KnowledgeLINK Network Portal Gets Financing Boost

HP has given KnowledgeLINK a big boost by sinking $10 million in financing into the start-up. KnowledgeLINK will spend the funds to further develop its software technology platform, called Industry DNA. The platform provides a foundation for deploying distribution network applications (DNA) in vertical markets to facilitate e-commerce among distribution channel partners.

KnowledgeLINK, founded in 1996, launched its first application,, in October of last year. GetPlugged offers consumer electronic retailers, manufacturers, and distribution partners the opportunity to sell online through a collaborative network. Since its launch, GetPlugged has become a successful consumer electronics site, boasting 1.4 million monthly unique visitors, according to statistics provided by Media Metrix.

HP is doing more than providing funds to KnowledgeLINK -- it is also providing software development services to further industrialize and productize the DNA technology.

HP's funding decision is no surprise -- portals are key to the company's overall strategy. HP was one of the first big vendors to enter the portal space, and it seems intent on building on its advantage. One way to do that is to ally with companies that have technology that significantly enhances portal functionality. Moreover, HP views portals as the means by which users interact with the three main vectors the company is emphasizing -- apps on tap, dynamically brokered e-services, and appliances. HP already offers three kinds of portals (commerce portals; enterprise information portals, or EIPs; and trading communities), all of which were developed through partnerships with industry leaders and start-ups in the portal space.