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Aepona Announces $20 Million Funding Transaction

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CITA WIRELESS 2005, NEW ORLEANS, La., Stand 2325, Hall C - Aepona Ltd., a telecommunications software developer, today announced the completion of an investment of $20 million in its business by leading venture capital companies, designed to enable the company to exploit its position as the leading global player in a market valued at US$750 million over the next five years.
 
The deal is believed to be the biggest equity funding round for a Northern Ireland technology company for 10 years. The lead investor is Polaris Ventures, a Boston-based firm that has played a lead role in developing some of the most successful information technology and life sciences companies in the United States and Europe. Other investors in Aepona include Amadeus Capital Partners (UK), Trinity Venture Capital (Ireland) and Invest Northern Ireland.
 
Aepona plans to use the new funding to strengthen its sales and marketing operations in Europe, the Americas, SE Asia and Japan. It will also enable the company to focus greater resources on the development of its Causeway™ carrier-network operating system that allows global telecoms operators to introduce new revenue generating customer services faster and more cost effectively than was possible previously. The Belfast firm is the market leader in this field despite the fact that its competitors include leading network equipment vendors such as Alcatel and Ericsson.
 
Currently employing 140 people, Aepona has recently won deals from a number of major new clients – including Tokyo-based NEC Corporation, E-Plus, Germany’s third largest mobile network operator and Eircom in the Republic of Ireland. In recent months, it has also established important relationships with international partners including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle – all of which embed Aepona technology in broader solutions aimed at telecommunications operators. 
 
According to Aepona CEO, Liam McQuillan, the funding transaction announced today is a powerful validation of the company’s technology and business strategy at a time when the pressure is on telecoms operators to generate new income and reduce capital expenditure. 
 
“We’re particularly delighted that Polaris Ventures has decided to play a leading role in taking Aepona forward to the next stage of its development,“ said McQuillan. “We believe that the real value of Polaris’s involvement to us is about much more than providing access to funding. The firm’s proactive contribution to the management and future direction of our company is a very exciting prospect given its highly successful track record with its portfolio companies.”
 
"Our investment in Aepona reflects the fact that Polaris provides funding to companies with sound and well executed business plans and growing traction in fast growth markets. Aepona's suite of products provides it with real competitive advantage in the telecommunications carrier market worldwide,” said Bob Geiman, principal of Polaris Ventures, who will be joining Aepona’s Board. “Aepona Causeway represents a compelling way forward for telecommunications operators - it provides those operators with a future-proofed route into new and highly attractive service offerings. Operators adopting Causeway can get to market faster using a wider pool of developers. With such strong products, and a focused management team that is making the numbers, we are delighted with our investment decision and know that Aepona will continue to develop and grow shareholder value.”
 
NOTES FOR EDITORS
 
About Aepona
 
Aepona Ltd. (www.Aepona.com) is headquartered in Belfast, Northern Ireland and has sales offices in the UK and Ireland, Germany, the United States and Malaysia. 
 
Aepona originated in 1995 as the Northern Ireland subsidiary of Aldiscon Ltd., the world’s leading supplier of text messaging technologies. Following the acquisition of Aldiscon by Logica plc in 1997, the subsidiary was retained by the original investors, renamed Apion Ltd. and went on to become a leading supplier of WAP Gateway technology for GSM networks. In 1999, Apion’s product assets were acquired for $250 million by Phone.com and the remaining business, led by the same management, was re-launched as Aepona.
 
In addition to its Causeway™ product, the company also offers a proven device management system (Aepona DMS) that makes mobile handset provisioning and configuration simpler and more cost effective. Previously, Aepona completed an ?11 million venture capital round in March 2003. 
 
About Amadeus
Amadeus (www.amadeuscapital.com) invests venture capital in new technologies from offices in London and Cambridge, UK. Since its inception in 1997, Amadeus has backed over 45 companies in the UK and continental Europe, covering computer hardware and software, mobile and fixed communications technologies and medical technologies. Successful realizations from the Amadeus portfolio include Entropic, bought by Microsoft and Element-14, bought by Broadcom Corporation.

About Polaris Venture Partners
Polaris Venture Partners (http://www.polarisventures.com) invests in seed and early stage companies and in growth equity companies with substantial operating income. As the lead or co-lead investor in virtually all of its portfolio companies, Polaris takes an active long-term role in helping develop them into successful businesses. Polaris has over $2 billion under management and current investments in more than 70 U.S. and International companies. Successful Polaris-backed companies include: Advanced Inhalation Research; Akamai Technologies, Inc.; Allaire Corporation; Aspect Medical Systems; Centra Software; deCODE genetics; and SolidWorks. The company has offices in Boston and Seattle.

About Trinity Venture Capital
Trinity Venture Capital (www.tvc.com) provides venture capital and proven commercial expertise to early- and growth-stage technology companies. To date it has made 22 investments, backing companies in sectors such as wireless/communications, enterprise software and computer animation. Trinity Venture Capital is part of the Reihill Venture Capital Group, which has over ?250m under management.
 
For more information, contact:

Jeffrey Peel
Head of Marketing
Aepona Ltd.
Mobile :  + 44 (0)7816 664650
Email: jeff.peel@aepona.com

Orla Power
Marketing Manager
Aepona Ltd.
Mobile : +353 (0)86 3809327
Email: orla.power@aepona.com

Pamela Klores
Reichert Communications, LLC
Tel: 415-296-5133
Cell: 415-297-3662
Blog: www.reichertcom.typepad.com