VNI Adds $66M in Private Financing

ATLANTA -Video Networks Inc. said it has closed on a $66 million round of private financing and will change its name to Pathfire.

An "extensive" rebranding campaign is scheduled to call attention to the new moniker in first-quarter 2001, the company said.

The round of financing included $20 million from Quadrangle Group LLC, a private-equity firm specializing in the media and communications industries. Other investors included Enron Broadband Services, Halpern Denny & Co., PanAmSat Corp., Reuters, Ruggs Capital Partners and Sand Hill Capital.

VNI expects to announce partnerships with several of its new strategic investors in the future, CEO Michael J. Eckert said in a prepared statement.

The latest round of financing also included participation by current VNI investors, including AT & T Ventures and Bank of America Capital Investors.

VNI chose the Pathfire name because it "evokes the speed and efficiency that [VNI's] leading-edge software applications and related networking capabilities bring to the management.of digitized media assets," the company explained in its announcement.

Clients include Charter Communications Inc., National Cable Communications and NBC.

Last May, VNI was hired to streamline Charter's video- distribution and back-office processes and to enable the MSO to "mimic a hardwired interconnect," as one Charter executive put it.

Since last year, VNI has helped NCC make spot-cable time much easier for ad agencies to buy.