Two powerhouses in the online meeting registration and attendee relationship management field have joined forces: StarCite Inc., Philadelphia, acquired privately held competitor b-there Corp., Westport, Conn.

Post-merger, StarCite expects to process more than 1 million registrations annually and manage more than $700 million worth of meeting and event requests for proposal.

B-there offers online event management and consolidation solutions, which are used by associations, corporations, universities, and third-party planning organizations, as well as convention and visitor bureaus and major hotel chains.

“Strategically, it's important that we continue to grow our influence in the online registration area, and we're thrilled to be able to combine b-there's proven technologies with our continued focus on innovations,” said John Pino, founder and CEO of StarCite, in a press release. “Most importantly, we believe this combination is in alignment with our commitment to offer our customers the professional service that is absolutely necessary for enterprise-wide solutions.”

Among b-there's customers are Aetna Inc., American Express, AT&T, Nortel Networks, and Proctor & Gamble. Among StarCite's customers are Amgen, American Express, Cisco Systems, KPMG, Lehman Bros., and Motorola.

StarCite now offers two attendee registration platforms, ARM and RegWeb, acquired last summer from Cardinal Communications. StarCite will continue to support both products as it develops a next-generation tool for release in 2004. To help fund the new development, b-there investors Seaport Capital and TL Ventures are investing additional capital into StarCite.

The privately held companies did not disclose terms of the acquisition.