Business.com Secures $61 Million in Strategic Financing

Leading Brand of the Business Internet Receives Investments from Global Business Media Giants Pearson, Cahners, Primedia and McGraw-Hill

Business.com, the Web's most comprehensive business information resource, today announced that it has secured $61 million in Series C equity financing led by The Financial Times Group, a division of Pearson plc (NYSE: PSO; LSE: PSON), and co-led by Cahners Business Information, a member of the Reed Elsevier plc group (NYSE: RUK and ENL). Other investors in the round include IndustryClick, a subsidiary of Primedia Incorporated (NYSE: PRM), and The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP).

"The caliber and breadth of investors in this round is a powerful endorsement of Business.com's mission and unique product," said Jake Winebaum, founder and CEO of Business.com. "Our partners are the best business media companies in the world which will allow us to greatly expand our specialized business content and reach, and establish Business.com as the definitive online business resource."

The funding will allow Business.com to expand the content and features of the site, fuel international expansion, further develop the technology of the Business.com Operating System (BOS), and establish Business.com as the leading brand of the Business Internet. Along with the financial investments,

Business.com is also pursuing content deals with its partners to provide users access to premium business and trade publications.

The equity round also included an investment by Mort Zuckerman, owner of U.S. News and World Report, Fast Company and The New York Daily News.

Stephen Hill, CEO of The Financial Times Group, and Marc Teren, CEO of Cahners Business Information, will serve on Business.com's Board of Directors.

As part of Business.com's content agreement with the Financial Times Group, FT.com will become the premium provider of news on financial services, management and international trade on the Business.com site. The agreement also gives FT.com users access to Business.com's business-specific Web directory and search tool.

"We are investing in Business.com because we believe it has what it takes to be a very big hit with people in need of business information," said Hill. "By integrating global business news and analysis from the Financial Times within Business.com, both companies can move more quickly to reach a much bigger and wider audience in the United States and around the world."

"We are pleased to be associated with the excellent management team at Business.com," said Teren. "We believe Business.com's market position, specialized taxonomy and Web directory make it a true force in this category."

Business.com is the most useful resource available for finding credible business information from a single source. The site offers users both broad business information as well as specific content about a particular topic, industry or company. Through the Business.com Directory, users can research news, resources and information that has been organized into specific industry and department listings. Business.com's unique search engine allows users to find the precise industry and company information they need without having to sift through non-business clutter.

Business.com debuted in June 2000 and provides access to nearly 25,000 business categories and hundreds of thousands of business-oriented Web sites. The site also features 10,000 Company Profiles that offer extensive information about U.S. public company financials, historical background, access to press releases, biographies of executives, and a time line of company milestones. The 58 Business.com Industry Profiles provide an overview of each industry and how it has been impacted by the Internet, as well as calendar listings of key industry events and conferences. In addition, Business.com integrates thousands of current news stories into the Directory and search engine from hundreds of sources including The Financial Times and its FT.com Web site. Additional new features and services will be introduced on an ongoing basis to maintain Business.com's position as the premier business information Web site.

About Business.com
Business.com www.business.com is a powerful and essential tool that gives people of all occupations the ability to find the business information they need, quickly and efficiently, from a single source. Business.com allows its users to harness the entire Business Internet with the most comprehensive online business directory and search engine. Business.com was founded by eCompanies and is based in Santa Monica, Calif.. Jake Winebaum, founder of eCompanies and Business.com, is serving as Business.com's CEO.

Along with our strategic investors, Business.com's content providers include: Dow Jones (NYSE:DJ), Marketwatch.com Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTW), Multex.com Incorporated, Primark Corporation (NYSE: PMK), Reuters (NASDAQ: RTRSY), and Thomson Investors Network. Technology providers include: Cisco Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ: CSCO), Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE: CPQ), Exodus Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXDS), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HWP), and Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL).

About Pearson plc
Pearson plc is an international media company. Its major business operations are: The Financial Times Group, which has an international network of business and financial newspapers and online services that are read by millions of business executives and investors every day; Pearson Education, the world's leading education business, which helps teachers teach and students learn at every stage and in every part of the world; Penguin Putnam, which is one of the pre-eminent names in consumer publishing, with an unrivalled range of fiction and non-fiction, bestsellers and classic titles; and Recoletos, one of the top media companies in Spain. Pearson also owns a 22% stake in the RTL Group, Europe's leading integrated broadcasting and communications group. For more information, go to www.pearson.com

For further information

Jennifer Stephens

 

Business.com

 

310-586-4111 x3583


jstephens@business.com

Julie Eklund

 

Golin/Harris

 

213-623-4200 x742


jeklund@golinharris.com