An Internet community started by Apple Computer veterans was the biggest beneficiary from venture capital investors in the third quarter.
Talk City received $34 million from VC firms, which kicked in a total of $1.25 billion in the third quarter to Silicon Valley start-ups.
Backers included Intel, New York Life Insurance, and media giants NBC, Cox Enterprises and Hearst.
Talk City, founded in 1996, is an Internet content company offering an integrated set of personal home pages, moderated discussions, shopping and live events.
The company has about 40 people. Friedman, top manager at Apple Computer's eWorld online service and Jenna Woodul, eWorld's community manager, decided to take the eWorld audience to the Web after Apple decided to discontinue the funds for the online service. Bernie Bernstein, also from Apple, joined the group as co-founder.
According to chief executive Peter Friedman: "We created a clean, well lighted space with structured theme communities where people can establish relationships and discuss everything from education and college to entertainment, books, parenting and business."
According to Friedman, the Internet site has 1.5 to two million users who spend more than four million hours a month at the site.
What is attracting investors and advertisers, Friedman said, is that "we have usage patterns like TV and mainstream demographics".
"Internet communities are a hot investment flavor right now," said Damon Pham, senior research analyst for Venture One. "They are attracting niche populations that come back on a regular basis and that is attractive to advertisers."
Individuals and businesses can link a Talk City chat room into their Web sites by using the company's EZTalk chat technology. Individuals apply for a Personal Connection chat room and businesses apply for a Publisher Connection.
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