Sybase to buy AvantGo

Enterprise software company Sybase Inc. will buy AvantGo Inc., a maker of software for mobile devices, according to a statement released Friday by Sybase.

The deal, for US$38 million cash, will add AvantGo’s technology to Sybase’s iAnywhere Solutions subsidiary and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2003, according to Sybase, which is in Dublin, Calif.

AvantGo, based in Hayward, Calif., makes client and server software that is used to link handheld devices to CRM (customer relationship management), SCM (supply chain management), marketing and data synchronization applications.

Sybase’s iAnywhere Solutions subsidiary sells mobile, remote, embedded and workgroup databases and mobile middleware. iAnywhere’s SQL Anywhere Studio allows developers to create applications for mobile, remote, embedded and workgroup database software used in industries with large numbers of mobile workers such as transportation, utilities, health care and government.

The deal will help Sybase’s position in the market for mobile database software for enterprises, and expand the reach of Sybase’s iAnywhere technology into wireless, Sybase said.

Sybase is also interested in developing AvantGo’s My AvantGo consumer service that allows Web content, such as information on cars or airline tickets, to be downloaded and viewed offline on a handheld device.

Following the completion of the acquisition, which must still be approved by AvantGo’s shareholders, Sybase plans to use AvantGo’s technology to expand the iAnywhere Solutions mobile database to Web developers and use its channel relationships to broaden the reach of AvantGo’s products, services and applications, Sybase said.

AvantGo was an easy target for acquisition. After an initial public offering that raised US$66 million in September 2000, AvantGo struggled to achieve profitability. Its stock was delisted from the Nasdaq exchange in September of this year.