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£3 million 2nd round investment in 3G wireless software pioneer, and key senior management appointment

3G LAB Ltd, the Cambridge (UK) developer of software for Third Generation (3G) mobile networks and devices, has secured a further £3 million funding from 3i, Europe's leading venture capital company, representing the 2nd round of funding for the 15 month old company. The company has also appointed Bob Last as vice-president of sales and marketing.

3G LAB Ltd is a world leading company in the development of software and applications targeted at the 2.5G and 3G marketplace, and also consulting services that provide be-spoke application development services to mobile device manufacturers and 3G network operators. To achieve this goal 3G LAB is donating key pieces of technology to the open source community to support the development of open platforms for the emerging mobile Internet.

3i has backed 3G LAB Ltd since its inception in March 2000, providing the initial funding to the management team which was drawn from major software development, communications and device companies. Since that time 3i has helped build the business by introducing key corporate relationships and aiding in the recruitment of the Chairman Edward Astle. The further funding of £3 million from 3i will allow 3G LAB Ltd to continue their growth, product and service development.

Stephen Ives, CEO for 3G LAB, said: “We are delighted at the new investment from 3i and equally delighted to welcome Bob Last to the company. 3i recognised the value of 3G LAB very early on, and have demonstrated their commitment to the wireless sector at a time when many investors are shying away from the technology space. The market for our products and services is at a key inflection point and we have positioned ourselves to maximise the opportunity of 3G software development. Our commitment to an open sourced platform is testament to our belief that the proliferation and open development of a real time embedded operating system will bring a speedy role-out of the wireless broadband services and products to users."

Laurence Garrett of 3i’s communications team, said: “Mobile operators are desperate to justify the expenditure on 3G licences by offering interesting and workable applications on the new platform. 3G LAB are in the forefront of offering open platform software applications to enable the operators to maximise the opportunity of wireless Internet, and the team is in the process of building an outstanding wireless software company."

As part of the company’s continued growth 3G LAB’s latest appointment sees Bob Last join the team as VP Sales & Marketing. Last, formerly Head of 3G at Hewlett Packard Consulting, brings with him ten year’s experience in the mobile telecommunications industry and will add further strength to 3G LAB’s senior management team. Over the past ten years Last has been selling both voice and data solutions to mobile network providers and has a number of world’s first’s under his belt, including the world’s first telco Billing Verification System.

Bob Last, said: "I am very excited about the opportunity at 3G LAB, the company is at the leading edge of wireless broadband applications and services and has a tremendous management team and investor in 3i. We are in a position to take advantage of the market opportunity and be part of a wave of development for the next generation of mobile networks."

About 3G LAB

3G LAB specialises in the development of software for third generation (3G) mobile networks and devices.

The business has two fundamental and related activities:

1) A product business which develops applications software and infrastructure software primarily for the 3G wireless markets. This development activity is directed at both the server side and the device side of the 3G network.

2) A consultancy business which provides custom software development and related services to 3G network operators, mobile content providers and mobile device manufacturers.

3G LAB promotes an open standards approach to the emerging 3G world. From the outset, 3G LAB has been a key supporter of two significant open source initiatives in the mobile internet domain; the eCos open source real-time operating system project and the Kannel open source WAP/SMS gateway project.

About 3i

3i brings capital, knowledge and connections to the creation and development of businesses around the world. It invests in a wide range of opportunities from start-ups to buy-outs and buy-ins, focusing on businesses with high growth potential and strong management.

3i invests in businesses across three continents through local investment teams in Europe, Asia Pacific and the USA. To date, 3i has invested over £13.5 billion (including co-investment funds).

In the 12 months to 31st March 2001, 3i (including its co-investment funds) invested over £1 billion in 496 technology businesses. 3i makes technology investments in a broad range of sectors including Communications, Healthcare and Software & Internet. The portfolio includes businesses at all stages of development.

At 31st March 2001, 3i’s technology portfolio was valued at over £2 billion and included over 700 businesses.

About Bob Last, VP Sales and Marketing

Last has a proven and established history in the mobile data communications industry.

Last began his career at Hewlett-Packard as a Data communications Sales Specialist selling test equipment, analysers and monitoring systems to clients such as BT, the Bank of England, the London Stock Exchange and Reuters.

Last’s 12 year’s a Hewlett-Packard saw him achieve success after success in his various key account management roles. He headed large account teams across the world with ultimate responsibility for multi million dollar deals. In his position as Client Business Manager Last and his team were responsible for winning some of HP’s largest deals. He finally took the position of Head of 3G, HP Consulting where his responsibilities included Program and Delivery Management for HP’s mobile Internet, Multi Media and 3G services.

Prior to HP Last worked briefly for Wandle & Golterman and prior to that as a student at the Marconi Research Centre.

Last holds a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Bristol.


For Further information, please contact:

Mark James
AxiCom
mark.james@axicom.com
+44 7740 824 092


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