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Two Utah software companies have received funding from Wasatch Venture Fund, an investment company that targets early and expansion-stage companies that have proprietary technology and products in software, communications, information and medical products markets.

The companies are InsurQuote Systems Inc. of Provo and Vertical Technologies Inc. of Salt Lake City.InsurQuote is a developer and marketer of software targeted to insurance companies and agencies to access information to compare premiums.

Vertical Technologies Inc. develops and markets software and hardware products that support bar code and automatic identification applications.

Both investments by Wasatch Venture Fund were for minority ownership and will enable the companies to expand sales in new markets and develop new software products.

"These initial investments are a good indicator of the type of investments Wasatch will be making. Both companies have talented management teams and have potential to dominate their respective markets," said Todd Stevens, manager of Zions Venture Capital Department.

The fund plans to make investments in six to 10 companies per year over the next five years. Investment levels will be $250,000 to $1 million in companies that can demonstrate the potential for dramatic growth in sales and profitability.

Wasatch Venture Fund is licensed as a Small Business Investment Co. by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The fund is a partnership among Zions First National Bank, Utah Equity Foundation and Draper Associates Inc.

The fund is managed by Draper Associates Inc., based in Redwood City, Calif. Wasatch Venture Fund will have a Salt Lake office staffed by Zions Bank's venture capital department.

Gov. Mike Leavitt said the fund will provide much-needed capital to Utah business. "One of our highest economic priorities is to make capital available to Utah business. The Wasatch Venture Fund is an excellent example of the private sector leading out and bringing much-needed capital into our state," he said.