Deals in Brief: Following are a handful of deals in the software sector: –

ALTA Claims $5 Million Close

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – ALTA Analytics Inc., a developer of fraudulent claim screening software for property and casualty insurance providers, raised $5 million through a private placement of preferred stock with seven investors, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Menlo Ventures led the investment group, which included CID Equity Partners, Desco Capital Partners and Wingset Investments Ltd. A minimum investment of $35,002 was required to participate in the round, which closed March 30, said Herbert Jones, president of ALTA.

Proceeds from the offering will be used to accelerate business development and to increase staff size, technical support and marketing divisions, Mr. Jones said.

ALTA retails its software through a direct marketing program and has signed five of the 10 largest U.S.-based property and casualty insurers since the product release 18 months ago.

MindSteps Grabs $10M Warburg-led Round

PALO ALTO, Calif.- MindSteps Inc., a career development software designer, has raised $10 million through a private placement of Series C convertible preferred stock from a group of investors led by Warburg Pincus Asset Management Inc., according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The placement, completed March 28, is the company’s third since March 1996. MindSteps has completed a $3.8 million Series A round and a $1 million Series B round. Prior to the current round, MindSteps dealt primarily with private investors, although Singapore-based venture firm, TDF Capital contributed to the B round.

MindSteps provides Web-based applications that allow a customer’s employees to complete self-assessment exercises designed to reduce turnover and increase productivity. Current customers include Hewlett-Packard Co., Visa International, Wells Fargo & Co. and Toronto Dominion Bank.

MindSteps’ president, Andy Chan, anticipates that the proceeds from the offering will satisfy the company’s development, marketing and sales needs for two years.

Syncra Aligns $14M Second Round

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Syncra Software Inc. closed its second venture capital round in early April, landing $14 million from a syndicate of venture firms.

Zero Stage Capital of Boston led the financing with a $3 million investment in the developer of a standards-compliant supply chain software program. Other participants in the round included Internet Capital Group, TL Ventures, Prism Venture Partners, Pequot Capital Management, Cambridge Technology Capital and BancBoston Ventures. Syncra has now raised $20 million in private equity. Internet Capital Group was an existing investor.

Proceeds from this round will serve as working capital for product development and getting a good sales channel developed, said Jeffrey Stamen, chief executive at Syncra. Mr. Stamen said the round of equity would allow the company to break even and was undecided about the next financing option.

The company has developed a Web-based software program that combines the Internet and a messaging standard that is compliant with collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR) standards that were approved by the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards Association and the Uniform Codes Council.

TraffiCop Raises $2.5 million

GLEN ELLYN, Ill. – TraffiCop Inc., a company that makes software to track goods in transit, raised $2.5 million in April from two Chicago-area venture firms, KB Partners L.L.C. and New World Ventures, and a family investment group.

The 10-employee company is about a year old and will use the capital for marketing and to hire additional staff. The recent financing was the company’s first institutional round, said KB Managing Partner Keith Bank.

TraffiCop’s software lets shippers, receivers, freight forwarders and third-party logistics providers track international shipments in real time, he added, and the company has formed partnerships with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Ryder System Inc., a truck-rental company.

Tumbleweed Picks $16 Million Third Round

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Tumbleweed Software Corp. received $14 million of its $16 million third round of venture capital financing from Japanese Telecommunications company, Hikari Tsushin Inc.

Existing investors August Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Adobe Ventures L.P., Bessemer Venture Partners, Sofinnova, Hambrecht & Quist and France Telecom all reinvested in the company. To date, Tumbleweed has raised $28 million in private equity financing. H&Q served as placement agent for the deal.

Tumbleweed provides messaging security systems for online business processes.

Tumbleweed will use proceeds from the equity infusion to develop new products and secure additional distribution platforms.