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The 2005 Start-ups To Watch: Where are they now?

Apr 24, 20067 mins

We update the status of our 2005 Start-ups To Watch picks.

Won widespread attention

CompanyFlagship product/sFinances
RevivioThe CPS 1200 continuous data protection systemNo addition to the $55.5 million reported as of January 2005.
  • 12-month recap
  • Released the Application Integration Suite software, which integrates recovery points into application environments that need to be restored; rolled out its Continuous Protection Replication Module, for disaster-recovery requirements; and unveiled the CPS 1200i, due in September, for applications outside of the primary corporate data center.
  • Appointed Terry Leahy, formerly CEO of Amherst Technologies and Stream International, as president and CEO.
Notes Revivio helped spur the continuous data protection (CDP) market, which is now populated by nearly every existing storage vendor as well as a slew of other start-ups. Revivio continues distinguishing itself on the customer front, gaining business from enterprises such as Baptist Memorial Health, Integrated Healthcare Systems, Prairie Packaging and SAS.

Strengthened their positions

CompanyFlagship product/sFinances
Azul SystemsAzul Compute Appliance, a multicore server for offloading compute-intensive Java workloads from application serversUndisclosed amount closed in second round in December 2005; total funding information remains undisclosed.
  • 12-month recap
  • Released the Azul Compute Appliance.
  • Inked services and support partnership with IBM Global Services.
  • Certified about 120 applications for the platform, and partnered with a number of software vendors, including BEA Systems, which now supports its products on the Azul platform.
  • Signed on two customers: Credit Suisse and Pegasus Solutions.
Notes The industry is validating Azul’s multicore approach with all of the systems vendors and chip manufacturers now focused on multicore platforms.
CompanyFlagship product/sFinances
Clarus SystemsClarusIPC, a VoIP management and troubleshooting tool for Cisco-based IP telephony networksNo addition to the $18 million in funding reported as of June 2004. Clarus says product and licensing revenue is sufficient to run the business, but won’t release financials.
  • 12-month recap
  • Launched a version of its VoIP testing software specifically for enterprises, as opposed to network integrators or carriers.
  • Brought on Bill Rossi, former Cisco executive, as a board member.
Notes The company has strengthened its ties with Cisco, the leader in IP telephony, with access to the vendor’s IP PBX code and APIs. Clarus was one of the first partners to beta-test Cisco’s SIP-based CallManager 5.0, and it is working on technology integration with Cisco’s Network Admission Control.
CompanyFlagship product/sFinances
Go NetworksCellular Wi-Fi access points, designed for mobile broadband services by wireless carriersNo addition to the $20 million reported as of September 2004; Go will seek a second round later this year.
  • 12-month recap
  • Introduced its first product, the 802.11-based multi-radio base station.
  • Expanded its market focus from China and Asia, to now include the United States.
  • Launched 10 network trials with carriers in Europe, China and the United States.
Notes Go is betting that Wi-Fi and, later, WiMAX, will be the basis of low-cost wireless broadband nets that will have demanding quality and management requirements. The goal is a broadband infrastructure that can support delay-sensitive applications such as voice and video, Go executives say. Its radio architecture is intended to leapfrog first-generation Wi-Fi mesh vendors, but it will face other next-generation vendors and will need a big cash infusion to provide and support product in quantity to a very demanding class of customers.
CompanyFlagship product/sFinances
OATSystemsOAT Foundation Suite, a middleware platform for capturing, filtering and sharing supply-chain data collected by RFID devicesNo addition to the $11.5 million reported as of September 2003.
  • 12-month recap
  • Launched a version of its flagship suite for retailers.
  • Added features for RFID-enabled pharmaceuticals tracking and announced biopharmaceutical company Cephalon as a customer.
  • Besides Cephalon, landed more than two dozen new customers, including LG Electronics, The Kroger Co. and MP3 device-maker iriver.
  • Inked product and services partnership with IBM. The vendors have integrated their respective RFID device and data management wares.
Notes OATSystems has expanded its appeal beyond consumer goods manufacturers — early adopters of RFID-enabled supply chain tracking — with its retail- and pharmaceutical-oriented products. The Kroger deal opens new avenues for OATSystems’ middleware, with the grocery giant using the software to keep tabs on RFID-tagged case-ready meat products. The data collected will help monitor conditions such as temperature history and expiration dates as the products move through Kroger’s distribution centers and retail stores.
