Mcn tele.com, the company pioneering a voice-operated personal assistant known as “Veronica”, has secured a third VC round of EURO14 million. The current backers of the German telecom company are BHF-Bank, Dresdner Kleinwort Capital, Swiss private equity house Invision, TecVenture Partners and the VCH Equity group.
This round brings the company’s total venture capital funding to over EURO35 million. DaimlerChrysler Venture was the company’s first investor, committing EURO20 million not long after Mcn tele.com was established in September 1999. The corporate investor has also participated in the latest capital increase. In 2000 the venture arm of Deutsche Ausgleichsbank, tbg, invested EURO1.5 million. Investors now hold 68 per cent of the company’s equity and the founders and management hold the remaining 32 per cent.
The company employs approximately 100 people. Turnover was 50 per cent more than was planned last year and Mcn tele.com expects this year’s turnover to be EURO75 million. However, the stock market flotation, which was anticipated for next year, is now on hold due to the stagnant conditions of the German telecom market.
Mcn tele.com is seeking to position itself as a trendsetter in the voice-operated value-added services market. Dr Jurgen Kaack, chairman of Mcn tel.com’s board, says: “This segment is growing by 30 per cent per year, despite the fact that business in the telecommunication market is clearly more difficult than at the beginning of the liberalisation, due increased restrictive decisions of the regulatory authorities in favour of Deutsche Telekom.”
The company specialises in voice-operated telecom solutions that enable businesses to improve customer contacts, optimise internal processes, reduce operating expenses and boost their competitiveness. Mcn tele.com will use the new capital to develop its service numbers (free phone numbers) and “Veronica”.