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"USBuild.com Raises $12 Million To Fuel Homebuilding Industry's First e-Chain"
July 5, 2000

    Woodside Fund, McCown De Leeuw & Co., Hanley-Wood, Pulte and Village Homes Finance a New Internet Supply Chain for Production Homebuilding.

    USBuild.com, a company leveraging the Internet to create a supply chain optimized for production homebuilding, today announced the successful completion of a $12.4 million round of financing. Led by Woodside Fund and McCown De Leeuw & Co, the round includes key strategic investors Hanley-Wood, Pulte Home Corporation and Village Homes.
    "This latest investment in USBuild.com will be used to launch the company's business-to-business offering in partnership with Pulte and Village Homes in Denver," said USBuild.com CEO, George Mac Connell. "It also allows us to prepare to serve the many manufacturers and builders nationwide who want to be part of our unique e-commerce solution for the homebuilding industry."
    "We're delighted to be investing in USBuild.com, because it has a vision of making production homebuilding more profitable for builders, trade contractors, and manufacturers, and ultimately, more affordable for homebuyers," said Woodside Fund principal John Occhipinti. "USBuild.com has differentiated itself with a practical focus on Internet-enabled supply chain management." Mr. Occhipinti will be joining USBuild.com's board of directors.
    "USBuild is pioneering a new Internet business model -- the e-chain -- engineered to meet the unique needs of a specific segment of the industry," said company co-founder and chairman, Bill Bernardy. "Unlike market exchanges that connect buyers and suppliers who continue to use inefficient supply chains, our e-chain actually takes out unnecessary costs by using methods proven in other industries."
    Co-founder Jim Kimzey, EVP-business development, added, "By unbundling labor and materials, dealing directly with manufacturers, and using just-in-time logistics to ensure reliable delivery to home sites, USBuild.com moves products, as well as information, very efficiently."
    "We've closely tracked USBuild's progress for the last eight months, and are impressed with the company's commitment to build a sustainable, long-term business and with its ability to hit aggressive milestones," said Phil Collins, a managing director at McCown De Leeuw & Co. "As longtime investors in bricks and mortar building product distribution businesses, we like the e-chain model the company has developed. It creates new value for participants by lowering the cost of doing business." Mr. Collins will also be joining the board of directors.
    "It is clear to me that production homebuilders have different needs than custom builders. USBuild is the first company to tailor a solution for this important segment in a way that will be a real catalyst for change in the industry," added Michael Wood, CEO of Hanley-Wood. Mr. Wood will also join the board of USBuild.com.

About Woodside Fund

    Founded in 1983, Woodside Fund (http://www.woodsidefund.com/) has one of the longest and strongest track records of success in early stage venture capital investing. All Woodside Funds have performed in the upper quartile of the industry for venture capital partnerships formed in their respective years. Woodside Fund IV , which closed in March, invests in early stage ventures in Internet and electronic commerce, computer software, telecommunications, and networking. The Fund serves as an active lead or co-lead investor in most of its portfolio companies.

About McCown De Leeuw & Co.

    McCown De Leeuw & Co., Inc., (http://www.mdcpartners.com/) is a private investment firm based in Menlo Park, CA and New York City. MDC's mission is to partner with management teams to "Build Companies That Make a Difference." The firm focuses on acquiring platform companies in industries undergoing structural change that have excellent prospects for internal growth and/or expansion through strategic acquisitions. MDC also selectively invests in early stage and e-commerce companies in areas where it has strategic bricks and mortar investments or industry expertise. MDC currently manages four funds totaling $1.2 billion of contributed and committed capital.

About Hanley-Wood

    Hanley-Wood (http://www.hanley-wood.com/) of Washington, D.C., publishes leading magazines in the residential and commercial construction industries, including Builder, Big Builder, Remodeling, ProSales, and Building Products, and is the leading publisher of house plan magazines. The company also produces trade shows, including World of Concrete and Custom Home, as well as the Builder 100 and iHousing conferences. Hanley-Wood has a major Internet presence through Builder Online, Remodeling Online, and its new company, ebuild. Hanley-Wood is owned by VS&A Communications Partners III, the New York private equity affiliate of media industry merchant bank Veronis, Suhler & Associates.

About Pulte Home Corporation

    Pulte Corporation ((NYSE: PHM) http://www.pulte.com/) is the parent of the Pulte group of companies, which includes Pulte Home Corporation. The company has operations in 42 markets across the United States and Puerto Rico, and is the fifth largest builder in Mexico. Over its history, Pulte has constructed more than 250,000 homes and has been honored as "America's Best Builder." Pulte Mortgage Corporation is a nationwide lender committed to meeting the financing needs of Pulte customers by offering a wide variety of loan products and superior customer service.

About Village Homes

    Village Homes of Colorado, Inc. (http://www.villagehomes.com/) is Colorado's largest privately held homebuilding company, delivering over 700 homes in 1999. The Company was founded in 1984 and has built over 4,500 homes in the Denver metropolitan area. Village Homes has been recognized both locally and nationally for its innovative community designs. Village offers a wide range of housing, styles, all featuring the latest in-home technologies, including high-speed wiring and the new IBM Home Director.

About USBuild.com

    USBuild.com Corporation (http://www.usbuild.com/) is the leading company pioneering the Internet e-chain model, a new kind of Internet business that creates value by acting as a catalyst for change in the supply chain. Its systems shorten the supply chain and drive out costly inefficiencies by applying methods proven in manufacturing. It is also the first e-commerce company to focus on production homebuilding. Using USBuild.com, builders lower the cost of direct materials (those used in construction) by ordering directly from manufacturers and having USBuild.com deliver products just as the job site and the trade contractor are ready for them.
    The company is currently developing and testing its Internet scheduling and procurement management systems, and is establishing advanced fulfillment centers to provide just-in-time delivery to new-home job sites. It has partnered with Pulte Home Corporation and Village Homes to develop and pilot its systems in Denver beginning in late Summer, 2000. The privately-held company began operations in 1999 and is headquartered in San Francisco.


    CONTACT: USBuild.com

             Susan DeVico, 415/434-8220

             sdevico@usbuild.com

                                      
 

 

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