Atle gives generously to Swedish Appeal

Sweden’s oldest VC invests $2m in Appeal Virtual Machine’s second funding round.

Atle Foretagskapital has provided $2m of second round funding for Appeal Virtual Machines, a Stockhom-based firm that develops advanced Java applications.

The company is pleased with the investment. “Atle is the oldest VC in Sweden so it’s not just money, it’s also prestigious,” said a spokesman for Appeal Virtual Machines.

Appeal says the funding will support it through 2001. “It depends on how much we sell,” said the spokesman. “But we expect it to last to the end of the year, give or take.”

The spokesman said the funding would mainly be used to market its product. “We want to expand our market presence,” he said. Sales and support offices are planned for the US, Europe and Japan.

Appeal Virtual Machines was founded in 1999. Its software makes it possible for internet servers to support large numbers of concurrent users. It says its main customers are online financial services and media companies and telecoms.

The company plans to float, but will not say when. “We hesitate to disclose dates,” said the spokesman. “But yes, we anticipate an IPO in the future.”

Atle is being acquired by 3i Group and Ratos, another Swedish private equity firm, in a £580m takeover. The offer was made in February and Atle shareholders are expected to vote on it on April 19. The deal needs 90 per cent approval to go through.