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Called InSpec Validation Systems, the company was founded in 1996. But a year later, the company changed its name to Verisity and then by late 1999, bought SureFire Verification.

Now, Verisity is a leading developer of verification technologies for electronic systems and integrated circuits (ICs). And yes, the company is preparing to go public in the next few weeks. The lead underwriter is Robertson Stephens and the price range is $8-$10 (the company intends to issue 3.3 million shares). The proposed ticker symbol is VRST.

Obviously, ICs have become incredibly complex. In fact, it is often the case that an IC will meld a variety of different technologies - helping to reduce costs and increase speed-to-market.

Thus, in order to develop the ICs, there needs to be sophisticated verification systems. If not, product recalls can be crippling.

Verisity's product line is extensive. For example: Specman Elite helps to automate functional verification at all levels of design; Invisible Specman is a system for very specialized designs; Verification Advisor is a conglomeration of methodologies to help accelerate the verification process; SureCov allows for simulations; and SureLint helps to detect flaws in a simulation.

Top customers include Alcatel, Canon, Cisco Systems, Conexant Systems, Ericsson, Hewlett Packard, Intel, LSI Logic, Lucent Technologies and Texas Instruments. There are also reseller agreements with ARM and MIPS Technologies.

In the first nine months of 2000, revenues were $13.9 million, which was up from $7.6 million in the same period a year ago. In fact, losses declined from $5.7 million to $4.4 million.

However, the company has terrible timing. True, the company has much-needed technology and is growing fast. But, for the most part, it is still a small company. And this is anathema to IPO investors. So, do not expect any fireworks from this IPO.