Internet sales software house Calico Technology is set to expand in Europe through a new channel network.
The company formally concludes its takeover of First Floor, which makes Net marketing applications, today.
The acquisition is just one of a series of quickfire moves planned by Calico to raise its profile in the ecommerce arena. Others include a rapid ramp up of its fledgling European operations, more possible takeovers and an initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock market.
Calico has developed what it calls 'esales' technology that enables customers to make complicated purchases over the Internet in a relatively simple fashion. The company counts a cadre of hi-tech companies including Dell, Cabletron, Cisco, Gateway and Marconi Instruments among its customers.
The company opened its first European office in the UK earlier this year and will probably have others in France and the Netherlands before the end of 1998. European managing director Paul Greenfield, as well as deciding where to establish offices, is also working to set up relationships with more resellers to add to the existing duo of Minerva and Econis.
Vice president of corporate marketing, Amanda North, said cash from the IPO, which would take place "not in the distant future", was very likely to be used to fund international growth.
"To date we have followed our customers into markets. Raising money would enable us to make upfront investments," she said. The company moved into Europe to provide local support to customers such as Dell and Cabletron.
The company is growing at 100 per cent a year and expects that to continue next year, which would take revenue to almost $40 million for 1999. That will come both from internally generated growth and from acquisitions.
The financial terms of the takeover of First Floor were not revealed. Calico has been licensing its new unit's Smart Delivery product line since 1997 to serve as its marketing encyclopedia. The merged organisation employs around 150 people, has 80 corporate customers and 24 strategic partners including almost all salesforce automation vendors.
Market research company Dataquest says it expects to see the same consolidation currently going on in the networking industry to start to affect Internet related sectors.
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