From: Rohit Khare (Rohit@KnowNow.com)
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 11:02:25 PDT
[Wow, this sounds just like our business plan ca. February... I'm
terribly excited to see how that tack will play out. 10^100 best
wishes to Reardon & Cohen & team...]
October 16, 2000
Wireless Backer Ignition to Fund Mobile Net Firm
Filed at 9:07 a.m. ET
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Ignition Corp., a firm launched by several
Microsoft (MSFT.O) veterans to cultivate wireless ventures, revealed
on Monday it is funding Avogadro, a company that is working on ways
to merge service on cell phones with the everyday, PC-based Web.
Based in Seattle and started by several other former employees of
software giant Microsoft, Avogadro is creating software tools to let
telephone companies and Web sites integrate mobile and fixed Internet
services, Avogadro Chief Executive Thomas Reardon said in an
Although it is the third deal to be announced by Ignition, Avogadro
was actually the first investment by Ignition, which led a $7.5
million funding round back in April, about two months after Avogadro
was started, Reardon said.
Launched in March, Ignition has also publicized deals with etrieve, a
mobile phone e-mail service, and UIEvolution Inc., which is working
on technology for playing video games on mobile phones.
Bellevue, Wash.-based Ignition has made several other undisclosed
investments, mostly in San Francisco-area companies, said John
Roberts, managing director of Ignition.
Reardon shied away from giving details of Avogadro's technology, but
said the first product would launch in a few months and focus on
real-time messaging that could send a user different information
based on location and context.
For instance, the service could sense that travelers are approaching
their hotels and prompt them to check in through their mobile phone.
Or it could deliver a flight delay notice to a traveler's office
computer before he or she left for the airport.
``We think we are the first of the next wave of companies that will
build deep integration between the wireless Internet and the wired
Internet,'' Reardon said. ``We are trying, on a platform level, to
try to solve the problem of how users tend to see the wireless Web as
independent from the Web on their desktop.''
Avogadro would also develop business uses that would help a company's
employees keep updated with the latest information whether in the
office or working in the field, Reardon said.
Reardon said he expected that telecommunications companies would make
up a third of Avogadro's customer base, with Web-based ventures
accounting for the rest.
Avogadro's backers include Rob Glaser, chief executive of
Seattle-based Internet media software company RealNetworks Inc.
(RNWK.O), and Neal Stephenson, author of best-selling science fiction
novels ``Snow Crash'' and ``Cryptonomicon.''
And the name Avagadro?
It comes from 19th-century Italian chemist and physicist Amedeo
Avogadro, who formulated Avogadro's Law concerning the properties of
gasses and Avogadro's number, which is 6.0221367 times
``We love companies that have a bigger vision and Avogadro's number
was about the biggest number we could find,'' Reardon laughed.
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