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Argogroup receives $20m in venture capital funding

By Chris Williams. Published: 1st Nov 18:53:41 | Permalink | Printable

In a press release sent to Drobe Launch Pad today, Argogroup has announced that it has created unique software to help news agencies broadcast content to mobile phones using WAP technology. The announcement also contains details of their change of name to Argogroup and funding of $20million from venture capitalists.

The company's success has resulted in a significant injection of new venture capital investment (bringing to over $30 million the amount the company has received in three rounds) and the imminent announcement of critical strategic partnerships with key industry players.

As a first step, Argogroup and Lucent Technologies Inc. have signed a co-marketing agreement to enable developers from both Lucent and Argogroup to integrate Argogroup's products within Lucent's wireless Internet solutions.

According to David Frodsham, Argogroup's CEO, the wireless industry faced a stark choice before the availability of the Argogroup solution: to expensively (and slowly) develop multiple designs for each type of mobile phone.

'Our infrastructure software allows customers to write wireless content once - either for WAP solutions that are common in Europe or i-Mode alternatives pioneered in Japan. Operators find that appealing because they need to improve the quantity and quality of content, as well as increase the choice of handsets supported by their network. Also, content providers want to reach an army of new and existing eyeballs when they are on the move without compromising their brands.'

Andrew FoyleFounded in 1996 by Andrew Foyle, Argogroup is the parent company of RISC OS friendly ISP ArgoNet however today's announcement indicates that the group has shifted its focus to the expanding WAP mobile phone market. Argogroup has its headquarters near Guildford, UK, and employs 70 people. It is currently ranked within Bain & Company's 'e25' list and was recently listed by Red Herring as one of Europe's top 5 wireless Internet companies. The funding has come from venture capitalists Apax and 3i.

Hendrik Frenzel, Investment Director of 3i: 'Argogroup is a brilliant company in a very interesting space. The market is increasingly fragmented by the choice of end user terminals. The problem is to get the networks to display their transmitted content in a proper manner on different terminals. The network operators and content providers cannot ensure this happens - but Argogroup has the solution.'

Argogroup, Lucent Technologies Inc., Apax, 3i, ArgoNet

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