An anticipated venture capital investment in AgentConnect, an online lead generation service, is off the table, Inman News has learned.

Jordan Spiegel, a partner with GESD Capital Partners in San Francisco, said AgentConnect CEO Payam Zamani informed him that he had “decided not to move forward with the financing.” The deal had been expected to close in late November or early December 2003.

Spiegel said Agent Connect’s business had “taken off” and it became “questionable whether it made sense” to dilute the ownership in exchange for an infusion of capital. The funding was intended to accelerate the company’s growth, but simply wasn’t needed, he said.

Zamani did not return telephone calls seeking more information about the dead deal and the company’s plans.

Spiegel said he’s “disappointed” that the deal is off, but pleased that Zamani’s business is booming. The two have been professional acquaintances for some years.

The venture capitalist meanwhile has turned his attention to another opportunity in the real estate sector. Spiegel said his new prospect doesn’t involve third-party online lead generation, but he declined to be more specific about his intentions due to confidentiality concerns.

AgentConnect is an online matching service that connects home buyers and sellers with real estate brokers and agents. The service is owned by Next Phase Media, which also operates several automotive Web sites and iCastle.com, which arranges referrals of property improvement and repair contractors to property owners. Next Phase is based in Walnut Creek, Calif., and has offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Zamani formerly was a co-founder and CEO of AutoWeb.com, an online car-buying service that that is now part of Autobytel.com.

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