Agea Basks In Afterglow Of $12M Deal

What happens when IBM Corp.’s assembly line runs out of a microchip that it needs to put into every computer it produces? Without Agea Corp., perhaps the entire operation would come to a grinding halt.

But computer makers need fret no more, because Agea has a software product on the market that can oversee such business processes and automatically send out alerts when any part of those processes begins to break down.

Specifically, Agea’s flagship Business Acceleration Suite (BAS) product enables direct communication between enterprise applications and a company’s decision makers via e-mail, pagers, fax machines, cell phones or telephones. Essentially, company top dogs now have the ability to react to business events almost as they happen.

Hence, by reducing the amount of time it takes to turn potential problems into solutions, Agea claims it allows companies to increase their efficiency and accuracy while saving money.

“If it’s screws you need to produce products and there is no one there to make the decision to order the screws, the company can lose millions of dollars while they are waiting for the screws to be ordered,” said Russ Glass, a company co-founder and vice president of strategy for Agea. “With this software in place before the delay even happens, the right people are found and given the ability to approve the necessary purchases.”

The concept was apparently so compelling that Agea managed to snag $12.2 million from venture capital investors. Sun Strategic Investors of Sun Microsystems Inc. led the Series B deal, with additional participation from Milestone Equities, 5280 Partners and Alignment Capital.

With the fresh capital, Agea, which currently has 25 employees, will ramp up its sales and marketing teams.

Although the Austin, Texas-based company began to deploy its product in March and already has five undisclosed paying customers, it will also begin to focus more of its attention on getting its technology to the marketplace, targeting any corporation that has an investment in back-end automated technology.

As such, Agea expects to see revenue toward the end of 2001, and profits by Q4 2002 or Q1 2003.

Founded in May 1999, Agea raised $650,000 in October of the same year from angel investors and family.

While that money was enough to keep Agea’s business going until now, Rostohar said the company plans to take an even more conservative approach to spending its new capital due to the weak market conditions.

“Rather than growing as fast we can, we are growing expenses as our revenue warrants it,” he said.

Rostohar went on to say that Agea may make another run at the private equity market if it needs to accelerate its growth process.

“Otherwise, we will not seek more capital,” he added. “We believe we have the ability to grow a large company because of the value proposition our service brings.”

Agea may entertain an IPO in as little as two years, Rostohar said.

Danielle Fugazy can be contacted at: