Landmark Acquisition Aims to Build Leading Mass Market Mobile Email and Synchronization Solutions Provider
Royal Tunbridge Wells, 18 August, 2008. - Synchronica plc (AIM: SYNC.LN), the international provider of mobile email and synchronization solutions, today announced that it is acquiring consumer mobile email specialist AxisMobile for USD 4.9 million in new Synchronica shares. Synchronica also stated that it has raised additional funds of USD 10 million from new and existing institutional investors which brings the total funding secured in 2008 to USD 18 million. The additional funds will be used to accelerate product integration and fuel the growth of the combined business in emerging markets, such as China, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
The AxisMobile acquisition aims to make Synchronica the leading player in mass market mobile email and synchronization middleware for mobile operators and service providers. The addition of AxisMobile’s complimentary technology, customer base, and routes to market, combined with the injection of USD 10 million of additional funds will enable Synchronica to provide mass market mobile email solutions that work on more than three billion mobile phones in the market today.
AxisMobile’s consumer mobile email platform complements Synchronica’s award-winning Mobile Gateway software by adding email-to-SMS and email-to-MMS gateways, as well as a clientless solution for WAP / XHTML browser access. AxisMobile’s patented Optimizer email transcoding gateway further adds the ability to display a large variety of attachments, such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint presentations on standard feature phones handsets that would otherwise be unable to support such functionality.
The AxisMobile acquisition will also enlarge Synchronica’s footprint in emerging markets by adding a strong sales force and key customer contracts in the relatively untapped areas of Eastern Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Russia to Synchronica’s existing sales presence in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Currently, AxisMobile has eight live customer installations with major mobile operators, predominantly in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and China.
Customers include: MTS, the largest mobile operator in Russia and CIS with 84 million customers; Megafon, a Russian mobile network operator with 34 million customers across 88 regions of the Russian federation including its Moscow subsidiary Sonic Duo; T-Mobile; IXI Mobile, consumer back-ends for USA, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay; E-Plus, Germany’s third largest mobile network operator with 13.6 million customers; as well as a major Chinese bank.
AxisMobile has also secured contract wins with a leading Ukrainian mobile network operator, a further leading tier one Russian mobile network operator, and a leading Swiss mobile network operator.
Commenting on the acquisition, Synchronica CEO Carsten Brinkschulte says: “The fundraising and the acquisition of AxisMobile is a dramatic acceleration for Synchronica, and I believe that it will build value for our shareholders. We aim to build a world leader in the market of consumer mobile email and synchronization solutions, and this acquisition is a key milestone which will improve our competitive positioning and accelerate our commercial growth. It will increase our ability to sell to customers, particularly to those in emerging economies where we see the largest potential growth for mobile email and synchronization. With the fundraising and the acquisition of AxisMobile, Synchronica now has sufficient mass and funding to take advantage of the outstanding opportunity to exploit the commercial potential of mass market mobile email. The next few years will be an exciting time for us all here at Synchronica and for our customers around the globe. We look forward with increased confidence from this inflect on point.”
Shai Schiller, Executive Chairman of AxisMobile, adds: “This is the start of an exciting new era for AxisMobile and our customers. There are real synergies between Synchronica’s products and target markets and our own, so it makes great commercial sense to combine forces. Both companies are committed to open standards and to developing products that work on even the most basic of handsets - a must given that the market for mass market mobile email is being fuelled by demand from the developing world. We are confident that the combined might of our two companies will prove to be greater than the sum of its parts.”
Forecasts point to emerging markets as a breakthrough area for mass market mobile email. Informa predicts that there will be 4.81 billion mobile phone subscribers by 2012, with the next billion subscribers coming from emerging markets where PC and fixed-line penetration is low.
Synchronica’s Mobile Gateway delivers push email and mobile synchronization of calendar and contact data, targeting consumer and business users with connectors to mass market mailboxes, such as Yahoo or Gmail, as well as business mailboxes, such as Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Domino. Unlike other solutions, Mobile Gateway does not require users to install additional software on the handset or behind the firewall and instead uses the dominant open industry standards Push IMAP and SyncML (OMA DS) to synchronize the built-in email and PIM applications pre-installed on more than 1.5 billion handsets in the market.
With the injection of AxisMobile technology, even the most basic phones will be able to send and receive email, further expanding the addressable market for Mobile Gateway in the consumer sector and in particular in emerging markets where low-end devices are dominating the market.
Virtual Press Conference on the Announcement
Synchronica will be hosting a virtual press conference on August 18, 2008, 11.00 BST, for members of the press and analyst communities. In addition to a presentation by Carsten Brinkschulte, Synchronica’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Cornelius the industry-respected analyst from FinnCap will add his perspective to the announcement.
Access to the web conference can be obtained by emailing email@example.com on 18 August before 10:30 U.K. time.
AxisMobile was founded in early 2000. It is a leader in the emerging market of consumer mobile email which allows consumers to access email via mobile telephone handsets. AxisMobile’s objective is to provide software that drives the mass market adoption of mobile email and related products by making multimedia information portable, ubiquitous, and easy to access on subscribers’ existing mobile handsets at an attractive cost. AxisMobile’s email platform provides a one-stop-shop for consumer mobile as it supports Web, WAP, IMAP4, MMS, SMS, and J2ME interfaces. Such interfaces cover most methods of transmitting mobile data communications. AxisMobile’s platform means that mobile operators no longer need to integrate platforms from different vendors. This reduces costs. AxisMobile aims to leverage customer relationships by offering additional products and services based on its technology platform, hence producing cross sales and increasing the value to customers and to its shareholders. Further information on AxisMobile is available from the web site http://www.axismobile.com
Synchronica plc develops and markets industry standard mobile email and synchronization solutions for the vast majority of devices in the market today. Mobile operators, device manufacturers, and service providers in emerging and developed markets use Synchronica products to offer mobile email, PIM synchronization, and backup and restore services to their consumer and corporate customer base. Products include the push email and synchronization solution Mobile Gateway and the mass market device backup solution Mobile Backup. Headquartered in the U.K., with a development center in Germany and presences in the USA, Hong Kong, and Dubai. Synchronica plc is a public company traded on the AIM list of the London Stock Exchange (SYNC.LN). More information is available at http://www.synchronica.com
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