AePONA – Profile
HQ: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Founded: 1995, formerly APiON
Management: CEO Liam McQullan has been a lifer at AeOPNA, having been there for the past 10 years. He was promoted from COO of the company.
Investors: In March 2005, AePONA raised $20M from Polaris Ventures, Amadeus Capital Partners, Trinity Venture Capital, and Invest Northern Ireland.
Business Model: The company sells a network operating system for mobile communications. It serves as a gateway to mobile telecom carriers so that they can sell additional services to their users. These services include: missed call notification, conference calling, reverse charge billing, inbound call management, multi-channel televoting, Internet call waiting, ringback tones, etc.
Competitors: Alcatel and Ericsson.
Dirt: AePONA is surely one of the great success stories to emerge from the blight of Northern Ireland. The company has done a decent job of becoming a contender in Europe, given the relative obscurity of its Northern Ireland HQ. Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, and Nortel are all partners. To get to $100M in revenues is possible, we believe, but will be a stretch for a management team that hasn’t been there, done that.