Horsepower.com www.horsepower.coma business-to-business online marketplace for farmers, processors, suppliers and transporters, announced today a strategic alliance with Escrow.com to provide a suite of sophisticated on-line escrow and transaction management services for the global agricultural, food and fiber industries.
The agreement will provide Horsepower.com users with the ability to complete online transactions through Escrow.com’s TransactionPoint(TM) technology. TransactionPoint is the first secure settlement engine that automates all components for completing online transactions from reliable collection and disbursement of funds, to tracking and confirming the performance of all transaction participants, including third parties.
“This breakthrough technology will address farmers’ and processors’ heartfelt need to know that they can document transactions, that they will be paid for their commodities and rewarded for their hard work,” said Ralph Friend, president of Net Horsepower Inc., the parent of Horsepower.com.
Horsepower.com’s unique platform can be used to buy and sell more than 430 agricultural commodities using a simple, standardized format with enhanced search capabilities. Horsepower also offers the ability to request bids on more than 300 categories of farm supplies, equipment, labor and fertilizers; and to arrange for rail, sea, air, and truck transportation worldwide.
“This is a dynamic and powerful enhancement to our system,” said Diane Friend, chairman of Net Horsepower Inc. “With Escrow.com, we will create a standard system that can further unite the ag, food and fiber industries and reduce the inefficiencies and uncertainties that cost farmers so much money.”
The Friends, lifelong farmers from Tipton, Calif., developed Horsepower in response to the tremendous need to improve profits at the farm level. Horsepower has received an exclusive endorsement from the California Farm Bureau Federation, whose 40,000 members involved in production agriculture receive free access to the exchange.
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Horsepower also recently announced a plan to license its exchange platform to other agricultural e-commerce websites, agriculture cooperatives, trade associations and corporate users, creating the first standardized trading platform for global agriculture.
Escrow.com launched TransactionPoint on July 23, 2000. In addition to automating all components of an online sale, it provides a platform for capturing transactional elements and standardizing business transactional processes. Escrow.com has filed to obtain patent protection for the technology underlying the TransactionPoint engine.
“Our alliance with Horsepower.com addresses the agriculture industry’s chief concerns associated with online transactions by providing the first secure settlement engine to automate all the components necessary for successfully completing Internet transactions,” said Mark Attaway, executive vice president of strategic business development for Escrow.com. “TransactionPoint will enable Horsepower.com to securely conduct B2B e-commerce while providing the means to standardize transactional processes.”
The foundation of the TransactionPoint system is Escrow.com’s trust accounting technology originally developed by MicroGeneral Corporation (Nasdaq: MGEN) and deployed through Fidelity National Financial Inc. (NYSE: FNF) that has processed over $1 trillion in escrowed transactions since 1985.
The technology behind TransactionPoint integrates all parties in a transaction, from multiple buyers and sellers to third party participants such as finance, logistic, inspection or appraisal services.
This technology offers the capability of multiple and/or staged escrow deposits and disbursements, and can support multiple party fund deposits by an individual buyer, bank or exchange.
The complete history and status of transactions are logged and stored on the TransactionPoint system, and can be accessed by approved participants at any time. Likewise, any partner data can be integrated to ensure accurate and efficient tracking of all terms in order to facilitate settlement of online transactions. At the close of a transaction, the system generates a statement outlining the relevant participants, event dates, actions, deposits and disbursements.
According to industry sources, the impact of the Internet on the agriculture marketplace will be profound. By 2004, approximately 8.25% of the Internet economy is expected to be related to agriculture.
Analysts estimate that $400 billion of the $4 trillion global commercial food, fiber and agricultural marketplace will be traded on line in the next several years. Other recent studies project that in the United States by 2004, business-to-business agricultural sales over the Internet will represent $123.6 billion, or 12% of total agricultural sales.
Horsepower.com is based in Tipton, Calif., with general offices in San Luis Obispo where its staff works on software development, marketing, customer service and other functions. Horsepower.com is supported by venture capital funding from Ridgewood, N.J.-based Ridgewood Capital www.ridgewoodcapital.com which has an office in Palo Alto, Calif. For more information, visit www.horsepower.comor address inquiries to email@example.com.
Escrow.com(TM) and its operating subsidiaries, founded by Micro General Corporation (Nasdaq: MGEN) and Fidelity National Financial Inc. (NYSE: FNF), offer comprehensive online transaction management services, including online escrow and logistics tracking for the Internet. Its architecture and infrastructure provide a secure and scalable business transaction platform with integrated transaction management solutions and escrow services for business-to-business e-commerce. For more information, please visit: www.escrow.com.