|Staples Takes Equity Position in HotOffice; Agreement Includes Strategic Marketing Partnership and Brings Total Financing Round to $14.8 Million for Application Service Provider|
| Business Editors|
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. and BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 18, 1999--Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) and HotOffice Technologies, Inc. (www.hotoffice.com), today jointly announced that Staples has taken an equity stake in the developer of the award-winning HotOffice Web-Based Intranet Service, investing $6 million in a total financing round of $14.8 million. Additional investors include Intel Corporation; Spyglass Equities 99A L.P., an investment affiliate of The Staubach Company; Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners; and TBG Information Investors, a partnership of Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners and GS Capital Partners II, an affiliate of Goldman Sachs Group. Both Intel and TBG Information Investors contributed in previous investment rounds as well.
In addition to its investment, Staples also has formed an
aggressive marketing and distribution partnership with HotOffice to
further strengthen its position as the online destination for small
business. Staples will offer HotOffice's Web-based, low-cost and
feature-rich intranet services on www.staples.com as an alternative to
expensive, technically complex solutions. In addition, Staples will
offer HotOffice in its retail stores and through direct marketing
Staples also announced today its investment in DSL.net, which
provides high-speed data communication services and Internet access
via digital subscriber line technology. By coupling HotOffice with
DSL.net's technology, Staples can offer small businesses an end-to-end
high speed intranet service to help grow an expanding business.
"Providing small businesses with a valuable tool to efficiently
and effectively host and operate an intranet is just one more way we
can help them slash the cost and hassle of running their offices,"
said Thomas G. Stemberg, chairman and chief executive officer of
Staples. "HotOffice is the leader in this category, and our agreement
is representative of Staples' ongoing efforts to partner with Internet
experts to better serve our customers the way they want to be served."
"Our partnership with Staples fits perfectly into our overall
strategic goal of providing small businesses with the tools and
resources they need to survive in today's competitive landscape," said
R. Michael Franz, chairman and CEO of HotOffice Technologies, Inc. "By
continuing to partner with leading companies that have an existing
presence in the small business marketplace, we are able to draw upon
their extensive customer base while supplying them with a unique
value-add solution to help them retain that relationship with their
customer. To continue our aggressive growth, we expect to be
announcing several more exciting partnerships in the near future as
For just $12.95 per user per month, scaling down to $9.95 per
user after just 50 users, HotOffice offers an affordable hosted
intranet at a fraction of the cost of purchasing and maintaining a
traditional system. This subscription service provides a powerful
suite of collaboration and communication tools in one simple,
easy-to-use interface accessible anytime anywhere. From any PC in the
world with an Internet connection, HotOffice provides instant access
to document management, Web-based e-mail, group calendar, contact
manager, bulletin boards, online conference rooms, a business resource
center and more.
About HotOffice Technologies, Inc.
The HotOffice Web-Based Intranet Service is the first product to
be awarded both "Premiere Product" at DEMO and "Debut Company" at PC
Forum, two of the industry's most prestigious events. Among its many
accolades, HotOffice has received the PC Magazine Editors' Choice
Award; a "Four Star Award" by PC Computing Magazine; was designated by
Windows Magazine as one of the Best Business Sites on the Internet and
by PC Computing as the Top Business Technology Service on the
Internet; and was listed as the Best Small Office Internet Solution in
the Gadget Guru's Guide to the Best (syndicated columnist and NBC
Today Show Correspondent). HotOffice Technologies, Inc., founded in
1995, is a privately held company based in Boca Raton, Florida and is
funded in part by Intel Corporation and TBG Information Investors, a
partnership of Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners and GS Capital
Partners II, an affiliate of Goldman Sachs Group.
Launched in the fall of 1998, Staples.com is Staples' e-commerce
business unit that serves the home office and small-business customer
via the Internet. The virtual store offers easy-to-use, customized
features and intuitive functions to slash the cost and hassle of
purchasing office supplies. More than 6,000 products are available on
Staples.com, and it is open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a
week. Customers receive free delivery on all orders over $50 and
next-business day delivery is available in most U.S. markets.
Staples, Inc. is a $7 billion retailer of office supplies,
furniture and technology to consumers and businesses, from home-based
businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the
United Kingdom and Germany. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples
invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest
operator of office superstores in the world. The company has over
44,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,000 office
superstores, mail-order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business.
More information about the company is available at
HotOffice and the HotOffice logo are trademarks of HotOffice
Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.
--30--bh/bos* CONTACT: HotOffice Technologies, Inc. Bridgette King, 561/995-5688 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hotoffice.com or Staples, Inc. Shannon Lapierre, 508/253-8468 email@example.com www.staples.com KEYWORD: MASSACHUSETTS FLORIDA INDUSTRY KEYWORD: COMED COMPUTERS/ELECTRONICS RETAIL