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VC-backed Persistent Systems Acquires Location Biz From Openwave

Pune-based Persistent Systems Ltd has acquired the 'Location' business of California's mobile Internet software solutions company Openwave Systems, Inc., for an undisclosed sum, the company has disclosed in a statement.

Although details of this 'Location' business and the number of people working for the unit are not immediately known, Openwave is into location infrastructure and applications for both emergency and commercial location services.

Its product called Location Manager is available in two editions. In the commercial edition, Openwave and its partners (point-of-interest content providers & geo-spatial solutions providers) help mobile operators leverage their assets by deploying commercial location services that generate increased average revenue per user (ARPU).

The emergency services edition works as an 'emergency caller locate' solution. It is essentially used to ensure personal safety and enables operators to identify a subscriber's location in an emergency.

"We are pleased with the sale of our Location business to Persistent Systems, a long-standing development partner, and we are committed to a smooth transition for our location customers and employees," said Mike Mulica, CEO of Openwave.

Openwave provides software solutions for the communications and media industries in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific. It has a portfolio of approximately 200 patents, covering innovations spanning smart devices, Cloud technologies and unified messaging.

For Persistent Systems, this comes as yet another inorganic expansion deal. Last May, Persistent had acquired Agilent Technologies' software development and marketing business unit, located in Grenoble, France.

The company also acquired Nagpur-based Infospectrum India Pvt Ltd from Infospectrum, Inc., for an undisclosed amount. Infospectrum India offers systems integration services to telecom, technology, aerospace and defence sectors.

In April 2011, Intel Capital had fully exited its decade-old investment in Persistent Systems with 6x returns. Intel had originally invested $1 million in Persistent in April 2000, through the Intel 64 Fund – a $250 million venture fund created in 1999 by Intel, along with Hewlett Packard and a few others.

The outsourced software development firm is also backed by other VC firms, including Norwest Venture Partners and Gabriel Venture Partners, who together own over 18 per cent stake. Norwest and Gabriel invested in November 2005 by way of cumulative optionally convertible preference shares or CCPS. Norwest paid Rs 63.1 crore while Gabriel paid Rs 22.7 crore for their respective shares. The CCPS were duly converted into equity shares in September 2007.

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