A building year

Most of last year’s 10 Start-ups to Watch have made solid progress. We chart their accomplishments.

Acquired: Turntide
Won widespread respect : Mirra
Strengthened their reputations: Cassatt | Cast Iron Systems | Convoq | PanGo Networks | Vontu
Refocused to improve growth : Deepfile | Strix Systems
Stuck in limbo: Bluewave Networks
Flagship productTurnTide E-Series anti-spam router
FinancesNot applicable
12-month overview• In July 2004, Symantec acquired TurnTide for approximately $28 million.
NotesThe TurnTide technology lives on in the Symantec Mail Security 8160 anti-spam gateway. David Brussin, TurnTide co-founder and CTO, is now a director of development at Symantec.
Won widespread respect
Flagship productMirra Personal Server
FinancesNo addition to the $11.2 million reported as of March 2004.
12-month overview

• Launched Version 2.0, which includes two-way remote access, rolled out a data protection guarantee and reduced product prices.

• Fleshed out executive management team, hiring a new CEO, vice presidents of marketing and engineering, and a CFO.
NotesMirra has done well winning shelf space, with Mirra Personal Server now available in all Best Buy and Fry’s Electronics stores, as well as through Dell.com, CompUSA Online and Amazon.com. The Mirra Personal Server remains a unique offering, with dynamic backup of multiple PCs and remote access to that saved data.
Strengthened their reputations
Flagship productCassatt Collage, management software for server resource allocation and configuration
FinancesNo addition to the $35 million to $50 million reported as of September 2003.
12-month overview

• Rolled out Collage Software for automated administration of pools of shared servers; Version 2.0, supporting Linux servers; and Version 3.0, targeting multitier application environments and supporting Windows servers.

• Partnered with Ascential Software, Engenious Software, Informatica and Kx Systems for product marketing.
NotesCassatt has hardware agnosticism in its favor, but it faces heavyweight competition in the utility computing and server virtualization markets. Customers include the Department of Defense’s Virginia Modeling Analysis and Simulation Center, and Pfizer Pharmaceutical.
CompanyCast Iron Systems
Flagship productApplication Router 1000, an application integration appliance
Finances$14 million secured in fourth round closed in February, bringing total to $34 million.
12-month overview

• Added security options and support for processing large data files.

• Readying the 3000, a model due in June that will target multidevice rollouts.

• Expanded overseas presence by inking distribution deal with Japanese reseller CTC Itochu and by opening an office in Bangalore for work with systems integrators.
NotesBesides broadening its global sales channels, Cast Iron is growing its customer base with recent wins at British Telecom, Toyota and Visteon. In addition to the 3000 model, the company plans management software for June release. On tap for next year are vertical industry-focused integration appliances.
Flagship productConvoq ASAP Web-conferencing service
FinancesNo addition to the $17.4 million reported as of November 2003.
12-month overview• Released ASAP Express, a free two-way text/audio/video/screen/ PowerPoint sharing application for “personal Web conferencing,” and ASAP Pro, a Web-conference service with support for presence technology and new scheduling features.
NotesConvoq continues to challenge thinking about the way Web conferencing should be priced and made available to users. The company’s software and services are thousands of dollars less than services such as Microsoft’s Live Meeting and WebEx, and include innovative features such as real-time collaboration. New customers include BenefitPoint, California State University, The Washington Post and the University of Georgia.
CompanyPanGo Networks
Flagship productPanOS, location-aware engine
FinancesNo addition to the $6 million reported as of December 2003.
12-month overview

• Renamed PanGo Proximity Platform the PanOS, and released PanGo Locator, an 802.11-based asset tracking system that runs on top of it.

• Named new CEO — Michael McGuinness, previously CEO of NuGenesis Technologies, a maker of scientific data management software.

• Signed contracts with three healthcare-oriented resellers that will either include PanGo’s software in their own products or build applications on it.
NotesPanGo continues to stress 802.11-based location-aware products and to extend a suite of applications that let customers deploy quickly instead of having to build their own. J. Paul Getty Museum recently became a customer, replacing audiotapes with wireless content delivery to visitors carrying museum-issued PDAs.
Flagship productVontu Prevent 4.0 and Vontu Monitor 4.0, secure content management tools
Finances$10 million secured in third round closed in March, bringing total to $25 million.
12-month overview

• Released Vontu Prevent 4.0, which blocks transmission of sensitive data.

• Partnered with encryption firm PGP, letting Vontu Monitor 4.0 work with encryption gateways.

• Expanded executive team, hiring vice presidents of business development and sales, for instance.
NotesThe company continues to battle against a growing field of competitors, with no vendor leading the field. Recent wins for Vontu include Charles Schwab and Prudential Financial.
Refocused to improve growth
Flagship productStoredIQ 3.0, compliance and security platform for files and e-mail
Finances$3 million secured in second round closed in October 2004, bringing total to $5 million.
12-month overview

• Changed name from Deepfile to StoredIQ, and refocused product line in an attempt to transform itself into a compliance-management company.

• Introduced HIPAA Solutions Pack, a compliance tool for healthcare organizations.
NotesWith compliance being a huge market focus, StoredIQ faces strong competition from established companies and start-ups alike. StoredIQ is making progress with the several healthcare institutions beta-testing the product. It signed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona as a customer in April.
CompanyStrix Systems
Flagship productAccess/One Network, for indoor and outdoor wireless mesh networks
Finances$5 million contributed to facilitate launch of outdoor product, bringing total to $39 million.
12-month overview

• Added support for virtual LANs and QoS to core wireless mesh software, and rolled out a model for outdoor nets.

• Upped the number of resellers to 120 worldwide, most recently signing on IP MobileNet.
NotesWith resellers adapting the Access/One Network indoor product for outdoor use, Strix management identified outdoor wireless mesh as a key growth area. Municipal network providers and wireless ISPs are the main targets. Other mesh vendors are trying to ride the same wave, which Strix insists is a big one. Enterprise customers include Home Depot and Intercontinental Hotel in Atlanta.
Stuck in limbo
CompanyBluewave Networks
Flagship productInfrastructure Analytics and Management System (INAMS) route-analytics software
FinancesContinues to be privately funded; amount undisclosed.
12-month overview

• Potential strategic relationship with large network vendor falls through, leaving Bluewave without the sales and marketing expertise it had hoped to gain. (Company executives acknowledge having received and used an unspecified amount of funding from this vendor.)

• No referenceable customer wins, leaving the company with just “a few” customers.

• New version of INAMS scheduled to be released in May, updated to include Web application analytics.
NotesDespite its troubles, Bluewave is considered by Forrester Research (as of August 2004) to be among the top three vendors in the burgeoning route-analytics market. By adding new features, Bluewave could maintain its position, but without additional funding or significant customer wins, the company will continue to face growth challenges. As more management heavyweights enter the market, look for the eight-employee company to partner, forge licensing deals or position itself for acquisition.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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