Convio Closes $5.6 Million in Series C Financing from New and Previous Investors

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 26, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Convio(r), the leading online Constituent Relationship Management (eCRM) company for the nonprofit sector, today announced that it closed $5.6 million in a third round of financing from Granite Ventures, Austin Ventures, Silverton Partners and Neil Webber, co-founder and former CTO of Vignette Corporation (Nasdaq:VIGN).

Convio helps nonprofit organizations use the Internet to more effectively attract, motivate and retain constituents to donate and provide other types of support. The company provides a comprehensive suite of Internet software and services for fundraising, marketing, special events management, Web site content management, advocacy and email. Convio's software modules share a common platform and use a single database to integrate data about each constituent into an individual profile, enabling nonprofit staff to conduct highly targeted fundraising, marketing and communication campaigns. Convio's software platform also integrates tightly with offline systems such as donor management databases. No other vendor serving nonprofits offers a comparable level of integration and related benefits.

Convio will use the new funding to expand its leadership position within the nonprofit sector. Specifically, the firm will continue to develop innovative products and enhance client support. Since closing its Series B funding in March 2001, Convio has significantly broadened its product and services offering, grown its customer support team and sales force, and also increased its clientele by more than seven-fold.

"Convio is the clear leader in its market -- a prerequisite for raising institutional venture capital in today's environment," said Chris Hollenbeck, Managing Director of Granite Ventures. "It has the broadest base of products, the best understanding of customer needs and the most comprehensive vision of the companies we've seen in this market. Most importantly, in my 14 years working with technology companies, I've never had such positive calls with a company's customers. Every one I spoke to viewed Convio as a partner, fully committed to their success with this new communication platform. Convio is building a sustainable, long-term business."

More than 100 charitable organizations representing virtually every facet of the nonprofit sector use Convio, including many of the nation's largest and most influential organizations. They are tapping the Internet to build strong constituent relationships and reaping significant results. Convio clients collectively have raised $6.7 million in online donations since August 2001. Also:

- Planned Parenthood Federation of America raised $1.7 million between October 2000-December 2002 while its average online gift size rose 86 percent in 2002 compared to 2001.

- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (ASPCA) 2002 online donations equated to 180 percent of the group's goal; also, the ASPCA increased membership in its online Advocacy Brigade by 247 percent in just seven months and has achieved advocacy alert response rates up to 67 percent.

- Citizens Against Government Waste sends nearly 8,000 emails per advocacy alert, with response rates that have exceeded 60 percent.

- HoustonPBS raised more than $123,000 online via pledge drives in 14 months, has completed one-third of event registrations online and used online communications in the wake of eliminating roughly $150,000 annually in paper-based communications.

"The nonprofit sector is embracing the Internet and the concept of online Constituent Relationship Management -- savvy groups are realizing that the Internet is a powerful tool and a necessity for strategic marketing and managing relationships with constituents," said Vinay Bhagat, Convio's founder and CEO. "In the last four years, we've proven that eCRM can lower fundraising costs, expand reach, drive advocacy response, increase event effectiveness and, most importantly, that taking an integrated approach between functions and across channels -- such as the Internet, mail and personal contact -- optimizes results. To continuously garner the support of strong, sophisticated investors in this economic environment is a testament to what we've built and our future." Total funding raised by Convio to date is $22.1 million.

About Granite Ventures

Based in San Francisco, Granite Ventures manages more than $650 million in committed venture capital, and has invested in more than 70 private companies in the software and communications sectors. Granite also manages a series of venture capital funds in dedicated partnerships with Adobe System Incorporated, Texas Instruments Incorporated and British Telecommunications Plc.

About Austin Ventures

Austin Ventures invests nationally in software, communications and semiconductor companies. Its primary emphasis is on early-stage companies in Texas, where it is the largest and most active venture investor. The firm has invested in more than 100 Texas companies during the past 20 years, including Tivoli, Vignette, Metasolv, Mission Critical, Motive, BroadJump, Pentasafe, Active Power, Silicon Labs, Agere, Santera and Crossroads.

About Convio

Austin-based Convio is the leading online Constituent Relationship Management (eCRM) company serving the nonprofit sector. The Convio software solution consists of six product suites: Special Events, eFundraising, eMarketing, Advocacy, Content Management, and Constituent Center(tm). The Convio platform automatically shares data among all six product suites, giving nonprofits a unified view of each constituent so staff can conduct more personalized and targeted marketing. Convio also offers services to help nonprofits adopt online marketing best practices. Clients include Easter Seals, American Diabetes Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Georgetown University's Office of Alumni and University Relations, National Trust For Historic Preservation and KCET (PBS, Los Angeles). For more information, please visit

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