Social networking software co Huminity raises $2-4m

Huminity's product combines instant messaging and chat technologies enabling users to share their personal contact systems.

Sources inform “Globes” that Israeli start-up Huminity has raised $2-4 million, at a company value of $10 million, after money, in its first financing round. Sources close to the company said a leading Israeli venture capital fund, a US fund, and the CEO of one of the world's largest Internet companies participated in the round, which is close to completion. Huminity cofounders Oren Rossen and Nir Ben-Halevy declined to disclose details about the round.

Rossen and Ben-Halevy are Humity's only employees. Rossen was a former high-tech analyst at Investec Israel (TASE: INSI), and Ben-Halevy directed the high-tech team at Deloitte and Touche - Brightman Almagor. They founded Huminity a year ago. Huminity's product combines instant messaging and chat technologies enabling users to share their personal contact systems.

"It took a while to find the right direction for a product that offers what "Newsweek" calls the technology of 2003 - social networking," said Rossen. He said it was clearly impossible to raise money for a company developing Internet tools at this time. "The funds wanted to see revenue flows and growth, and we quickly realized that it would be impossible to raise money from them. We therefore decided to change our strategy."

Huminity, which develops Internet-based software tools to manage personal and professional networks, launched its first financing round when it had a working product with 400,000 customers worldwide. In recent months, the two entrepreneurs made progress on developing the software, which uses extremely low-cost open code. Rossen said theyhad personally invested $30,000 by the time they launched the first version. He added that the company's cash burn rate was $3,500 a month.

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on November 2, 2003

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