CompanyFlagship product/sFinances
OpTierCoreFirst, transaction workload management software$16.5 million in two additional rounds ($7 million in March 2006; $9.5 million in August 2005), bringing the total to $32.6 million.
  • 12-month recap
  • Released CoreFirst 1.4, adding more protocol support, policy management features and Web-based GUI.
  • Opened London office to serve Europe.
  • Named Chairman Israel Mazin as CEO, to take over for Yori Lavi, who became chief product officer.
  • Earned recognition as a 2006 Software and Information Industry Association CODiE Awards Finalist in the Best Software Testing Solution category.
Notes OpTier spent 2005 growing its customer base — it now claims eight large enterprise clients — expanding business partnerships and strengthening its technology. As OpTier continues to add support to popular application platforms, such as BEA WebLogic, established management vendors work to integrate transaction management capabilities into their broader software suites. Forrester Research in an August 2005 report declared that CoreFirst represented “a new class of management tools.”
CompanyFlagship product/sFinances
Ping IdentityPingFederate, a federation server$7.5 million second round closed in May 2005, bringing total to $15 million.
  • 12-month recap
  • Released PingTrust, the industry’s first Security Token Server; a free SourceID WS-Federation for Apache 2.0 Toolkit, which extends Active Directory to provide Web single sign-on to Apache Web applications; and  PingFederate 3.0, of which more than 1,000 copies have been downloaded and installed.
  • Named Bob Smith as president and COO, and Patrick Harding as vice president of technology.
Notes In the rapidly consolidating identity market, PingID continues to stand out as an independent vendor with respected and mature technology for identity federation. It has added many new customers, including Allscripts, E*Trade and MedCommons.
CompanyFlagship product/sFinances
UnivaUniva Globus Enterprise, software built on the open source Globus Toolkit for building flexible, secure compute grids$8 million first round closed in August 2005.
  • 12-month recap
  • Released the software for commercial availability.
  • Signed on to provide consulting services to aid Raytheon in deploying a Globus-based grid.
  • Inked licensing agreement with IBM, for use of its software in internal and external grid projects. 
  • Hired former Oracle and i2 Technologies executive Mike Ellis as CEO.
Notes Univa continues building on two hot trends: grid computing and open source. With IBM’s backing and the software generally available, the company should have the leverage it needs to win more enterprise customers.
CompanyFlagship product/sFinances
Virtual Iron SoftwareVirtual Iron platform, for virtual computing and management $8.5 million third round closed in September 2005, bringing total to $28.5 million.
  • 12-month recap
  • Released Virtual Iron computing platform and, several months later, Version 2.0, which includes support for IBM BladeCenter and Advanced Micro Devices Opteron servers, as well as expanded policy-based resource and workload management capabilities.
Notes The company claims to have six early adopters in the financial services, aerospace, distribution and hosted Web services arenas, but the names remain undisclosed. Virtual Iron is the only company achieving virtualization by combining multiple CPUs into a single virtual machine.

Moving out of stealth mode

CompanyFlagship product/sFinances
Matisse NetworksStill unnamed product, for supporting a new category of technology called Packet Lambda SwitchingNo addition to the $21 million reported as of September 2003, but a second round is expected to close this quarter.
  • 12-month recap
  • Plans three customer trials of the gear, which is due to launch this quarter. 
  • Expanded its management team with its first CFO, Mike Johnson, who has held finance positions at a variety of industry companies, including  Amber Networks, Ascend Communications and CacheFlow.
Notes Moving out of stealth mode, Matisse has become more forthcoming about its plans to develop an optical node for switching traffic based on wavelengths of light rather than on switch ports. Its approach features transponders, called Tango, that Matisse describes as rapidly adjustable and able to support bursts. The equipment now also uses dense wavelength division multiplexing technology that supports 10Gbps transmissions, in a strategic adjustment aimed at accommodating the rise of Ethernet as a metro transport technology.

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