Compaq, CMGI 'Freeup' Business-to-Employee Market

BOSTON (07/11/2000) - Compaq Computer Corp. and CMGI Inc. Tuesday announced a new joint venture named Freeup LLC aimed at the expanding business to employee (B2E) market.

Freeup, which will launch a B2E Web site called Freeup.com later this year, will initially focus on the needs of information technology professionals. The site will feature access to information and tools, aggregated into task-specific subject areas to assist employees in simplifying their work processes and increase their productivity, according to a statement.

Freeup expects to provide access to products and services from a diverse group of alliances and contact providers, including Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., CNET Networks Inc., Commerce One Inc., DigitalThink Inc. and Intraware. Freeup will also utilize CMGI companies, including NaviSite Inc. for Web applications and applications services hosting; CMGI Solutions for Web strategy, development and integration services; and Engage Technologies Inc. for ad serving and campaign management services.

Additionally, Freeup.com hopes to serve as a community site. The slogan for the site is, "The freedom to be productive anywhere," according to the company's preliminary Web site.

Mia Shernoff, formerly executive vice president and managing director of the e-business services portfolio at Aon Corp., will serve as Freeup's chief executive officer. Initial funding for the venture from Compaq and CMGI totals approximately US$20 million, according to the statement, and Freeup will derive revenues from a combination of subscriptions, advertising and sales of products and services.

Compaq, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, owns a controlling interest in Freeup, while CMGI holds the remaining stake, according to the statement.

This is not the first joint venture between Compaq and CMGI. In February, the two companies, along with SoftNet Systems Inc., formed a joint venture called SoftNet Zone Inc. to provide business travelers with broadband mobile Internet and computer services. [See "CMGI, Compaq, SoftNet to Form Joint Venture," Feb.

11.]

Compaq, in Houston, Texas, can be reached at +1-281-370-0670 or on the Web at http://www.compaq.com/. CMGI, in Andover, Massachusetts, is at +1-978-684-3600 or at http://www.cmgi.com/.

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