Jahia AG, a company that develops Java-based web server software is competing with some established names in the portal software market.This content was published on May 8, 2002 - 13:55
Behind two-month old Jahia AG, Nyon, Switzerland, is Quan Venture Capital, Avantix AG, and the three creators of its flagship software product.
Jahia's software has a history. It was a developed as a product for XO3 SA, a Nyon-based venture funded startup that went into liquidation last autumn.
The three founders, Michel Romy, Serge Huber, and Stéphane Croisier, along with most of the development team, did not give up when XO3 dissolved. Instead, they started a new company.
Along with one of their largest customers, Avantix, and one of the old XO3 shareholders, Quan Management, the new company was formed around the flagship software product.
Avantix is a 14-month old-web application and portal solutions consulting company, along with three founders and a number of employees, hold 90 per cent of the shares of Jahia.
Avantix decision to invest resources and money into the startup Jahia is based on a belief in the quality of the software, which it is using in a large and complex business-to-business portal, known as Kaleso.com.
"We spent one man month evaluating products for a web application framework, looking at Oracle Portal, Bea Weblogix, and Obtree Technologies - and found that Jahia was the best technical solution," says Avantix CEO Andreas Koller.
Kaleso.com is the brainchild of TransInvest Holding AG, based in St Gallen. It is meant to enable easier trading between Swiss small and medium sized firms and their trading partners in the former Soviet Union.
Koller says his tech staff have been working with the software for six months and have yet to complain about its architecture or its design. "It is absolutely state of the art," says Koller.
Holding the other ten per cent of Jahia is Quan Conseils, a venture capital company that is currently raising its second fund. It invests primarily in European and US companies. This is its only Swiss exposure.
Edward Schneider, Founder & Director, Quan Management LLC says he invested in Jahia with his own money and turned the shares over to his fund at no charge. His first fund was an early shareholder in XO3.
"Quan lost money on the XO3 investment but I still believe in the software," Schneider told Swiss Venture Update. "Since the company is too risky to expose the fund to again, I personally invested and then turned the shares over at no cost to the fund."
Jahia's business model is a combination of open source and commercial licensing. Downloads and licenses are free for academic and public entity users, but enterprise users are required to pay a license fee per server and per user. About 1000 copies a month are being downloaded.
The company is not currently looking for capital. In fact, it does not even have a business plan in preparation.
by Valerie Thompson
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