Austin Ventures Announces Partnership with John Egeland to Pursue Online Financial Services Opportunities

AUSTIN, Texas--()--July 10, 2006--Austin Ventures ("AV") today announced that it has entered into a partnership with John Egeland to form E-Newco, Inc. The new company, headquartered in Dallas, Texas will focus on acquiring and/or developing a business in the online financial services market. AV plans to invest a significant amount of equity capital to support management's strategy to build a leading financial services company through both organic growth and acquisition. Mr. Egeland will serve as Chief Executive Officer of E-Newco, Inc.

"We are excited about our partnership with John to pursue the acquisition and/or development of a leading company in the financial services space," said Mike Rovner, AV Principal. "AV has made several successful investments in financial services markets and John has built successful financial services business throughout his career culminating in a great outcome with Advance America."

Mr. Egeland spent the last six years as President of Advance America Cash Advance Centers, Inc. (NYSE:AEA) a leading company in the consumer finance sector located in Spartanburg, SC. Mr. Egeland joined the company as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer when it was a regional company with just a few branches and $3MM in revenue. Mr. Egeland was appointed President of the Company and it's top operating executive after 11 months. Through his leadership the company grew to 2700 branches in 36 states, several hundred million dollars of revenue, and a market capitalization of $1.5 billion. Mr. Egeland led the expansion process, the regulatory compliance strategy, the product strategy, and operations for AEA.

Before Advance America, Mr. Egeland was a senior executive at leading financial services companies including National City Corporation (NYSE:NCC), NorthPark National Bank, Centex Financial Services (NYSE:CTX), and Home Choice Holdings (NASDAQ:HCHS) where he was EVP and CFO. Mr. Egeland was also the Senior VP of Corporate Finance at Associates First Capital a $75B assets publicly-traded finance company which was acquired by CitiGroup.

"We believe that there are still several profitable, high-growth segments within the online financial services sector," commented AV Venture Partner Phil Siegel. "John is a terrific operator and a visionary strategist that has been able to find and build the right opportunities at the right time."

"I am excited that Austin Ventures has committed significant capital and a team of knowledgeable resources to this partnership," said Mr. Egeland. "We are already reviewing interesting acquisition opportunities as well as developing an organic growth plan that brings forward financial products that excite consumers. There is still a lot of open space in the online financial services landscape and I look forward to meeting entrepreneurs who share our vision."

Mr. Egeland will be based in Dallas, Texas and will evaluate potential deals throughout the United States. The relationship with Mr. Egeland is part of AV's strategy of partnering with talented executives with proven track records to build growth companies in attractive markets. AV has a dedicated in-house talent function that identifies executives that want a hands-on partner in building their next business.

AV is a leading growth equity investor in financial services companies, with past and present investments in such leading companies as Summit Global Partners (acquired by USI; NASDAQ:USIH), BenefitMall, Beecher-Carlson, Monitronics International, PreCash, ClearCommerce (acquired by eFunds; NYSE:EFD), and Paymetric.

About E-Newco, Inc.

Based in Dallas, Texas, E-Newco Inc. has been established to invest to buy and build an online financial services company with a primary focus on U.S.-based firms. It is led by financial services industry veteran John Egeland and capitalized by Austin Ventures IX, LP.

About Austin Ventures

Austin Ventures has been working with talented entrepreneurs to build valuable companies since 1979. With $3 billion under management, AV is the most active venture capital firm in Texas, and one of the most established in the nation. With a focus on business services, information services, computer and communications hardware, and enterprise software, Austin Ventures invests at all stages of company development, from $100,000 "planned experiments" to $50+ million investments in management buyouts.

Contacts

Austin Ventures, Austin
Kim Paschall, 512-485-1955 or 512-657-7222
kpaschall@austinventures.com

Contacts

Austin Ventures, Austin
Kim Paschall, 512-485-1955 or 512-657-7222
kpaschall@austinventures.com