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Chemdex Corporation
FoundedSeptember 1997; 26 years ago (September 1997)
FounderDavid Perry
DefunctApril 12, 2011; 13 years ago (2011-04-12)
FateBankruptcy; acquired by Trubiquity
HeadquartersCarlsbad, California
RevenueIncrease $3 million (2003)
Increase -$14 million (2003)
Total assetsDecrease $7 million (2003)
Total equityDecrease -$7 million (2003)
Number of employees
33 (2003)
Footnotes / references

Chemdex Corporation, later known as Ventro Corporation and then NexPrise, Inc., was a B2B e-commerce company that first operated an online marketplace for products related to the life sciences industry such as laboratory chemicals, enzymes, and equipment, but later expanded into a few other industries.[2] It was notable for its $7 billion market capitalization during the dot-com bubble despite minimal revenues.


The company was founded in September 1997 by David Perry, a mid-level oil refinery manager at Exxon whose business plan won 2nd place in a Harvard University competition.[3][4]

In October 1998, the company launched its service.[4]

The company raised $45 million in venture capital funding from Genentech founder Robert A. Swanson, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and CMGI.[4]

On July 27, 1999, the company became a public company via an initial public offering that raised $112.5 million. After its shares soared 60% to $25 per share on its first day of trading, the company had a market capitalization of $758 million despite only having $29,000 in sales in 1998 and $165,000 in sales in the first quarter of 1999, 82% of which came from Genentech.[5][3][6]

In September 1999, the company acquired Promedix.com for $340 million in stock. In December 1999, the company acquired SpecialityMD.com for $115 million in stock and formed a joint venture with Tenet Healthcare.[7] The stock price surged to over $100.[8]

In February 2000, the company changed its name to Ventro Corporation.[1] News of the name change sent the stock up 30% in one day, to $155 per share.[9]

On February 25, 2000, the stock price peaked at $243 per share.

In December 2000, the company shut its Chemdex and Promedix marketplaces and laid off 235 employees.[10]

By June 2001, shares in the company traded for 39 cents each.[4]

On August 9, 2001, the company acquired NexPrise and in January 2002, the company changed its name to NexPrise, Inc.[1]

On February 4, 2002, the company acquired InfoPrise.[1]

In June 2002, the company announced the release of the nProcess Platform.[1]

The company changed its business plan to be a provider of cloud-based enterprise content management solutions.

On January 18, 2011, the company filed bankruptcy.

In April 2011, Trubiquity acquired all of the company's assets.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Nexprise, Inc. 2003 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. ^ "Chemdex raises $112.5 million in IPO". CNET. July 27, 1999.
  3. ^ a b "Chemdex Corp Form S-1". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  4. ^ a b c d PILLER, CHARLES (June 24, 2001). "Fatal Flaw Dooms an Internet Venture". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ "Chemdex shines on market debut". CNET. July 27, 1999.
  6. ^ Thurm, Scott (July 28, 1999). "Chemdex Shares Surge 70% From Their Offering Price". The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ Malik, Om (December 13, 1999). "Chemdex shifts gears". Forbes.
  8. ^ "Tenet, Chemdex venture". CNN. December 13, 1999.
  9. ^ "Semis brighten dark session". CNN. February 22, 2000.
  10. ^ "VENTRO SHUTS CHEMDEX, PROMEDIX E-MARKETS". Advertising Age. December 7, 2000.
  11. ^ "Trubiquity Acquires Enterprise Content Management Solution from NexPrise" (Press release). Vocus (software). April 12, 2011.