Visto Eyes 10 New Wireless Firms by Yearend


Visto Corp. hopes to sign up another 10 wireless operators for its mobile e-mail service before yearend and is still considering an initial public offering in 2006, its chief executive said on Tuesday. The closely held Redwood Shores, California-based firm, which competes with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. for wireless e-mail customers, is also well on its way to doubling a subscriber base that stood at 250,000 a few months ago, CEO Brian Bogosian said.

“We’ve announced about 15 mobile operators as customers and partners to bring this technology to market,” he told Reuters in an interview. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see another 10 operators (this year).”

The company’s clients already include industry giant Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research) as well as Nextel Communications Inc. (NXTL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) , and Canada’s Rogers Communications Inc. (RCInvb.TO: Quote, Profile, Research)

Bogosian, who said in September that Visto was aiming to go public late this year or early 2006, now believes an offering is more likely next year.

“It’s clearly something that we’re contemplating, we’re talking about and we’re moving rapidly towards that. We haven’t established any firm dates. Most likely it would be next year,” he said.

The chief executive said Visto, whose backers include venture capital firms Oak Investment Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, does not need to go to the market for funds. The company raised $65 million privately in recent years, much of which it still holds.

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