Over 110 million francs for Opt(e)way !

Posté lun 19/06/2000 - 00:00
Par admin

The start-up from Sophia Antipolis, specialized in supplying mapping software for mobiles, has managed its second round of financing and it tackles the market of map-dependent software for mobile location services.

The Sophia Antipolis start-up has managed a new rise in funds. Opt(e)way, the leading multi-access map-dependent software platform provider for mobile location services (mobiles, personal assistant) has just completed its second round of financing. The company raised over 17 million Euros (112 million francs) from 3i group plc. (initial first round investor) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Goldman Sachs and Part'Com.From 10 to 70 people in one year !Jean-Claude Vrignaud, the Opt(e)way President and CEO, said in a release : 'Opt(e)way is gratified to have the strategic support of the globally recognized group of investors. Their confidence in our products, our technology, and our partnership are a strong validation of the Opt(e)way value proposition for mobile location services. The funds will enable us to move rapidly toward product introductions in the last half of this year, as well as the expansion of partner and business development throughout Europe, in Asia and in North America'.Opt(e)way, that registered a patent for a new cartographic format (the TPF, Topological Portable Format) has been experiencing a lightning growth since then. In one year of operations, it has grown from less than ten to seventy employees. At the same time global partnerships have been established to broaden the Opt(e)way software compatibility and adoption.Here is its market : Mobile Telecom Operators and Internet Service Gates that are preparing the deployment of value-added map-dependent services for all major mobile devices (PC, PDAs, mobiles) using standard (Internet, wireless data, SMS) and new (WAP) connections. Here are the different kinds of services that could be offered : the repairman of a company will be able to go directly to its customer as he will have the plan and the access route via a GPS positioning system; the mobile or the PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) will indicate your position and the road to go to the restaurant you may have selected or asked; for instance to go through Paris, you will be able to get the best route, in words of time, considering the extent of the traffic.A format that is 50 times lighterThe interest of the Opt(e)way format is its lightness (it is fifty time lighter than the current cartographic formats of the GDP, GMAP, SIP, DIGEST kind). Therefore, on a simple mobile, it is possible to download the whole of the map, and to zoom without taking again, each time, information from the far-off data basis (what would imply a waste of time and further costs).3i, the venture-capital company that had already invested 12 million francs in 1999, strengthens its position on this technology. 'We invested in Opt(e)way more than one year ago. Today, the firm is very-well ranked on the market of geo-dependent mobile location services, and we are convinced that Opt(e)way will be able to establish a new standard that will change people's life and movements', Thomas Gubler, the Business Consultant Manager at 3i's said.

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