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March 2, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Blue Martini Software, the San Mateo, California-based provider of e-merchandising software, said Tuesday that it has raised $5m in its first round of venture funding, led by Matrix Partners. Blue Martini had so far resisted venture capital and has been funded solely by founder and CEO Monte Zweben and a board of directors he had hand-picked from various backgrounds. As part of the VC deal, Andrew Verhalen, general partner at Matrix, will take a seat on the Blue Martini board. Verhalen had already worked with Zweben at his previous venture, Red Pepper Software, which was sold to PeopleSoft for $250m. Blue Martini claims to offer a complete merchandising software system for companies that sell directly to consumers over the web, including not only storefront building, but also customer management, merchandise management and marketing tools. The company plans to target its offerings at Global 2000 retailers and manufacturers and sees its market as developing but potentially explosive. The financing comes as Blue Martini gears up to bring its product to market during the first half of this year.

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