San Diego, California-based Softbank investment vehicle First Virtual Holdings Inc, not to be confused with Next Generation Internet player First Virtual Corp, has announced the signing of a letter of intent to acquire Chicago-based Distributed Bits, LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Distributed Bits builds customer email management products. Its flagship product, ResponseNow, is designed to help companies manage large volumes of customer-initiated email. First Virtual says ResponseNow will complement its Interactive Messaging Platform, an email-based system built to process replies to targeted email. Like other Softbank companies, First Virtual Holdings has been on something of a buying spree. On August 20, it signed an agreement to acquire Colorado-based Email Publishing Inc, which provides email subscription management and delivery services to publishers and other clients, for six million shares of common stock.