Odisei : Silicon Valley firms shop in Sophia Antipolis
New success story for the technopole. One of its start-up, Odisei, specialized in Internet Protocol (IP) telephony software has been acquired by a Californian group for 12 million dollars
New success story for Sophia Antipolis : Odisei S.A, the company launched last year in C.I.C.A. by Frédéric Artru, specialized in Internet Protocol telephony, has been acquired by 8X8, an American company based in Santa Clara, California for 12 million francs (around 75 million francs).This acquisition - here lies the most interesting point - does not obstacle the development of this start-up on the technopole. Better than this : it will speed the process. Odisei, which already had an office in Paolo Alto, Silicon Valley, will become the 8X8 R & D center and it has forecasted to double the number of its employees by the end of the year (they are 10 today).Frédéric Artru, 29, telecom engineerA well managed and well-prepared business. For every single start-up specialist, Odisei business plan was the perfect example : good project, good team and a booming market. Frédéric Artru's team had been working for a year to work out its product and its marketing. And the result has been prompt.Graduated from Ecole nationale supérieure des télécommunications in Paris, former California representative to Versit, an alliance between Apple, IBM, Siemens-ROLM and Lucent Technologies for the development of telephony standards and Internet Protocols, Frédéric Artru, 29, launched Odisei with a 1.5 million francs opening capital. For this first step, he has benefited from business angels' help, but he has soon been in search of capitals, in order to finance the second step. And it was his encounter with Dominique Pitteloud, 8X8 sales and marketing director and the representatives of 87X8, in Las Vegas, that has enabled Odisei to obtain the funds it needed.This young company from Sophia Antipolis is specialized in the 'soft', that is to say in the software part of IP telephony. It has developed a professional communication infrastructure which allows one to replace the classic telephone standards by less expensive ones. 8X8, a start-up launched in Silicon Valley in the beginning of the 90's, is still more concentrated on the hard.It is specialized in semiconductors and in videoconference, and with its collaboration with Odisei, it has found the means to strengthen its position on the market of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).Internet telephony at low costOdisei's Intraswitch software will allow 8X8 to bring ultra competitive telephony solutions to Internet providers and to alternative telephone operators such as Cegetel and 7 telecom in France. Integrated with a company's Intranet system, Intraswitch brings new telephone functions (call and support centers). It also allows to use multimedia with video, file transfer, screen share, etc. The target-market of this software is gigantic (dozens of billion dollars.)This software is not yet commercialized, but it will already be presented in the US telephone Congress in April and in Europe, during Helsinki congress in June.Odisei will continue to develop in Sophia Antipolis. If the marketing, the finance and the sales will take place in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley, all the R&D will continue to take place in the technopole. And as soon as this year, we can expect good news for the labor market.