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Two LI companies receive venture-capital funding

This year is proving to be a kinder one so far for Long Island companies in the market for venture-capital funds. Two companies received funding in the first quarter, compared with just one for all of last year, according to a quarterly survey.

And the companies received a total of $12 million, the most awarded on the Island since 2008, according to the MoneyTree Report, from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

FatWire Corp., a Mineola software developer, received $8.1 million. Bridge Capital Solutions Corp., a Hauppauge company that provides commercial check cashing, snagged $4 million.

The funding for FatWire, a maker of software tools that help companies deliver and manage contents on their websites, is really a "strategic investment" from technology giant EMC Corp. in Massachusetts, said Yogesh Gupta, FatWire's chief executive. As part of the alliance, EMC will offer FatWire products to its customers worldwide, Gupta said.

"A $40-billion market cap company decided to rely on us, and as part of that they decided to put some money in FatWire," he said.

The company is using the money to grow and to add employees. It has 225 employees worldwide, including 65 on Long Island. Gupta wouldn't provide numbers on any Long Island hiring but said the company has already added "a noticeable number worldwide."

Bridge Capital Solutions will also use the funding to expand, said Michael Casalini, president. It plans to increase its staff to 12 employees from eight in the next 15 to 16 months, Casalini said.

He said the business, which cashes checks for small businesses to provide immediate financing, has been growing 15 percent to 20 percent a year. But it didn't have the capital to keep up.

Now the funding "let's us focus on growing the business," he said.

A total of 75 tristate area companies received $566 million in the first quarter, up dramatically from the 54 metro companies that received $320 million in the first quarter of 2009, in the depths of the recession.

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