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SMALL BUSINESS | HEARD ON THE BEAT: Small Business

BizRate.com Reports Raising $50 Million

March 15, 2000|DENISE GELLENE and MARLA DICKERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

BizRate.com, an online shopping and research service, said it raised $50 million in its third round of venture funding, as anticipated. The Marina del Rey company said most of the money came from its current backers, including a $15-million investment from Burlingame, Calif.-based Attractor. New financial partners Boston-based HarbourVest Partners, Ocean Avenue Investors in Santa Monica and Westway Capital of Westport, Conn., kicked in $20 million.

The company, which expects an initial public offering later this year, said it will use the funds to develop new services, hire staff and expand marketing efforts. BizRate is looking for ways to profit from the data it collects about consumer shopping preferences. It currently sells research to merchants and consultants but may use the data to help merchants target specific customers--for example, CD buyers who like Madonna.

The company, founded by two Wharton School graduates and a professor, has raised $77 million and has a capitalization of about $500 million.

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