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Mobile Linux firm boasts cheery financials, funding round

Feb 4, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

French mobile stack developer and LiMo (Linux Mobile) Foundation member Purple Labs announced 2H 2008 revenues of 11 million Euros (~$14.1M), quadruple its revenue in the first half of 2008. The company also said it raised series-B funding of 22 million Euros (~$22.8M) during the half.

(Click for larger view of Purple Magic reference design)

In its first funding round in 2007, Purple Labs managed to raise only $14.7 million.

Purple Labs was originally known for its Linux phone stack, which was used in several iMode-compatible Grundig phones distributed by French carrier Bouygues (pronounced “Bweeg”). The company later offered an interesting Purple Magic design (pictured above), which used NXP's “Nexperia” hardware reference design and VirtualLogix VLX to reduce component count, targeting sub-$100 end-user pricing. As far as we know, however, the phone was never widely distributed.

Purple Labs pegged its second-half revenue increase to its acquisition and relaunch of Openwave's mobile browser business. Purple Labs acquired Openwave's mobile phone software business for $32 million last June, gaining Openwave's cross-platform browser and messaging client technologies. Purple Labs had previously committed to upgrading Openwave's high-end Surfer Browser, as well as its Mobile Integrated Dynamic Application System (MIDAS) mobile development kit and function library, which was also part of the deal.

Purple Labs announced order intake during 2H 2008 of over 70 million Euros, and says it expects to earn 50 million Euros in revenue in 2009. Cumulative shipments of Purple Labs browser and messaging applications surpassed 1.8 billion units, claims the company, and the staff has grown to 425, up from 80 at end of 2007.

In August, Purple Labs announced a joint testing agreement with Openwave, and also announced it would acquire the mobile applications suite and software engineering team of French phone manufacturer Sagem Mobiles. Purple Labs now says that it has closed a 52.5 million Euro contract to provide software and services to Sagem over three years.

Stated Simon Wilkinson, Purple Labs CEO, “Our revitalisation of the former Openwave business was achieved more quickly than we expected. Revenue growth was well ahead of plan. And more importantly, our strong H2 bookings confirmed that mobile phone manufacturers now value Purple Labs as a key supplier.”

Purple Labs will be exhibiting on “The Avenue” (Stand AV97) at the Mobile World Congress, Feb. 16-19 in Barcelona. The company will also sponsor the GSMA “Best mobile phone / device” award, says the company.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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