News Release

Industry Leaders Team Up to Endorse VeriSign Digital IDs in Their Major Electronic Commerce Initiatives

VeriSign Closes $30 Million in Private Financing From Ten
Dec 06, 1996

VeriSign Closes $30 Million in Private Financing From Ten Leading Companies

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., December 6, 1996 -- VeriSign, Inc., the leadingprovider of digital authentication products and services, today announcedthe closing of $30 million in private financing. The company raised themoney primarily through strategic investments from 10 leading companies whoare shaping Internet infrastructure and business applications. The 10companies are:

  • Cisco Systems, Inc., the leading global provider of internetworkingsolutions for corporate intranets and the global Internet.
  • Comcast Corporation, a leading cable, communications and content company.
  • First Data Corporation (FDC), a global leader in payment systems,electronic commerce and information management services.
  • Gemplus, headquartered in France, is the world leader in both smart cardsand plastic cards.
  • Intuit, Inc., a financial software and Web-based services company.
  • Merrill Lynch, providing financial-management and advisory servicesworldwide.
  • Microsoft, the worldwide leader in software for personal computers.
  • Reuters, a leading international news and financial information servicescompany.
  • AT&T Ventures, the venture capital arm of AT&T, investing in younginformation technology companies pioneering new products and services inmarkets around the world.
  • SOFTBANK Ventures Inc., the venture capital investment arm of SOFTBANKCorporation, the leading infrastructure provider to the informationtechnology industry.

In addition, three well-known institutional investors participated in thefinancing: Chancellor LGT Asset Management, Amerindo Investment Advisors,and Attractor Investment Management. The financing was managed by MorganStanley.

VeriSign will work aggressively with its new investors to expand its DigitalID product lines to support new Internet commerce initiatives inapplications and network authentication, financial services, publishing, andtailored subscription services.Stratton Sclavos, VeriSign president and CEO, commented, "Over the past 12months the VeriSign name has become synonymous with trust on the Internet.Hundreds of thousands of users and Web sites have been authenticated withour Digital IDs. We expect our efforts with our new strategic investors each one a trusted brand with consumers or businesses v to greatlyaccelerate Digital ID adoption as they roll out exciting new services andproducts in 1997."

Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft, said, "Digital authentication isa vital component in moving Web sites from publishing to commerce. We havebeen using VeriSign Digital IDs initially with our Internet InformationServer, Internet Explorer and Authenticode products. VeriSign, as a trustedthird party, is key to our strategy to deliver a secure Internet environmentfor our customers."

John Chambers, president and CEO of Cisco Systems, said, "Cisco will combineVeriSign's authentication technology with our internetworking products tocreate secure Internet infrastructure and environments. We view thiscombination of industry leaders endorsing a common secure authenticationtechnology as a remarkable step forward."

Digital ID Applications

VeriSign Digital IDs are currently being used for applications including Website access, secure email, software publisher validation, and credit cardauthentication. VeriSign Digital IDs are currently integrated in over 50applications including browsers from Netscape and Microsoft. VeriSign hasalso been chosen to be the authentication service provider of choice bymajor vendors including AOL, Visa International and Oracle. Since itsfounding, VeriSign has issued Digital IDs to over 12,000 Web sites, and500,000 individuals.

VeriSign, Inc.

VeriSign, Inc., headquartered in Mountain View, CA, was founded in April1995 as a spin off from RSA Data Security. The company is the world'sleading Internet certification authority, the trusted third party thatauthenticates, issues and manages Digital IDs for consumers and businessesinteracting over the Web. VeriSign Digital IDs enable trusted electroniccommerce by authenticating the individuals, organizations and contentinvolved in an electronic transaction.

This investment brings VeriSign's total financing to $40 million. Previousinvestors include Ameritech, Bessemer Venture Capital, Kleiner PerkinsCaufield & Byers, Security Dynamics, and Visa International. The newcapital will be used to fund development and expand operations on a globalbasis.

VeriSign Products and Services

VeriSign delivers its digital authentication services through public andprivate Digital ID services. Public Digital IDs offer general Internetauthentication for individuals, organizations and content. VeriSign PrivateLabel Digital ID services enable corporations to offer applications andmarket specific custom Digital IDs.

