Softbank UK Ventures has invested £7m (E11.4m) in Venation, a UK based intelligent network infrastructure company. Venation is the largest company so far to have come out of BT’s technology incubator Brightstar. Brightstar is intended to unlock commercial value from BT’s research laboratories in Ipswich, UK. BT describes it as the “home to 3,500 of BT's top scientists, engineers and business people.”
Softbank partner David Sola and principal Karim Abouzahr join the board of Venation. BT will contribute intellectual property and patents and take a minority stake in Venation.
Venation’s core technology is the product of three years’ work at the infrastructure lab at BT coordinated by Paul Evans, the company's CTO. Venation technology claims to maximise the speed, scalability and efficiency of applications across fixed, satellite, and wireless networks.
Ralph Cochrane, chief executive of Venation, said: “There are 407 million users on-line and data traffic is doubling every year causing fixed and wireless networks to creak under the demand for faster access and richer content. Venation represents a turning point in the way content is distributed; optimising congested networks, whilst enabling the next generation of interactive real-time services. Softbank’s experience in building global technology companies will help us to achieve our vision of optimising today’s networks for tomorrow’s applications”.
Softbank UK Ventures has made two other investments to date. They are in Riot E, which designs and distributes person-to-person entertainment on mobile devices, and Ripcord Systems, a developer of wireless products and services.