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Bullant Gains $40M For Global Growth

Local software developer Bullant has secured one of the largest private capital raisings by an Australian technology company, after gaining $40 million to fund global expansion strategies.

The majority of the investment has come from a consortium led by VC firm JP Morgan Equity Partners. The funding will go towards financing Bullant's growth through a Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) deals with companies in the United States, Europe and Asia, to further the reach of the developer's wireless infrastructure technology.

"We want to refocus our strategy on OEM licensing deals over the next six 12 months," said Bullant marketing manager Stephen Elliott. "We will be focusing on larger companies in the US, Europe and Japan, such as telcos and handset manufacturers that can include our wireless technology with their products."

The funding has prompted Bullant to restructure its local operations, starting the move by retrenching 29 staff Tuesday that were largely in sales, marketing and support roles. This leaves the company with 143 staff, many of whom are in its Engineering and Solutions (or research and development) group.

This team will stay in Australia, while Bullant shifts its direct sales efforts to its reseller channel. The developer will also open an east coast US office to complement its presence in San Francisco.

Bullant is pushing the development of its wireless technology as Elliott said the company saw wireless devices as "the next big area."

"We see great opportunities in Japan, for instance," said Elliott, "as there are more than 18 million wireless data users in that country alone."

Elliott conceded that the OEM deals Bullant hopes to make will consume "a lot of resources," and said while that the company has been advised not to move to an Initial Public Offering (IPO), it may seek another round of funding later in the year.

Bullant's server-centric wireless technology provides a framework for the delivery of applications to different wireless devices over wireless networks, to ease the development of these applications.

The technology is primarily aimed at applications that require real time two-way interaction, with a thin client protocol that updates pages in real time. While Elliott said that Bullant's ultimate aim would be to have its technology recognised as a standard, he said that the main priority at the moment is to ensure the infrastructure interoperates with other technologies, and to push its use internationally.

While Bullant is emphasising international contracts in its future directions, CEO Gary Aitchison said the company will maintain support of its existing local customers and will continue pursuing the OEM deals it is negotiating with Australian companies.

Bullant plans to release more details of the consortium and its global strategy when the investment is confirmed in late February pending due diligence.