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RAND CAPITAL INCREASES STAKE IN PATHLIGHT

Buffalo's Rand Capital Corp. has upped its investment in Pathlight Technology Inc., an Ithaca-based computer data storage developer.

The local venture capital group has invested an additional $750,000 in Pathlight, boosting its financial backing of the high-tech company to $1,175,000. This represents Rand's fourth installment of investment in the Central New York business, and is a portion of a larger financing package that is expected to bring $5 million in new capital to Pathlight.

"We are excited about the progress that Pathlight has made in establishing itself as a leading provider of infrastructure products for storage area networks (SANs)," said Rand president Allen "Pete" Grumm. "This has been validated by six new 'original equipment manufacturer' relationships and further orders from IBM."

Grumm's view of Pathlight's potential is backed up by Walter Raizner, vice president for marketing and strategy, IBM Technology Group, who said Pathlight's SAN developments are especially appealing to companies with an e-business component.

"E-businesses might hit a roadblock in the future if they do not invest in a new way of storing information," Raizner said.

"The growth of e-business has helped drive the need for better storage capabilities, which can benefit from SANs' abilities to provide data interoperability and data sharing."

According to a recent IBM survey, SANs will be deplayed by 70 percent of all mid- to large-sized companies by 2002, as data grows at a rate of 60 percent per year in normal businesses and up to 100 percent a year in e-businesses.

Pathlight, which Grumm has referred to as Rand's "shining star," develops, manufactures and markets a complete family of SAN infrastructure products, such as routers and data gateways, which makes sharing critical data storage resources possible in such environments as banks, corporations and financial institutions.

Rand Capital is a publicly held venture capital company headquartered in Buffalo. The corporation provides expansion capital and investment, as well as financial advisory services to companies both inside and outside Western New York.

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