At the core of all VeriSign solutions is the VeriSign Digital ID Center(SM)which combines three tightly-integrated differentiators v technology,infrastructure and practices. VeriSign's world-class technologists deliverservices based on standards, such as RSA Cryptography, Secure ElectronicTransactions (SET), and S/MIME. VeriSign has invested in the infrastructureto provide its customers with the confidence necessary to conduct electroniccommerce worldwide. From its facilities in the U.S. and Japan, VeriSignoffers highly secure facilities, redundant communications links, automatedbackup, and full disaster-recovery capabilities. And at the heart of theVeriSign advantage is its Certification Practice Statement (CPS), acomprehensive document that presents VeriSign's legal requirements for theentire digital certification process.

Photographs and logos are available. For more information, contact VeriSignat (415) 961-7500, or visit the Web site at

VeriSign is a service mark and trademark of Verisign, Inc. Digital ID andDigital ID Center are service marks of VeriSign, Inc. All other trademarksare properties of their respective owners.

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New VeriSign Investors

Julian Brodsky, vice chairman, Comcast Corporation, commented, "A keyenabler of electronic commerce and communications is assuring the identityof customers to Web sites and Web sites to customers. For Comcast, this isan important component for both our content businesses, such as QVC, and ourcable-delivered, high-speed on-line services to consumers and businesses."

Roger Pierce, group president, First Data Corporation's Electronic FundsServices Group, said, "Digital authentication is essential to the growth ofelectronic commerce on the Internet. As the leading Internet paymentprocessor, First Data is committed to support secure electronic transactionsfrom a variety of sources. VeriSign's Digital ID technologies will helpaddress our clients' needs for secure electronic commerce."

Marc Lassus, chairman and co-founder, Gemplus, commented, "The combinationof smart card, public key encryption technologies and Digital IDs is anabsolute requirement to improve security for any network transaction. We'reexcited to work with VeriSign to offer that combination to our customersworldwide."

Scott Cook, chairman, Intuit, Inc., said, "Intuit views Digital IDs as animportant step in accelerating the adoption of electronic financialcommerce. We look forward to working with VeriSign so Digital IDs can helpfinancial institutions and their customers capture the full advantages ofelectronic commerce."

Howard P. Sorgen, senior vice president and chief technology officer,Merrill Lynch Private Client, commented, "We will continue to provide ourclient base with a world-class set of on-line offerings. It is clear to usthat in order to provide outstanding content and capability, we must havestate of the art digital authentication services as part of our product. Webelieve VeriSign gives us the ability to offer our clients a secureenvironment."

John Taysom, senior vice president, Reuters, said, "The VeriSign solutionfor authentication on the Internet could provide one important missingcomponent for the development of the Internet as a business informationplatform."

Neal Douglas, general partner, AT&T Ventures, commented, "We believe digitalidentification is a key requirement for the Internet to evolve into acommerce platform. Identity verification enables true consumer value frompersonalized services to secure financial transactions. Without the abilityto authenticate individuals, organizations, and even content, the Internetwill remain a generalized information source."

Existing VeriSign Investors

Jim Bidzos, president, RSA Data Security and chairman of VeriSign's board,said, "We knew when we spun VeriSign out of RSA that it needed its very ownbusiness plan and strategy. The market we predicted for digitalauthentication was very promising. The support from these new organizationsconfirms the importance of VeriSign's products and services and theCertificate Authority market. We look forward to watching VeriSign movequickly from a start-up to a major force in the security market."

Chuck Stuckey, chairman and CEO, Security Dynamics, a leading provider ofInternet and network security solutions, said, "We're pleased with the newinvestors being added as a result of VeriSign's latest round of financing.This places VeriSign in an even stronger position, with added capital andthe potential for significant new strategic partners. They should be in thedriver's seat to exploit the rapidly-growing market for digital certificatesrequired for electronic commerce and EDI."

