B.E. Digerati Sells Company For $147 Million

News from the Valley to the Alley -- and all points in between

Tech pays off. While other tech companies were floundering, Donna Auguste’s Freshwater Software was experiencing consecutive quarters of profitability. And while start-ups were burning through investment dollars, Auguste was building her firm into a multimillion-dollar software maker that went from $1.25 million in venture funding in 1996 to posting revenues of $20 million in 2001.

Last May, Auguste sold Freshwater Software for $147 million in cash to Mercury Interactive Corp., a software testing and analysis company in Sunnyvale, California. Auguste has gone on to pursue philanthropic work in Kenya and Tanzania, since she was last featured in the magazine (see “She’s Fresh,” Techwatch, November 2000). Auguste was not available for comment.

More shakeout blues. Not all black digerati are immune to the dot-bomb phenomenon. Music Buddha, the company that started out to sonify music selection on the Web, has called it quits, since it was last featured in BLACK ENTERPRISE (see “Have It Your Way,” Techwatch, May 2001). The technology was the brainchild of Brian Adams, the company’s chief architect and co-founder. The software offered the first sound-based music recommendation service on the Web.

Adams had also developed Song Sonar, a product that let those in the radio and music industry test the compatibility of songs in a simpler, less expensive format. Music Buddha had managed to sign on 12 radio stations, from Alaska to Indiana, before closing shop last September.

A new deal. Washington, D.C.-based Conquest Systems Inc. has won a $1 million renewable one-year contract with the Procurement and Grants Office of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Conquest, a software-development firm founded in 1989, had over $10 million in revenues for 2001.

The agreement calls for Conquest to provide IT support services, such as evaluating and applying emerging technologies, IS life-cycle development, and technical writing and editing of system and user documentation. The contract is renewable for two additional years.

Check out…The new Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC 3800 Series (www.compaq .com). It features the worldwide data and voice capability GSM/GPRS Wireless Pack, 65,536 (16-bit) color, 64MB of RAM, and a Secure Digital card slot at the top — and Bluetooth.

ACROSS THE WEB