Site of The Year, The Webby Award for Finance, and The People's Voice Award for Finance.
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