HomeGrocer.com founder, Terry Drayton, and leading Commerce Service Provider (CSP), Vitessa Corporation, yesterday signed an agreement evidencing intent to jointly develop a web-based merchandising and ecommerce application, codenamed VMX Storefront.

Ramp Ventures, Drayton's new technology services company, and Vitessa will sell VMX Storefront as a technology platform for hosted services as well as a licensed software product to companies with online commerce initiatives.

VMX Storefront will combine the inherent strengths of Ramp Ventures and Vitessa. Ramp Ventures provides its proven ability to deploy highly customized, Web-based consumer services, features and interfaces. Vitessa adds its ecommerce expertise, delivering a hosted platform that includes a virtual warehouse of millions of products, a proprietary transaction engine, and a broad range of value-added services to help companies effectively conduct business online. The resulting platform will allow companies to deploy fully functional, highly customized ecommerce sites in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost possible today.

"Building HomeGrocer.com exposed the Ramp Ventures team to the need for more standardized, comprehensive ecommerce applications. In many cases, there's just too much customization required for the companies to realize a speedy return on development investments," said Drayton, General Partner of Ramp Ventures. "Ramp Ventures and Vitessa are joining forces to build a platform for the next generation of ecommerce. We are coupling our core expertise with customer-facing technologies with Vitessa's well-engineered back-end supply integration system to create pre-packaged applications to quickly commerce-enable web sites."

The Vitessa/Ramp Ventures project expands the scope of Vitessa's solution, providing complete storefront, merchandising, transaction management, and supply chain services. VMX Storefront will be tightly integrated with the Vitessa Merchant Exchange, providing customers with instant access to more than 1 million products to sell. Storefront will be developed for Vignette Corporation's V/5 E-Business Application Platform and other industry-leading e-business software platforms.

"There is a tremendous paradox for today's technology companies, who are faced with a need to rapidly deploy new technology to attract and retain customers but also face growing pressure to generate profits," said John Boedecker, CEO of Vitessa Corporation. "This partnership is a response to an overwhelming market need for great online selling tools that utilize hosted services and ultimately provide maximum return on investment."

About Vitessa Corporation

Vitessa is a privately held company headquartered in Seattle with offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and San Diego. Clients include Microsoft Press, Critical Path (Nasdaq:CPTH), Interact Commerce Corporation (Nasdaq:IACT), Teamplay.net, Karl Malone's New Ventures Amazing Outdoors, Radio Central, WEGO(TM), OneBody, and Eveo. Investors include Media Technology Ventures, GE Equity, AT&T Broadband, Bowman Capital Management, Neo Carta Ventures, and Vignette Corporation (Nasdaq:VIGN). For more information visit Vitessa at www.vitessa.net.

About Ramp Ventures

Ramp Ventures provides strategic business and technology services to new and early stage ventures. Ramp Ventures is led by former HomeGrocer.com executives, Terry Drayton, co-founder/CEO, Ken Deering, co-founder/VP Storefront and Bob Duffy, CIO.

For more information visit Ramp Ventures at www.rampventures.com or email busdev@rampventures.com.