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Linux startups among top private European companies

Jan 26, 2005 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Several embedded Linux-oriented companies were named to a list of top privately held companies in Europe and Israel. The 2004 Tornado100 list, assembled by European tech media company Tornado Insider, includes virtual platform start-up Jaluna, Linux firewall company Astaro, and VoIP (voice-over-IP) software pioneer Skype.

According to Jaluna, candidates for the Tornado100 were judged on:

  • Delivering an innovation that shows the promise to set new standards
  • Creating a major new audience
  • Supplying a key piece of the ICT infrastructure
  • Commanding a significant customer base
  • Having the potential to become a global brand or standard
  • Influencing a major market
  • Receiving a significant amount of funding
  • Having a strong valuation for a lucrative exit
  • Having a management with previous successful exit experience

Jaluna secured a $12 million round of investments last fall, making it France's 4th-best funded startup in 2004, according to CEO Michel Gien (click here for an extensive interview with Gien). It sells OSware partitioning and virtualization software, and is working on an EAL5 Linux project funded by the French military.

Astaro sells a Linux distribution with advanced routing and firewalling features, as well as various security appliances that run Linux. The company's “Security Linux” is also used in security appliances marketed by Toshiba and others. Astaro contributes to a number of security-related open source projects, as well.

Skype markets VoIP software that supports Linux as well as Windows, thanks in part to Trolltech's Qt graphics framework, which allows Skype's native binaries to be compiled from the same codebase for various OS targets. Skype was also named to accounting firm KPMG's list of top private companies last summer.

Jaluna CEO Michel Gien said, “We are honored that our efforts have been this year again recognized by Tornado Insider. This second award confirms the market recognition of our Jaluna OSware virtual infrastructure for embedded designs.”

The complete list of 2004 Tornado100 awardees is available online.

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