Belfast’s Aepona acquires Dublin’s Valista

7 Jul 2009

Belfast telecoms software player Aepona has acquired Dublin-based telecoms payment company Valista for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition, which is effective immediately, creates a powerful, independent vendor, operating under the Aepona brand, with a combined client list that now includes some of the largest mobile and broadband operators in North America, Europe and Asia.

The deal comes in response to emerging trends in the global telecoms industry that have seen broadband and mobile phone network operators open up their infrastructure to outside organisations.

The move is aimed at encouraging third parties to develop exciting new applications – such as location-based social-networking services – that can be delivered to both consumers and enterprises.

In this way, the operators are hoping to emulate the success of the Apple iPhone and its associated on-line application store which has more than 35,000 ‘apps’ available to customers in 77 countries.

While Aepona has been a key player in providing the software platform required to enable operators to open up their networks to third parties, until now, the company has lacked key capabilities in the areas of payments and settlement, in which Valista specialises.

Michael Crossey, vice-president marketing at Aepona, says the acquisition of Valista fills that key gap.

“For some time now, telecoms operators have recognised the need to adopt a more collaborative approach to working with organisations such as enterprises and web-based service providers and Aepona has secured a number of major contracts to enable them to do this.

“Operators need to leverage their assets to the fullest extent possible, and this means opening up these assets to third parties in a secure, controlled and billable manner,” Crossey continued.

“The acquisition of Valista gives us important new capabilities in the areas of monetisation and settlement that now allows us to offer a complete solution for the new business models now being embraced by global telcos.”

Kevin McGrath, CEO of Valista, believes the acquisition represents a major step forward in the evolution of Valista’s business.

“The combination with Aepona creates significant benefits for the customers of both companies, providing them with a more complete solution from a single, independent entity that has the operational scale to serve our large operator customers at a global level,” he added.

Dublin-based Valista makes payment, settlement and service lifecycle management technology for broadband and mobile network operators across the globe. The company was founded in 2001 by veteran software entrepreneur Raomal Perera.

Before setting up Network365, a mobile payments provider that merged with iPIN to form Valista, Perera co-founded and led the team that also founded and built Isocor and led it to an initial public offering on Nasdaq in 1996 and subsequent sale to Critical Path for US$450m in 2000. Perera was one of 40 entrepreneurs worldwide who were invited to join the prestigious World Economic Forum in 2008.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years