William Chenevich, group executive vice president, Visa International, said,"Visa International chose VeriSign as its Certification Authority toimplement Secure Electronic Transactions (SET) on behalf of our member banksworldwide. Digital certificates are one way to provide authentication andwill be a valuable service for trusted e-commerce on the Internet. Thisadditional support for VeriSign from highly-respected organizations in theirrespected markets proves that authentication is critical to manyapplications across the Internet."

New VeriSign Investors - Background Information and Contact NamesCisco Systems, Inc., (Nasdaq: CSCO) is the leading global supplier ofinternetworking solutions, including routers, LAN and ATM switches, dial-upaccess servers and network management software. These products, integratedby the Cisco IOS software, link geographically dispersed LANs, WANs and IBMnetworks. Cisco Systems news and product/service information are availableat World Wide Web site Cisco Systems is headquarteredin San Jose, Calif. For more information contact: Adam Stein, 408/526-7388,

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is principally engaged in thedevelopment, management and operation of wired telecommunications includingcable television and telephone services; wireless telecommunicationsincluding cellular, personal communications services and direct to homesatellite television; and content through principal ownership and managementof QVC, the world's premier electronic retailer, and through majorityownership of Comcast Spectator and other programming investments. Thecompany's consolidated and affiliated operations serve more than ninemillion customers worldwide. For more information contact: Marlene Dooner,215/981-7392

First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC), which reported more than $4.1 billion inrevenues in 1995, provides information processing services to financialinstitutions, insurance companies, health care providers, governmentagencies, public utilities and consumers throughout the United States, theUnited Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Germany and through it agent network tomore than 120 countries around the world. For more information contact:Nancy Etheridge, 402/222-5553

Gemplus, with an annual capacity of 750 million units and revenue of $300million in 1995, is the world leader in the production of smart and plasticcards. The company currently supplies its products to 80 differentcountries throughout the world, for such applications as banking, electronicpurse, loyalty, telecommunications (public and mobile), transport,education, healthcare, gaming, identity, access control, pay TV, andelectronic payment. For more information contact: Ms. Flavie Gil, +33 (0)442 36 5683

Intuit, Inc., is a financial software and Web-based services companyenabling individuals, small businesses and financial professionals to bettermanage their financial lives and businesses. Intuit's systems and solutionsprovide many of the nation's leading financial service providers withcommunication, sales and marketing opportunities that deliver new customers,better serve existing customers, and lower costs. Visit Intuit's QuickenFinancial Network ( for a variety of financial news,information and products. For more information contact: Jennifer Glass,415/944-3569

Merrill Lynch is one of the world's leading financial management andadvisory companies, with a presence in 45 countries. It is the largestsecurities firm in the U.S., with Private Client assets exceeding $779billion. As an investment bank, it is the top global underwriter of debtand equity securities and a leading strategic advisor to corporations,governments and institutions worldwide. Through Merrill Lynch AssetManagement, a wholly owned subsidiary, Merrill Lynch operates one of theworld's largest mutual fund complexes. For more information contact: BobbieCollins, 212/449-7282,

Microsoft, founded in 1975, (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader insoftware personal computers. The company offers a wide range of productsand services for business and personal use, each designed with the missionof making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of thefull power of personal computing every day. For more information contact:John Browne, 206/936-4580,

Reuters supplies the global business community and news media with a widerange of products including real-time financial data, transaction systems,access to numerical and textual historical databases, news, graphics, stillphotos and news video. Reuters Group companies design and install tradingroom systems. Information is obtained from around 270 exchanges andover-the-counter markets, from 4,700 subscribers who contribute datadirectly to Reuters, and from a network of about 1,940 journalists,photographers and cameramen. Some 340,000 clients access Reutersinformation, some using their own terminals to do so. For more informationcontact: Wendy Zajack, 212/603-3581,

VeriSign Institutional Investors - Contact InformationChancellor LGT Asset Management, Alessandro Piol, 212/278-9077 AmerindoInvestment Advisors, Irene Yu, 415/249-1532, Attractor InvestmentManagement, Gigi Brisson, 212/634-0530

Copyright ) 1996 Cisco Systems Inc. All rights reserved.