NetWorth Nets First New Hire –

ATLANTA – Three months after inking a partnership with Mellon Ventures, Buck Goldstein, founder and managing partner of Internet-focused netWorth Partners, welcomed Andrew Dietz as the firm’s second partner.

Most recently a vice president of product development for BellSouth.net, the telephone company’s consumer Internet access service, Mr. Dietz will help netWorth source and manage Internet deals.

Mr. Dietz worked with Mr. Goldstein for eight years at Information America, an online database company that was purchased by West Publishing, a division of Venture Capital Journal’s parent Thomson Corp.

Bringing the Internet executive on board follows netWorth’s strategy of coupling fund managers with operational backgrounds with the financial expertise of Mellon Ventures, the firm’s sole financial backer to date (VCJ, March, page 5). The partnership with Mellon Ventures, the venture arm of Mellon Bank, has provided netWorth with all of the bank’s private equity investment resources, as well as with capital to invest, while still allowing for fund raising from outside investors.

The firm was very close to signing on a new strategic investor at press time, Mr. Goldstein said, adding he expected a final close on netWorth Partners by the fall. While the firm has not revealed a target size for the fund, Mr. Goldstein estimated the vehicle would invest a minimum of $60 million to $65 million in the next two years.

After five years at BellSouth.net, where he was immersed in marketing and product development for high-speed data services, Mr. Dietz became interested in starting his own Internet business. However, when Mr. Goldstein asked him to join netWorth, Mr. Dietz seized the opportunity to apply his skills in developing and growing young businesses.

“I understand the competitive environment [Internet] companies face,” he explained.

Mr. Goldstein believes his new partner has the right background to help the firm and its investments succeed. “[Andrew’s] deep experience in the Internet over the last seven years will really bring a lot to our portfolio companies,” he said.

NetWorth at press time had invested $10 million in an Internet music company and a business-to-business consumer electronics company, and it was close to committing to four more companies, Mr. Goldstein said. He could not name the companies because of Securities Exchange Commission quiet period restrictions.