Amadeus Capital Partners, the technology investor, has joined Boston-based Polaris Ventures in a €15 million second round funding for Belfast-based telecoms software developer, AePONA. Amadeus and Dublin-based Trinity Venture Capital co-led an €11.5 million first round funding of AePONA in 2003. Trinity is also participating in this Polaris-led second round, as is Invest Northern Ireland.
AePONA’s Causeway product is a market leader in Parlay gateways, allowing telecoms operators to introduce new revenue generating customer services faster and more cost effectively than previously possible. Deployment by telecoms operators has accelerated as a result of a number of factors, including converged network access. AePONA’s customers include NEC Corporation, E-Plus in Germany, Eircom, France Telecom, and Orange. The company has also signed strategic partnerships with Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and Oracle, all of whom embed AePONA’s technology in products for the telecoms market.
AePONA originated in 1995 as the Northern Ireland subsidiary of Aldiscon Ltd, the world’s leading supplier of text messaging technologies. Following the acquisition of Aldiscon by Logica in 1997, the subsidiary was retained by its original investors and went on to become a leading supplier of WAP Gateway technology for GSM networks. In 1999, the core business, led by the same management, was relaunched as AePONA.
Since 2003, AePONA has developed its products, consolidated its market position and won reference customers in key economies. The new funding will be used to strengthen sales and marketing operations in all its markets, especially the US and Asia, and to broaden the product offering.
Commenting on the new round of funding, AePONA CEO, Liam McQuillan, says: “The new finance is powerful validation of our technology and strategy at a time when pressure is on telecoms operators to generate new income and reduce capital expenditure. We are delighted that Polaris has joined our existing investors to help take AePONA to the next stage of its development.”
Amadeus Partner, Andrea Traversone, adds: “AePONA has grown its business impressively since 2003 and we believe it has excellent potential. We are delighted that Polaris has joined the investor group – they have played a leading role in developing some of the most successful IT companies in the US and will add significant value for AePONA in that market.”
Advisers to the investors on the transaction were Fry and MOP and, to AePONA, Gore & Grimes.