Comprehensive range of Internet access options, applications and consumer services to businesses and on-line service providers
Enterprise, Infrastructure & Services, Information Technology
NEA Board Members:
UUNET Technologies, Inc.
Initially founded as a non-profit, UUNET founder Rick Adams quickly
recognized the commercial viability of the Internet. By spinning off
UUNET Technologies, he created a for-profit entity to provide
commercial UUCP and Usenet access. It became the first subscription
based commercial Internet company and essentially jump-started the
large-scale commercial adoption of the Internet.
Why We Invested
To NEA and the other initial investors, the company represented an
opportunity to invest in the Internet at a fundamental level.
From both a professional and an investment perspective, NEA
certainly understood proprietary networks. In fact, NEA’s Peter Barris
was a seasoned veteran of GE Information Services (GEIS). In UUNET, he
saw the sheer power and opportunity inherent in standardizing
interconnectivity. Essentially shifting communications from an
environment of heterogeneity to one of homogeneity.
UUNET became the world's largest Internet service provider and
established itself as a cheaper, better alternative to corporate
America’s value-added networks. Offering a range of access options,
World Wide Web hosting services, security products and consulting
services for business customers, UUNET's network was comprised of
nearly 1,000 Points of Presence across the globe.
The company not only made money, it was one of the first and
certainly one of the most profitable early Internet investments. A
successful IPO (NASDAQ: UUNT) was followed by a merger with MFS
Communications Company. Less than a year later, UUNET became a
subsidiary of WorldCom through its acquisition of MFS.
Why It Worked
NEA knew the technology had promise, but needed to ensure the right
leaders were in place. After making their first investment, Peter
Barris joined the UUNET Board of Directors. From his GEIS days, Peter
knew John Sidgmore as a leader with just the right mix of technical and
management acumen. Trusting Peter’s judgment (and with a bit of
persuasion), John took over as CEO. With Peter on the Board and John
guiding the company, UUNET made the transition from Internet pioneer to
Clearly, having the right people to guide a company through
its formative years in a nascent market was critical to the ultimate
success of UUNET and viability of NEA’s investment.
What The Entrepreneur Says
Peter is the reason I came to UUNET. He convinced me that, despite the
risks, UUNET had tremendous potential and that the board would give me
the support necessary to implement my programs.
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