Irish software company Openet raises US$21m in series D funding

13 Jun 2012

Dublin, Ireland-based Openet, a provider of high-performance transaction management software for network operators, has just completed a US$21m (€16.9m) funding round, potentially priming it for an IPO.

NS Solutions, the Japanese IT solutions provider and a subsidiary of the industrial giant Nippon Steel, led the latest funding round.

Existing investors in Openet, including Balderton Capital, Cross Atlantic and Kreos Capital, also participated in the round. The financing includes US$16m in equity funds and US$5m in long-term debt.

There is also speculation that the series D funding round will put Openet in a position to be a candidate for IPO as and when market conditions improve.

This fourth funding round brings the total investment in Openet since the genesis of the company in 1999 to circa US$55m (€44m).

Openet was set up in a basement office in Dublin, but has since grown to have a global team of more than 830 people.

It already has a client base of more than 80 corporate companies in 28 countries, including the likes of BT, Verizon, Vodafone, Orange, and AT&T.

The company provides software to communication and media service providers to enable them to control network traffic, monetise new and existing services and guarantee quality of experience for mobile device users.

Openet is now planning to direct the latest investment towards accelerating customer demand by financing the development of direct and indirect distribution channels, product development, product management and deployment engineering.

As well as this, Margaret Rice-Jones, ex-CEO and executive director of Aircom International, is joining the Openet board. Rice-Jones is also a director of NewBay, Psion, Abacus Polar and Trivanti.

“This funding round gives us additional flexibility to capitalise on our market opportunities,” said Niall Norton, CEO of Openet, today.

Balderton Capital, which has been an investor in Openet since 1999, has participated in each of the company’s four funding rounds. Barry Maloney, a partner at Balderton, has served on the Openet board since 2001.

“Today’s successful funding round and Margaret Rice-Jones’ appointment to Openet’s board jointly reflect the company’s market position as a leader in the global transaction management software market,” said Maloney.

Openet also participated in the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year competition in Monte Carlo last week. The company won the 2011 Ernst & Young Irish Entrepreneur of the Year finals, while it also won in the International Entrepreneur of the Year category at the time.

In early 2011, IBM teamed up with Openet to jointly create a new telecom centre of excellence in Austin, Texas. The aim of the centre was to help mobile operators with their R&D to cope with billing and bandwidth demand driven by growing use of smartphones and tablets.

Investment image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic