Print Page  |  Close Window

News Release Announces Strategic Investment in
     FRAMINGHAM, Mass. --(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 8, 2000--

     ...Agreement Puts the Power of Competitive Purchasing in the
            Hands of Millions of Customers... today announced it has made a 10 percent investment in and formed a strategic alliance with the company to deliver the power of's quote request service to millions of business customers. The companies will create an e-marketplace on where customers can quickly and easily buy and sell business products and services using BizBuyer's buyer-driven quote request service.

"This investment is a critical building block in establishing as the small business destination on the Web," said Jeanne Lewis, president of " was the clear partner of choice. The company's quote request service will significantly expand our service offerings and will create a virtual marketplace where our own customers can sell their products and services. By linking buyers with sellers on our site, we'll help businesses slash the cost and hassle of running their offices."

Through, buyers and sellers are brought together through an online, business-to-business marketplace that allows small-to-medium-sized businesses to put their product and service needs out for competitive bid to thousands of qualified vendors. Businesses can save valuable time and money in the purchasing process by reviewing buying guides, comparing customized quotes and viewing vendor profiles and ratings from other buyers before making an informed purchasing decision. Currently, has more than 20,000 vendors registered to bid throughout 57 product and service categories that range from computer services and equipment, Internet services and insurance to financial and legal services, travel and transportation, and sales, marketing and creative services.

"We are delighted that has chosen as its official partner in its quest to be the ultimate destination for small business," said Bernard Louvat, chairman, founder and chief executive officer of "Our partnership with clearly demonstrates that we have emerged as the category leader in our space and we will continue to build upon our leadership as the most complete RFQ purchasing solution for small- and mid-sized businesses. This strategic partnership and investment from will play a key role in driving traffic and increased revenues to the site."

As part of the agreement, will be the exclusive office supplies provider on and Jeanne Lewis, president of, will serve on's board of directors.

"We're excited to complete this strategic alliance with," said Joe Vassalluzzo, vice chairman of Staples Inc. "Relationships like this one will be an important part of's business strategy."


Headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., with offices in Silicon Valley, is the leading business-to-business marketplace where buyers and sellers connect to buy and sell business products and services. The site offers small to mid-sized business an online marketplace from which to purchase products and services through competitive quotes from thousands of qualified vendors. The community currently offers more than 20,000 vendors registered to quote on 57 product and service categories from 16 vertical markets. These include: computer services, and equipment, telecommunication services, Internet services, business consulting, IT consulting, travel and transportation, insurance, financial services, HR and personnel services, office services, legal services, office equipment and supplies, real estate services, sales, marketing and creative services and international services.'s private investors include CMGI's @Ventures, Times Mirror Chandler Trust Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, eCompanies Venture Group, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Ventures, US Venture Partners and a host of angel investors that includes eBay's Meg Whitman.

About is Staples Inc.'s (NASDAQ:SPLS) e-commerce business that sells office supplies and services to the business customer via the Internet. In November 1999, Staples shareholders approved the company's plans to create a separate stock, Stock, to reflect the performance of its e-commerce businesses. Stock includes the operations of all three of the company's e-commerce sites:, and More information about the company is available at

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Staples, Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report and SEC filings.

     CONTACT: Staples Inc.          
              Shannon Lapierre                Nick Edgar
              Public Relations Manager        Public Relations Manager
              508-253-8468                    310-883-6414
              Staples Inc.
              Bonnie Monahan
              Vice President of Investor Relations