Ventro’s MarketMile Gains on New Funding

Ventro Corp. (Nasdaq: VNTR) added 1/4 to 2 11/16 Monday after MarketMile, a venture jointly owned by the business-to-business (B2B)company and American Express (NYSE: AXP), secured a US$16 million fundingagreement.

Mountain View, California-based MarketMile said it is getting the money from eVolution Global Partners, which brings the total cash investment in the company to $46 million.

MarketMile is preparing to launch its B2B marketplace in the first quarterof next year. The venture aims to help companies buy andsell office and industrial supplies, including computers and peripherals, aswell as business services like temporary labor.

MarketMile represents American Express’ first independent e-commerce startup. When American Express and Ventro first announced the MarketMile venture in August, American Express said it would assume a 65 percent ownership stake in MarketMile, while Ventro would own 35 percent. The two also said that MarketMile will use technology and software from Ariba, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBA) to power its B2B Web sites.

According to David Sanderson, managing director for eVolution Global Partners’ U.S. operations, MarketMile will combine the strength of the American Express brand and the quality of Ventro’s e-marketplace services.

The MarketMile investment is the first U.S. venture since eVolution’s launch lastspring. The London, England-based company has offices in SanFrancisco, California; Munich, Germany; Tokyo, Japan; and Hong Kong.

American Express ended Monday at 53, unchanged.

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