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Remade Bristol raises $9.1 million in VC

Transaction monitoring and analysis software provider Bristol Technology Inc., Danbury, Conn., which survived a legal bout with Microsoft in the late 1990s, has raised $9.1 million in venture capital (VC) that officials said will be used to expand the firm's reach. The backers were led by venture capitalists JVP and Apax Partners.

JVP, which focuses on investing in early-stage companies, believes Bristol's TransactionVision technology can add an important element to technology market management, Allon Bloch, principal in the firm's New York office, told eADT. "It allows line-of-business and operation managers to manage business based on business needs and service-level agreements," he said.

JVP considers Bristol an early-stage company with regard to this product, a key to the re-making of the firm, which was founded in 1991 to sell tools for running Windows applications on Unix-based systems. That toolset included Windows code licensed from Microsoft, an agreement that ultimately led to a 1998 lawsuit that was settled three years later after a federal judge ordered the Redmond, Wash., giant to pay legal fees and damages to Bristol. The two firms reached an undisclosed settlement a few months later.

Bristol officials said the TransactionVision installed base currently includes 10 customers. JVP's Bloch noted that Bristol still sells two older products into a healthy base.

International private equity investment group Apax Partners also considers Bristol an early-to-middle-stage company because it has a developed organization selling new products into new markets, said Evangelos Simoudis, partner in the firm's Menlo Park, Calif., office.

"Organizations are looking at the ability to track [transactions], and to make decisions about those transactions and monitor those transactions," Simoudis explained. "With software like Bristol's, a general manager is able to get the right information to get an answer to a question."

Bristol plans to use the venture monies to invest in marketing and sales programs to drive revenue for TransactionVision, said Cindi Brockhoff, senior director of corporate and product marketing at the company. Specifically, she added, the funds will be used to hire and train sales people and to implement marketing programs.

The product is said to be focused at transaction-centric markets, which include financial services, insurance, telecommunications, manufacturing and distribution. "It enables a company to monitor the flow of business transactions [stock trade, insurance claim, payment, order] across a distributed network -- and tracks each step of the process from inception to completion in the same way that FedEx tracks packages from the time they are picked up until they arrive at your door," Brockhoff said.

About the Author

Lana Gates is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at freelancewriter@gates-works.com.

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