Shares of Chemdex (Nasdaq: CMDX), which operates an online marketplace for the life sciences industry, gained 35-14 to 155-1/4 Tuesday after the company announced that it is expanding into other business-to-business (B2B) vertical markets. Chemdex has formed Ventro, a new company that will operate multiple business-to-business marketplaces. Ventro’s businesses will include Chemdex, Promedix, Industria Solutions, the Ventro-Tenet Healthcare Supply Ventures and SpecialtyMD.com.
Ventro will use the Chemdex stock symbol until March 1st, when the symbol will be replaced by VNTR.
The battle for the business-to-business e-commerce market, which GartnerGroup believes will exceed $7.3 billion globally by 2004, just became a lot more interesting. Of course, the leader in the business-to-business marketplace/community space is VerticalNet, which has top incubator Internet Capital Group as a major investor. Meanwhile, Chemdex has top incubator CMGI as a major investor. It will be interesting to see how both incubators leverage their numerous assets and create synergies to help their investments grab a bigger piece of this potentially huge pie.