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Creative Planet gets $38 mil cash infusion

TMCT moola to fund tech delivery to film community

Creative Planet is expected to announce today that it has secured $38 million in a round of equity financing led by TMCT Ventures, whose Mark Menell joins the board of the online film production business venture.

Prior investors, including Frank Biondi’s Waterview Advisers, Chase Capital Partners, PaineWebber Capital, SunAmerica Investments, East River Ventures, Ares Management, Trekk Opportunity Partners, Robert Day and several of the Hillman Family Trusts, as well as J. & W. Seligman Funds, also contributed to the round.

Formed in 1990, TMCT Ventures is a $550 million venture capital fund focused on Internet- and tech-oriented businesses.

Creative Planet previously raised $25 million in October.

The company said the new funds will help drive its strategy to deliver technology solutions and resources for the film production community.

Develop assets

Specifically, funding will be used to expand the ongoing development and integration of Creative Planet’s technology and database assets, which include MovieMagic Producer (for development, budgeting, scheduling and project management tools), Studio System and e-commerce efforts with Commerce One.

“We’re focusing all of our attention on all three of these services — on technology systems and customer service systems that focus on production management efficiencies,” said Allen DeBevoise, chairman and CEO of Creative Planet. “Creative Planet has always been committed to bringing to market the applications and resources creative professionals require. With this new investment, it is exciting to see that leaders within the investment community share our same vision.”

DeBevoise denied rumors that the company plans to layoff a considerable number of its staff and in fact stressed that it would “add employees before the end of the year.”

Menell, a partner at TMCT, was a former co-head of technology mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley.

“Creative Planet’s combination of traditional, offline applications and forthcoming Web-based solutions positions it as a first mover in developing technology solutions within the entertainment market space,” Menell said.

Creative Planet’s board includes Jack Valenti, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Assn. of America; and Biondi, former CEO of both Viacom and U; as well as Ted Leonsis, prexy, Interactive Properties Group, America Online Inc.; Stuart Wolff, CEO of Homestore.com; and Alan Meckler, CEO of Internet.com.

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