RealTime IT News

Handheld Company Gets $14.7 Million From Microsoft, 3Com

In yet another acknowledgement of the increasing popularity of hand-held devices, mobile information company AvantGo Inc. Friday announced that it has secured $14.7 million in its third round of financing from Microsoft Corp., 3Com Corp. and several venture capital firms.

New investors appointed Gregory Waldorf to AvantGo's board of directors. Investment management firm Fayez Sarofim & Co. and venture capital firms 21st Century Internet Venture Partners, H&Q Venture Associates and Adobe Ventures also invested in the company.

AvantGo recently launched AvantGo.com, a Web access service for Windows CE or Palm OS-compatible wireless devices which transmits data via the AvantGo server.

"We are delighted to be making an investment in AvantGo which has taken an open Internet approach to delivering content to mobile devices," said Jonathan Roberts, general manager for the productivity appliance division at Microsoft Corp.

Because AvantGo allows users to download Internet and intranet data to any palm device, 3Com sees its contribution as an "investment in the infrastructure of the palm economy," according to Michael Dolbec, 3Com's vice president of business development.

Venture firms saw the advantage of the deal in the agreement of rivals Microsoft and 3Com to invest in the same company, according to David Pesikoff, principal of Fayez Sarofim & Co.

Palm OS software and Microsoft's Windows CE accounted for 67 percent of the handheld market in 1998. Forecasts expect the two platforms to account for 92 percent of the market in four years.