Table: How Mortal These Portals Be

If running a small business is tough, selling to one is even worse. Witness 
      these dot-coms, all of which hoped to make a buck off entrepreneurs. Not that 
      it's all the Net's fault. In January, Office Depot said it will close 70 
      real-world stores and cut sales staff 10%.
      THE COMPANY               THE DAMAGE     THE BACKERS
      HOTOFFICE TECHNOLOGIES    Shut down      Staples and Intel contributed
      Hosted intranets          in December    the bulk of $20 million in
      BIZBUYER.COM              Shut down      CMGi, Staples, Intel, Excite,
      Online request-for-quote  in December    eCompanies, MSDW Strategic
      service                                  Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures
                                               joined to raise $68 million.
                                               Now, $35 million will be
                                               returned to investors.
      BIGSTEP.COM               More than 30   Worldview Technology Partners,
      Web hosting               laid off in    InterWest Partners, Compaq,
                                December       Office Depot, U.S. Venture
                                               Partners, Argus Capital, and
                                               The Washington Post Co. have
                                               anted up $65 million.
      ONVIA.COM                 Laid off 180   Public shareholders. Stock
      Online exchange           in December;   slumping to $0.875, from high
                                85 in Sep-     of $78 in March.
      ALLBUSINESS.COM           Spun off to paid $225 million for
      Small-business portal a year ago, when
                                               NBCi stock was trading at over
                                               $100 a share. Now it's around
                                               $3.50, and NBCi itself is worth
                                               just $280 million.

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