Need2buy.Com Closes First Round Of Growth Financing; Announces Strategic Alliance With Mitsubishi Corporation

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Dec. 1, 1999 (PRIMEZONE) -- (, a leading business-to-business online marketplace for buyers and sellers of electronic components, today announced that it has closed its first round of financing and has entered into a strategic alliance with Mitsubishi Corporation.

The company said it raised $2.2 million to be used for marketing, expansion and development of its core business. The investment was made by Mitsubishi Corporation, Eli Broad, Trust Company of the West (TCW) and JUMP! Investors.

The Need2Buy marketplace enables buyers to post Requests for Quotations (RFQs) on the website and uses a proprietary "expert system" to solicit competitive bids from multiple qualified vendors who meet the criteria specified by the RFQ. This model allows buyers to make more effective purchasing decisions while enabling vendors to reduce their customer acquisition costs and expand sales capacity.

Mitsubishi Corporation is a recognized world leader in the marketing and sales of electrical and electronic information equipment and services for information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation and construction.

Eli Broad is the chief executive officer of SunAmerica Corp., a diversified financial services company specializing in retirement savings and investment products and services, and co-founder of Kaufman and Broad, one of the nation's leading homebuilders. Trust Company of the West is one of the world's leading investment management firms, with more than $55 billion in total assets under management and more than 1,200 institutional and private clients.

JUMP! Investors comprises some of the leading Internet executives in Southern California, including Randy Kaplan, co-founder of AKAMAI Technologies (Nasdaq:AKAM),, a revolutionary Internet content delivery company that transforms the Internet from best-effort transport into a high-performing, high-speed network, and Richard Rosenblatt, founder of iMALL, Inc. (Nasdaq:IMAL),, the leading provider of fully integrated, ``one-stop'' e-commerce solutions.

Maury Friedman, chief executive officer of, said, "We are very pleased to have these premier financial and strategic partners investing in our company. Our relationship with Mitsubishi Corporation will accelerate our entry into the Far East market and, together with our planned European expansion, will solidify Need2Buy as a premier global business-to-business online marketplace for the electronic components industry.", launched in May 1999, directly connects buyers with vendors through its proprietary "expert system" without additional user hardware or software. The "expert system" selects vendors for a given manufacturer or commodity from a database that includes all franchised distributors, their branch locations and inside contacts. In addition to this database of distributors, the system has more than 1,000 manufacturers of electronic components directly linked to the site for product information.

Industrial electronic components are the first products being exchanged through the revolutionary marketplace, which ultimately will include a range of vertical offerings serving business-to-business e-commerce needs. The company also plans to introduce significant technological advances in order to deliver to its clients the most efficient and cost-effective global purchasing network. is located in Westlake Village, California. Tel 818-597-5757. Additional information is available on the company's website at, or by e-mail at


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