MotherNature.com Locks $16M Round –

ACTON, Mass. – Continuing the trend of Internet companies as hot commodities in the venture capital market, MotherNature.com Inc. recently closed a $16 million second-round of financing.

Commonwealth Capital Ventures led the financing, followed by new investors Zero Stage Capital, BancBoston Ventures, North Castle Ventures, Comdisco Ventures, Dain Rauscher Wessels and Blue Chip Ventures, said Michael Barach, president and chief executive at MotherNature.com.

Existing investors Morgenthaler Ventures, @Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Shad Run Investments and Platinum Venture Partners made follow-on investments to round out the $12 million equity placement. The company also agreed to $3.8 million in debt and lease financing through Comdisco and Imperial Bank.

Half of the proceeds from the financing will be used to increase the Web-based nutritional company’s marketing efforts, an area that Mr. Barach said had been scaled back last fall as the site was updated. Remaining proceeds will supplement further development of the company’s distribution technology.

MotherNature.com acts as both an online retailer of and adviser on the use of vitamins, supplements, minerals and other natural products. Currently offering more than 30,000 items to retail customers, MotherNature.com also offers personalized information and input from a panel of physicians.

Mr. Barach, a former venture partner with Bessemer, said the company had sufficient capital to wait until spring to raise additional equity, but sought the additional fund raising in response to its nearest competitor, GreenTree Nutrition, having raised $10.9 million in its second round.