SOURCE: WisdomArk

January 24, 2006 10:00 ET

WisdomArk Receives $6.3 Million in Series A Funding From El Dorado Ventures, Venrock Associates and Benhamou Global Ventures

LOS ALTOS, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 24, 2006 --WisdomArk, Inc., developers of a new consumer web service aimed at helping communities of family and friends collaborate in the capture, sharing, and preservation of life stories, announced today that it has received $6.3 million in Series A funding from El Dorado Ventures, Venrock Associates, and Benhamou Global Ventures.

The planned WisdomArk web service is currently in early user testing in preparation for public launch at an undisclosed later date.

"WisdomArk taps into the deep need that people of all cultures have to connect to those close to them through the telling of life stories," said Eric Benhamou, CEO of Benhamou Global Ventures. "Marrying this desire with the rich capabilities of the Internet medium of today creates a compelling experience of a new kind. The WisdomArk team is a unique combination of left brain and right brain talents, perfectly suited to take advantage of this business opportunity. I look forward to working with the company to transform this idea into a vibrant user community and generate attractive financial returns."

"We are pleased to be investing in a company that will give people an easy way to deepen their connections with family and friends, while at the same time, broadening those definitions to include other communities bound by shared life experience," said Shanda Bahles, general partner at El Dorado Ventures. "It's a very creative new way to use the Internet to build and maintain community."

"We invested in WisdomArk because we believe the company's web application offers consumers an engaging way to collect, present and preserve images and stories from a lifetime of events and reflections, whether for themselves or for loved ones," said Brian Ascher, Senior Principal, Venrock Associates. "Venrock is delighted to be an active partner of this management team that is committed to delivering an application with broad appeal and deep value for a large consumer market."

WisdomArk was founded in early 2005 by CEO Andy Halliday and VP of Engineering Chris Lunt. Halliday had a 15-year career as president of several specialty retail-chain stores in the consumer marketplace before becoming VP and GM of Excite's Electronic Commerce Group beginning in 1998. In 2000 he became the first Chief Operating Officer of In-Q-Tel, and in 2003 joined social network startup Spoke Software as their VP of Business Development.

Lunt was an engineering manager at Oracle and Excite before joining Zengine and leading its commerce platform development through its IPO. Before founding WisdomArk, Lunt was the Senior Director of Engineering at Friendster, leading the team that solved Friendster's scale performance problems and developed capacity to the level of more than one billion MySQL database queries per day.

About WisdomArk

WisdomArk, Inc., based in Los Altos, CA, is a new consumer web service company working to simplify the capture, sharing, preservation and rediscovery of life stories that strengthen our connection with family and friends. For more information, visit

About El Dorado Ventures

El Dorado Ventures (EDV) is a leading entrepreneur-focused, early-stage venture capital firm with a 20-year history of success. Entrepreneurs see EDV as a trusted investment partner who shares their vision and helps them succeed by providing ongoing strategic guidance and access to a wealth of industry contacts. With $750 million in capital under management, the firm invests across the information technology spectrum, from semiconductors and systems to communications, software and services, targeting both consumers and the enterprise. El Dorado's early-stage investments have included Cyras Systems, EarthLink, Efficient Networks, Novellus and NuSpeed Internet Systems. Numerous EDV portfolio companies have gone public or been acquired by major technology companies including Ciena, Cisco Systems, nVidia, Siemens, Texas Instruments and Yahoo/Inktomi. For more information, please visit

About Venrock Associates

Venrock Associates was founded as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller Family and continues a tradition of funding entrepreneurs that now spans over six decades. Laurance S. Rockefeller pioneered early stage venture financing in the 1930s. As one of most experienced venture firms in the United States, Venrock maintains a tradition of collaboration with talented entrepreneurs to establish successful, enduring companies. During its history Venrock has made over 300 investments in portfolio companies that have achieved an aggregate market capitalization of $1.2 trillion, combined annual revenues of $150 billion, and employees totaling over 773,000. Venrock's investments have included Apple, Intel, 3COM, Mentor Graphics, CheckPoint Software, DoubleClick, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and Caliper Technologies. Venrock has offices in Menlo Park, California; New York City; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information visit

About Benhamou Global Ventures

Benhamou Global Ventures was founded in 2003 by Eric Benhamou to assist other entrepreneurs in building or running a new generation of high technology companies. Benhamou Global Ventures invests and plays an active role in innovative high tech firms throughout the world. For more information, please visit

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Andy Halliday
    (650) 248-4450
    Email Contact

    Jon Greer
    (510) 547-7123