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Geodesic to acquire PicoPeta Simputers

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A file picture of Amida Simputer.

Bangalore , Nov. 24

SOFTWARE solutions provider, Geodesic Information Systems Ltd, said on Thursday that it was acquiring the Bangalore-based PicoPeta Simputers Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

"There's a lot of synergy between both the companies which complement each other in different ways. As a combined entity, we aim to put India on the product map in a much better way," Mr Prashant Mulekar, Director, Geodesic, told Business Line.

Geodesic would be using both cash and stock for the PicoPeta acquisition, Mr Mulekar said even while declining to reveal the transactional details.

Geodesic expects to maintain PicoPeta as a subsidiary and plans to promote its "Amida" brand Simputer even while charting out new growth strategies, he said.

Named by MIT's Technology Review magazine as one of the seven hottest academic start-ups of 2001, PicoPeta was founded by the co-inventors of the Simputer, the low-cost hand-held device.

PicoPeta was one of the two firms that commercialised Simputer while the other was Encore Software.

PicoPeta, which provides hardware, design and software solutions based on the Simputer platform, found it difficult to scale up as it could not muster investors' support.

"Geodesic has a global market reach and has an interesting portfolio of Internet messaging and collaborative products. We expect to jointly synergise the Simputer platform for the global market," said Prof Swami Manohar, CEO, PicoPeta.

Since the launch of Amida brand in March 2004, PicoPeta has sold between 3,000-4,000 Simputers.

"Though we had a world class product, we couldn't manage to scale up primarily because of the resource constraints as investors found our target market and ambition too risky," Mr Manohar said.

PicoPeta's alliance with manufacturing partner, Bharat Electronics Ltd will continue going forward, Mr Manohar said.

"Over the past 18 months several enterprises including banks and government departments have evaluated the Amida Simputer platform," Mr Manohar said. About 50 different field trials are being conducted by various agencies using Simputer for projects in the education, micro-finance and healthcare among others. "We hope these would be translated into actual sales going forward," he said.

Geodesic shares ended higher on Thursday by 6.71 per cent or Rs 13.2 to close at Rs 210 on BSE.

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