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RealTime IT News

Xdrive Technologies to Launch Services in Japan

With a cool $50 million recently pocketed from a Series D round of funding in December, Xdrive Technologies is not apt to be resting on its laurels any time soon. The Santa Monica, California-based maker of infrastructure software and services has teamed with one of its investors, Softbank Broadmedia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Softbank Corp., to launch Xdrive's hard drive and Internet services in Japan.

Considered one of the largest Internet companies in Japan, Softbank and its subsidiaries in the United States hold a considerable stake in more than 600 Internet companies worldwide. Softbank is the largest shareholder of Yahoo! and E*Trade, and its activities in Japan encompass online financial services, online media and marketing, Internet business solutions, and joint ventures with industry heavy hitters such as Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo!, and the National Association of Securities Dealers.

"We believe the Xdrive solution, already proven among millions of users, will become the standard communications tool throughout Asia and the international marketplace," said Masayoshi Son, president and chief executive officer of Softbank Corp. "This is the first venture of its kind in Asia, and we are confident of Xdrive's technology adoption in this market."

The new company is slated to be called Xdrive Japan and will hold exclusive rights to distribute all Xdrive products and services in Japan. This offering will include Xdrive's new products Xdrive Enterprise and Xdrive Express. Xdrive Japan will sell and market its product suite directly and through private label to multiple channels, including service providers and telecommunications carriers.

Xdrive Japan will have an initial capital of $4 million. Xdrive Technologies will own 40 percent of the new company, Softbank Broadmedia 55 percent, and Softbank Holdings will own five percent.

"Japan is significant for Xdrive Technologies because the country is one of the world's leading users of wireless technology that lacks an interoperable storage platform," said Roger Merriam, executive vice president for Xdrive Technologies. "Xdrive and Softbank will be providing the citizens of Japan with the solution to access and manage information, including digital images, via wireless devices."

Xdrive Technologies launched its Internet file storage system in early 1999 and now has more than six million registered users. The company's service allows users to save and retrieve files that can be accessed only through the Internet. Files can be accessed via a web browser, Palm VII, or wireless application protocol-enabled device.

Xdrive has raised more than $120 million in venture financing to date.