• June 6, 2000
  • North America

eMedicine Completes First-Round FinancingFROM OMNICOM GROUP INC. AND H.I.G. VENTURES

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – June 06, 2000 eMedicine Inc. (www.emedicine.com), the medical education Web portal and developer of the first online peer-reviewed medical reference, announced today that it has received significant equity financing from Communicade, Inc., the Internet investment arm of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE-OMC), and H.I.G. Ventures.

eMedicine gives physicians Internet access to clinical decision support tools and information that, in the past, would have to be looked up in a textbook. New editions of reference books often require two to five years to move from concept to bookstore, so the information can become quickly out of date. eMedicine addresses this critical information delay by providing content that can be updated daily. The content also includes radiographic images, audio and video clips, and links to other sites.

Scott Plantz, M.D., CEO and Co-Founder, said that this round of financing would be used to acquire additional management talent, hire several new medical editors, and strengthen core operations. “We needed to make the jump to light speed, and this financing is a key step in our development. It was gratifying to hear the enthusiasm for our growth strategies.”

“We’re working hard and have a great team in place,” Plantz continued. “This financing allows us to pursue new opportunities and provide additional support for our authors and editors.”

“Site developers, particularly eMedicine, have created a strong model for communicating medical information among professionals, and this unique communication stream is just one of the attractions for Omnicom,” said Thomas L. Harrison, Chairman and CEO of the Diversified Agency Services Division of Omnicom Group Inc. The division includes numerous healthcare communications companies whose clients will greatly benefit from this strategic investment. “We like the value proposition. We also like the unique editing software and informational integrity of the site and its developers.”

Craig Burson of H.I.G. Ventures said that the attraction for his firm is the high quality of the content, the unique software technology, and the partnerships established. “We see outstanding potential for eMedicine from both the software technology side and the unique content that they are developing,” he said. “It has already become a very popular site for physicians, and the software technology gives them the opportunity to target other verticals in the future.”

Bill F. Fairfield, Chairman of eMedicine’s Board of Directors, said: “We expect to grow significantly from the foundations of these new partnerships and to continue to add value to the site and to the company.”

eMedicine created the Group Publishing System?, a unique Internet-based publishing system to publish original, online medical textbooks. This system allows thousands of authors to create, review, and control content on the site. Each submission undergoes five levels of peer review, ensuring the highest quality. The authors, editors, and reviewers have instant access to their contributions and may update them whenever necessary. The system was designed and developed by eMedicine founders Plantz and Jonathan Adler, M.D., and the software development team of Jeff Berezin and Joanne Berezin. The Group Publishing System is not specific to medicine and can be used in other Internet and enterprise publishing projects.

Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE-OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), the leading marketing communications company in the world, consists of advertising agency networks BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, and TWBA Worldwide. The group also includes Goodby, Silverstein & Partners; and Diversified Agency Services (DAS), which operates a number of leading, independently branded companies in marketing services and specialty communications; and Communicade, which manages significant investments in leading Internet and digital media development companies.

H.I.G. Ventures is a venture capital investment firm with over $250 million of equity capital under management, providing growth capital to technology firms with strong management teams and intellectual assets.