Stephen Foley, president and chief executive of Clareos Inc., needs only one word to describe the process of raising venture funds: brutal. That's a common theme among entrepreneurs, but those who can end their stories happily are increasingly rare.

Clareos's story is just getting started, but a new funding infusion guarantees that at least it will go on for another chapter. Core Capital Partners of the District led a $3 million round of capital for the Herndon-based business-software firm.

Clareos sells Web-based technology to help companies organize and manage large amounts of data about customers, sales cycles and other detailed business information. In January 2002 the company raised $3 million in seed funding to develop the product and released an initial version less than a year ago.

The firm has since updated its software and landed some big-name clients, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Family Dollar Stores Inc. Companies in the telecom, retail and financial industries are Clareos's main target clients, and Foley said much of the new funding will be used to expand its sales force. More engineers will also be added to continue the development of the product.

Clareos has plenty of competitors in the data-management market, but Foley believes the company's software is less expensive and easier to use than other software.

Mark Levine, a managing director at Core Capital who will join Clareos's board of directors, said positive feedback from current customers and the interest expressed by potential clients were influential factors in the deal.

Columbus Nova Capital LP and S.R. One Ltd., SmithKline Beecham's venture arm, which provided the seed funding for Clareos, also participated in this round. Foley said the round is still open for another potential investor, but that the $3 million already secured will last for the next year.