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E-mail manager MessageOne raises $10M

March 11, 2002 

Austin, Texas-based MessageOne Inc. a software startup that aims to help companies better manage its e-mail, plans to announce a $10 million, third round of venture capital funding today.

Adam Dell, a New York-based venture capitalist that founded and incubated MessageOne, said he came up with the idea for the company when his own office messaging systems kept crashing.

"E-mail is the single most important application on the planet and so we view MessageOne as a startup addressing a big space and solving a big corporation problem," said Dell, the brother of Dell Computer Corp. founder Michael Dell.

The new round was led by RRE Ventures of New York and includes the participation of Dell's VC firm, Impact Venture Partners and StarVest Partners LP, both of New York. Stuart Ellman, a general partner with RRE Ventures, will join the MessageOne board of directors.

Dell said his own VC firm's problems with e-mail management prompted him to survey large corporations on their e-mail problems and research into how to solve them. The result was the creation of MessageOne in his New York offices two years ago and the appointment of Anne Perlman as president and CEO. One of Dell's partners, Mike Rosenfelt, is a vice president of marketing at MessageOne.

The new financing came at a higher valuation — Dell would not be more specific — and brings the total amount of funding raised to $18 million, $11 million of which came from Dell's fund. Impact's ownership has dropped to below 50% in this latest round.

Dell said the company has at least one paying company and eight beta testers for its product. Competitors to MessageOne include startups such as NetIQ Corp., Siebel Systems Inc. and SAP AG.

by Katherine Goncharoff. Copyright © 2002, The Deal, LLC.

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