In a landmark transaction, it was announced today that Paragon Software Ltd, a company backed in 1998 by Kennet Capital, the venture capital fund focused on European technology companies, was sold to Phone.com (Nasdaq:PHCM) for approximately $500 million.
Paragon Software is a pioneer of synchronisation technology allowing PC-based personal information to be easily transferred to mobile devices. Paragon Software's product, FoneSyncTM, enables users of PC and Internet-based personal organizers such as Microsoft OutlookTM, Lotus NotesTM, Excite@Home, and Yahoo to download and synchronize contact information to over 240 digital mobile phones from 20 major manufacturers including Alcatel, Ericsson, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sanyo, Siemens, and Sony.
Kennet Capital led a venture capital financing of Paragon Software in 1998. Kennet has worked closely with the company since then to support its growth and capitalise on its position as a leader in synchronisation technology. Michael Elias, Kennet's Managing Director, served as a member of Paragon's Board of directors.
Michael Elias said, "Colin Calder, Paragon Software's founder and Chief Executive Officer, has made an outstanding contribution in transforming the company into a world leader in the area of data synchronisation for mobile devices. Wireless devices will be an important mechanism for accessing the Internet in the near future and the combination of Paragon and Phone.com is well placed to take advantage of this global trend."
Michael Elias continued, "This transaction demonstrates the ability of top European companies to attain world-class valuations. Paragon Software's success is further confirmation of the pre-eminence of European companies in the wireless communications industry"
Other investors in Paragon included 3i, Hambrecht & Quist, 3Com Corporation, and Hikari Tsushin.
Paragon Software's mission is to be the world's leading personalization and synchronisation platform for mobile and Internet devices. Paragon Software is a pioneer of synchronisation technology for mobile devices and is seen as the leading developer of synchronisation software for mobile phones. Its products have been designed from the point of view of the mobile phone user and are compatible with products from the world's most prominent handset manufacturers, software vendors, carriers and Internet portals. Strong relationships and close co-operation with Lotus, Microsoft and Symantec has ensured smooth integration with users' existing desktop software. Paragon Software's strategic relationships include AT&T Wireless, Alcatel, Ericsson, GoldMine, LG, Lotus, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sanyo, Siemens, Sony, Symantec, and Vodafone Ltd. Paragon Software has offices in Newbury, UK (Headquarters), Nashua, New Hampshire, USA and San Jose, California, USA.
Phone.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:PHCM) is a leading provider of software and services that enable the delivery of Internet-based information services to mass-market wireless telephones. Using its software, wireless subscribers have access to Internet- and corporate intranet-based services, including Email, news, stocks, weather, travel and sports. In addition, subscribers have access via their wireless telephones to network operators' intranet-based telephony services, which may include over-the-air activation, call management, billing history information, pricing plan subscription and voice message management. Phone.com is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California and has regional offices in Belfast, Copenhagen, London and Tokyo.
Kennet Capital is a joint venture between Broadview International, a leading global investment bank focused on the IT, Communications and Media industries and Electra Partners Ltd, an international private equity group. The objective of Kennet's 80 million Euros venture capital fund is to invest as an active investor in European technology, internet and telecoms companies. Kennet is active across Europe and aims to invest between 3 million Euros and 8 million Euros in each of its portfolio companies.Other investments by Kennet Capital include: Aspective, an enterprise ASP providing integrated front office and e-commerce services to European businesses; Cramer Systems, Multi-service provisioning for IP, wireless and backbone networks; CitiKey, a developer of location-based WAP-content for wireless devices; Altitun, a developer of tunable lasers for optical networks; and Polisys, a B2B e-commerce enabler for the insurance industry.