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Bay Partners, Intel, Northwest Venture, Siemens, and Thomas Weisel pump $12.5M into Wireless Internet telephony company TeleSym
September 26, 2003
BELLEVUE, Wash. -- TeleSym, Inc. announced today that it has completed a second-round of venture funding, amounting to approximately $12.5 million. This brings the company's total funding to $18 million since its inception in 2000.
TeleSym's software enables voice calling from mobile computers on wireless networks. The company's SymPhone System adds cordless phone capability to every computer on a Wi-Fi network.
The funding round was led by the Intel Communications Fund and Siemens Venture Capital, and includes new investor Thomas Weisel Venture Partners. Original investors Bay Partners and Northwest Venture Associates also participated.
Investor observations about TeleSym
"This investment is part of Intel's commitment to invest in technologies that help accelerate wireless network deployment and proliferate the Wi-Fi standard worldwide," said Sriram Viswanathan, managing director, Intel Capital. "Voice calling is a critical application for Wi-Fi. TeleSym provides PDA and Intel® Centrino(tm) mobile technology computer users with voice calling over Wi-Fi, in an easy-to-use package."
Representing Siemens Venture Capital in the United States, Louis Rajczi, investment partner, notes the significance of TeleSym's innovation: "Enterprise clients around the globe look to our companies to provide category-leading solutions, like SymPhone. TeleSym makes wireless networking even more valuable, by providing a reliable, industrial-strength wireless IP telephony solution that the enterprise market requires."
"Wi-Fi is becoming important nearly everywhere, and TeleSym is poised to deliver the next major application for Wi-Fi," adds Bjoern Christensen, president and CEO of Siemens Venture Capital. "Siemens' investments are not restricted to financial resources. Our business model includes the investment of knowledge capital and access to customer opportunities internally - within Siemens operating companies and externally - among our customers. This offers a more compelling value equation for startups and for Siemens."
"Given the continued accelerated build out of WLANS, we believe that users are now looking beyond traditional data access to layer other applications and services onto their wireless networks," says Rob Born of Thomas Weisel Venture Partners. "High quality voice communication over WLANs presents a compelling value proposition, and TeleSym has developed a best-of-breed technology that provides the most flexible means of tapping that value."
"We are delighted to have Siemens and Thomas Weisel Venture Partners as investors in the company. We will use the new financing to help establish and serve the wireless IP-telephony market," explains Raju Gulabani, CEO and chairman of TeleSym. "We believe our strategic relationships are already bearing fruit with new marketing opportunities, which is helping accelerate product acceptance." An example is last week's unveiling of an Intel Labs "Universal Communicator," a dual-mode "prototype handset" with 802.11 and GSM radios, using Wi-Fi voice software from TeleSym.
Giving voice to mobile workers
TeleSym was launched to provide top-quality, economical voice calling wherever mobile workers use wireless devices with broadband Internet. The company's SymPhone System software can add cordless phone capability to every mobile device on a Wi-Fi network.
SymPhone Client software enables dialing calls from an on-screen dial pad and existing contact lists-to reach any telephone in the world. SymPhone Client runs on Windows laptops and desktops, and a version is optimized and validated for compatibility with Intel Centrino mobile technology-based laptops. Another version is designed for Pocket PC/Windows Mobile PDAs. SymPhone server software connects callers to enterprise phone systems and PBXes.
Patent-pending features in SymPhone provide breakthrough sound quality that surpasses earlier-generation "soft phone" software. When calling between SymPhones across the open Internet and Wi-Fi (802.11) LANs, the fidelity is "near-CD-quality," with no perceived latency (delay). As Network Computing magazine put it, "... normal sound for the SymPhone is nothing short of spectacular; it approaches CD quality."
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