Akonix Systems – Profile
HQ: San Diego, CA
Management: CEO Pete Shaw previously was CEO of Megatek, AGE Logic, and Sitematic – all three of which were acquired. He is also a Venture Partner for Windward Ventures.
Investors: In June 2005, General Motors Asset Management led a $12M Series C round of investment with current investors Menlo Ventures, Mission Ventures, Palomar Ventures and Windward Ventures. The company has raised $33M to date.
Business Model: For the past few years, instant messaging has been a dirty secret in the cubicles. Everybody has an IM account that they use with their friends and many have found good use for it on the job. But IM never had the sanction of IT departments. Now it’s getting ugly. Sarbanes-Oxley is forcing IT departments to back up IM chats, SPIM (IM Spam) is taking root as IM phishing, IM spyware, IM adware and every other sort of malware. Akonix has perhaps the best rated software answer to these problems. The company charges about $4K per server.
Competitors: FaceTime Communications’ IM Auditor, IM-Age Software’s IM Policy Manager and IMlogic’s IM Manager.
Dirt: What the heck are they doing at Symantec and McAfee? A number of startups have built significant businesses in anti-spyware while the incumbents dithered. Now companies like Akonix are moving on up in IM security. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to have an IPO for a company like Akonix that does a sliver of the overall security business, so someone is going to have to pony up and pay through the nose to acquire Akonix.