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We are actively engaged in business-to-business, or B2B, e-commerce through
our Internet Zaibatsu, a community of partner companies. These companies
collaborate to provide cross-selling and marketing opportunities and support
entrepreneurial initiatives, business growth and the sharing of information and
business expertise. We manage, finance, operate and provide services to our
partner companies, offering a turn-key solution for building successful B2B e-
In addition to providing capital to our partner companies, we offer them a
comprehensive array of infrastructure services, including web hosting and
design, systems integration, information technology management and marketing
and public relations. These services are designed to allow each of our partner
companies to focus on its core competencies and accelerate the time-to-market
of its products and services. We focus our efforts in geographic areas that we
believe have a strong base of intellectual capital and entrepreneurial talent,
but that have traditionally lacked sufficient infrastructure services and
venture capital funding. We are initially seeking attractive opportunities
primarily in the midwest and plan to address other underserved markets in the
We intend to capitalize on the significant growth in the B2B e-commerce
market. Forrester Research, an independent research firm, estimates that the
inter-company trade of goods and services over the Internet, commonly referred
to as B2B e-commerce, will grow from $43.1 billion in 1998 to $1.3 trillion in
2003. In addition, according to the Gartner Group, an independent research
firm, e-commerce related information technology investments are expected to
account for 50% of the estimated $3.5 trillion in information technology
spending in 2003. Today, many new companies, including spin-outs from
traditional businesses, are being formed and funded to develop technologies and
solutions to support the new B2B e-commerce market. B2B e-commerce solutions
are being rapidly adopted to facilitate the continuous exchange of information
among business partners to large customer audiences and to allow businesses to
interact more efficiently with suppliers, distributors and service providers.
We establish and acquire interests in two categories of B2B e-commerce
companies: market makers, which bring buyers and sellers together on Internet-
based markets to exchange products, services and information, and
infrastructure service providers, which offer software or services, such as
consulting and systems integration. At December 10, 1999, we had established or
acquired interests in the following 19 B2B e-commerce companies:
Market Makers and Infrastructure Service Providers
Commerx, Inc. Blueridge Technologies, Incorporated
i-Street, Inc. buzz divine, inc.
The National Transportation Exchange, Inc.
Neoforma.com, Inc. dotspot, inc.
PocketCard Inc. eXperience divine, inc.
TheExecClub.com, Inc. LiveOnTheNet.com, Inc.
Whiplash, Inc. OpinionWare.com, Inc.
Sequoia Software Corporation
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