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Rating:InteractiveFunds Raises First-round Funding Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, July 10, 2000

InteractiveFunds Raises First-round Funding

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

It's not every day that a fund sponsor raise venture capital to get into the asset management business, but then InteractiveFunds does not plan to run an everyday fund. Last week the company announced its new "MutualMinds.com" fund that gives investors in the fund influence over the fund's investments. Today it announced the completion of its first institutional round of venture capital.

The Dallas-based firm raised more than $2.7 million, according to Randy Bullard, president and chief executive officer. The round was led by early stage specialist Techxas Ventures (Austin Texas) and included additional investments by individuals including Marc Serif, co-founder of America Online and Morton Topfer, former vice-chairman and current board member of Dell Computer as well as undisclosed investors.

Both Serif and Topfer will join the firm's Board of Directors along with Steve Vandegrift, a partner at Techxas Ventures.

The firm announced its seed round of $750,000 from individual investors last January. At the time it stated that the seed investors included: Doug Aldrich, managing director at A.T. Kearney, Stan Strifler, president & chief executive officer at TexSYS RD, and Paul Whitman, executive vice president at The Staubach Company.

"We are pleased to have such high-profile figures from the technology industry believe in our business model and vision," stated Bullard. "The support demonstrated by these individuals will help us create investment products that will bring together the broad market intelligence of a diverse group of investors, and provide new choices for the entire investing public."

The firm describes MutualMinds.com as an online community behind a mutual fund that will empower investors to assist in the selection of its portfolio. In short, the site will let investors make stock recommendations and will then score those recommendations. Investors with a high score will influence the investments made by the fund.

"Investors would provide their investment intelligence to the fund, we would score it based on actual stock performance and with our investment advisors and portfolio optimization and standard industry tools build the portfolio," explained Kendall Ramirez, vice president of marketing.

She added that the firm will use the initial round of funding for feature development and marketing efforts including online marketing efforts, contests and public relations

The firm also plans to private label its technology to other companies including brokers and fund companies, said Ramirez. The private labeling could include the firm's interactive fund management model and other services which let funds get input from their investors.

There are no plans to distribute the fund beyond the MutualMinds.com Website at this time, she said. Though she added that InteractiveFunds "might decide to go through additional distribution channels in the future."  

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