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Expertcity.com Secures $30 Million in Latest Round of Funding from Sun Microsystems, ZDNet, Bertelsmann Ventures and Wit Capital's Arista Capital Partners, LP.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 2, 1999--

Company to Revolutionize Online Help and Learning for Consumers

Expertcity.com, the first online marketplace for real-time, expert-assisted help and learning, today announced it has secured $30 million in funding led by Sun Microsystems and ZDNet (NYSE:ZDZ).

Previous investors that also participated in this financing round include Bertelsmann Ventures, a premier venture capital firm, and Dawntreader LP, a leading early stage venture capital firm and an affiliate of Wit Capital. Expertcity.com will use this joint investment to continue its leadership and growth in the online marketplace for expert services.

Expertcity.com, a privately held company, can be found at www.expertcity.com.

Expertcity.com's online marketplace matches accredited and customer rated experts with consumers who require immediate technical assistance. The service allows users to select from a roster of independent experts and enables experts and customers to collaborate as if sitting next to one another in front of a single screen using expertcity.com's DesktopStreaming(TM) screen sharing technology.

The screen sharing technology downloads to a customer's screen in seconds, permitting customers and experts to interact in real-time with mutual mouse and keyboard control.

"This solid round of funding will drive us closer to our goal of maintaining and growing the No. 1 marketplace for real-time help, learning and assistance," said Andreas von Blottnitz, president and CEO of expertcity.com. "We are enabling an interaction between experts and customers that was previously impossible to provide via the Internet. Currently, we are focused on computer support, however, in the near future, our experts will collaborate with and tutor consumers on a variety of subjects."

"Sun has long been a proponent of supporting innovative companies that are developing and building the next generation of Internet-based services and solutions," said Scott McNealy, chairman and CEO of Sun Microsystems, Inc. "With its immediate, person-to-person, expert-assisted help and learning services, expertcity.com is well positioned to capitalize on the expanding demand for online customer support."

"Our investment in expertcity.com reflects ZDNet's confidence in the leadership potential of the company," said Dan Rosensweig, president and CEO of ZDNet. "ZDNet is devoted to creating an educational online environment that provides users with the tools necessary to best understand and leverage technological changes and advances.

"We believe that expertcity.com's stable of experts, combined with its screen sharing technology, offers the best online solution available to customers seeking immediate and highly credible technical assistance."

"Our mission is to identify the most promising Internet start-up companies and help them achieve their highest potential in the marketplace," said Jan Henric Buettner, general partner at Bertelsmann Ventures. "Expertcity.com represents a paradigm shift in the way services are being delivered and we are proud to be part of the development of this company from the very beginning."

"Providing real-time, expert guidance to the huge, technical support market is only the beginning," said Ed Sim, managing director of Wit Capital's venture capital group. "With this round of funding, expertcity.com is ready to leverage its innovative technology and platform to expand into other verticals to become the premiere marketplace for the rapidly growing e-services sector."

About ZDNet

Based in San Francisco, ZDNet operates the leading Web destination (www.zdnet.com) for people who want to buy, use and learn about technology. ZDNet offers an enormous depth and breadth of original, fresh content that it serves to a growing audience ranging from IT professionals, to families, to gamers.

Winner of the Computer Press Awards' Best Overall Online Site, ZDNet Sites consistently ranks among the Top 20 Web properties, according to Media Metrix's at home/at work study. ZDNet's content is available worldwide through 29 sites in 19 countries outside of the United States.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- The Network Is The Computer(TM) -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq:SUNW), to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to ".com" their businesses. With $12.4 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://www.sun.com.

About expertcity.com

Expertcity.com, is the leading online marketplace for expert skills and services providing consumers with real-time, personalized expertise from professionals. The company offers superior support and expert services using expertcity.com's proprietary DesktopStreaming(TM) technology, that enables screen sharing, mutual mouse and keyboard control, online telestration and chat features.

The company is focusing its initial efforts on the technical support market, but plans future expansion in a wide range of market sectors. Headquarters for expertcity.com, inc. are located in Santa Barbara. For additional information, call expertcity.com at 805/964-0383 or visit www.expertcity.com.

Note to Editors: Expertcity.com and DesktopStreaming are trademarks of expertcity.com, inc. All other names featured herein are either registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 2, 1999
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