files/pictures/picture-35.jpgUGO Networks, an online entertainment community company, announced that it closed a new round of funding worth US$23 million. Lead investors were GRP and Missouri-based Gryphon Holdings II, LLP Inc. and their investment partners. UGO Networks consists of UnderGroundOnline (www.ugo.com
), a network comprised of 350 affiliated sites which feature content in animation, music, games, wrestling, technology, TV & film and celebrities, and UGO Networks Technology Solutions, which provides Web hosting and other professional services to UnderGroundOnline affiliates, strategic partners and third parties. Board members include Strauss Zelnick, former president and CEO of BMG Entertainment, and Yves Sisteron, managing partner of GRP. As part of the new round of funding, UGO is laying off 40 of its 130 employees in an attempt to streamline its overall operations. "UGO Networks will use the new funding to continue operations until our breakeven, which will happen before the end of calendar year 2001," said UGO president and CEO, J Moses. "To this end, we are taking cost cutting measures to increase efficiencies in our business." UGO Networks plans to use the new funds to grow UGO Technology Solutions and to develop and sell advertising sponsorship packages. "UGO Networks' strength lies not only in the size and composition of its audience, 18-34-year-old males, but in the way in which its unique business model enables multiple revenue streams," said John Wehrle, managing partner of Gryphon Investments. "The Company's management team has proven to be extremely adept at leveraging and maximizing all of its internal resources."