has made an equity investment in eScout, a provider of business-to-business e-commerce solutions for independent businesses.

"eScout complements Paccar's e-commerce strategy, which is aimed at proactively addressing the business opportunties of the Internet," said Paccar chairman and ceo Mark Pigott. "As part of that strategy, is a venture capital fund that focuses on investing in startup companies, like eScout, that are developing technologies applicable to Paccar's core business competencies."
Founded in 1999, helps small and medium-sized businesses boost profits by aggregating their purchasing power into a single network. The eScout network has more than 4,000 members and is adding more than 100 members a week. It claims to be the only B2B intiative to establish community banks as the center of Internet commerce.
Last December, invested $10 million in PNV, a provider of telecommunications, cable television and Internet access services to long-haul truckers.