Taral Networks Acquires Schlumberger Messaging Solutions

LEXINGTON, Mass.--()--July 26, 2004--

  Companies join forces to form airwide solutions, offer a complete messaging infrastructure to mobile operators worldwide  



Taral Networks, provider of messaging infrastructure to mobile operators and content aggregators, today announced that on July 26, 2004 it acquired Schlumberger Messaging Solutions (MSG), a UK-based supplier of messaging infrastructure.

Taral Networks and Schlumberger Messaging Solutions will be integrated into a single company, renamed airwide solutions, to create a leading provider of global messaging services with headquarters in Reading, U.K. and 200 employees worldwide. The transaction combines Taral Networks' content delivery products with MSG's SMS products, unparalleled stability and support to offer a complete content delivery and messaging infrastructure to mobile operators.

The transaction was supported by a US$10 million Series C round of equity financing led by Key Venture Partners, a Waltham, Massachusetts-based venture capital firm. New investor Axiom Venture Partners and existing investor Kodiak Venture Partners also participated in the financing.

"The breadth of talent from these combined organizations makes this a compelling investment opportunity," said Ted Mocarski, Managing Director, Key Venture Partners. "With a management team of experienced, proven entrepreneurs; a carrier-grade development team; and a proven, 24x7 support team, airwide is positioned to be a leader in this space."

Taral Networks provides carrier grade platforms that enable wireless operators to set-up, maintain and grow a dynamic and highly profitable content messaging business. Specifically, Taral Networks focuses on multimedia messaging (MMS) and enabling the delivery of content from any application server to any MMS enabled device over any operator network.

Schlumberger Messaging Solutions developed the SMSC infrastructure that sent the first SMS message in 1992 and has since provided messaging solutions to 69 customers around the world.

airwide solutions will build on MSG's heritage and experience in global messaging and Taral Networks' content delivery management experience to assume a market leadership position in the global mobile messaging business, servicing over 75 customers on five continents from sales and services offices around the globe. Regional headquarters will be located in Montreal, Canada and Sydney, Australia.

In conjunction with the transaction, Simon Everitt, General Manager of Schlumberger Messaging Solutions has taken on the role of airwide CEO while Vinit Nijhawan, Taral Networks' CEO, has assumed the position of Executive Director. In addition, Ted Mocarski of Key Venture Partners, Will Wilcoxson of Axiom Venture Partners and Everitt join Nijhawan and Mike O'Neill of Kodiak Venture Partners on airwide's Board of Directors.

"The integration of MSG with Taral Networks creates an entity capable of providing a full range of services for mobile operators," said Nijhawan. "MSG brings the substantial customer base and proven track record of an established messaging provider to airwide. MSG's strong contribution and this funding round combined with Taral Networks team and technology create a strong company ideally positioned to respond to the content messaging infrastructure needs of mobile operators today and in the future."

"Taral Networks' leading MMS infrastructure and content delivery products will enable our clients around the world to capitalize on one of today's fastest growing markets - mobile content," said Everitt. "The value proposition for our customers is a continued commitment to working together to generate more revenues from existing text message services, as well as opening up new possibilities with multimedia messaging, particularly in regard to multimedia application-to-person content."

Everitt concluded, "With the combination of the complete Schlumberger SMS offering and Taral Networks' innovative content delivery management solutions, airwide solutions is uniquely positioned to meet all customer requirements in the messaging space. We offer our customers a powerful combination of the stability assured by our strong, established sales and service record along with the flexibility to adapt our solutions to specific customer requirements."

About airwide solutions

airwide solutions, headquartered in Reading, UK, was founded on July 20, 2004 following the acquisition of Schlumberger Messaging Solutions (MSG) by Taral Networks. The company provides innovative messaging and content delivery management solutions to over 75 wireless operators, content providers and aggregators around the world. Core products include SMSC, MMSC, MMS push and router gateways, Value-Added-Services (VAS) management and Intelligent Networking Applications.

Contacts

Europe and Asia:
Tanya Pedashenko, +44 207 067 0630
tpedashenko@golinharris.com
or
Clare Gayner, +44 207 067 0608
cgayner@golinharris.com
or
North America:
Boldbrook Marketing for Taral Networks
Leslie Drohan, 508-836-4300
leslie@boldbrook.com
or
Vicki Sakakeeny, 781-475-8720
vicki@boldbrook.com

Contacts

Europe and Asia:
Tanya Pedashenko, +44 207 067 0630
tpedashenko@golinharris.com
or
Clare Gayner, +44 207 067 0608
cgayner@golinharris.com
or
North America:
Boldbrook Marketing for Taral Networks
Leslie Drohan, 508-836-4300
leslie@boldbrook.com
or
Vicki Sakakeeny, 781-475-8720
vicki@boldbrook.com