Last year was not kind to 724 Solutions Inc. Its stock plunged from a high of $240 a share in March to a bit less than $16 at yearend. But 724 expects it will be luckier this year.

HQ Toronto, ON
Austin, TX
Employees 750
Capital $200M
Net Revenue $21.2M
President & Chairman Greg Wolfond
CEO John Sims
CTO Harald Sammer*
CFO Karin Basian
*former Tantau executive

In mid-January, 724 purchased wireless software company, Tantau Software. Both Toronto, ON-based 724 and Austin, TX-based Tantau, offer wireless software applications for online banking, brokerage and mobile commerce. Tantau has focused on providing software for mass transactions; it had been part of Tandem Computers, which had been acquired by Compaq. In contrast, 724 has been more of an application service provider and content provider of secure mobile banking and mobile commerce services."It's a good move for both parties," says Ed Kountz, senior analyst for mobile financial communications at Needham, MA-based TowerGroup. "Their strengths are complementary. Smaller firms also will need to pair up if they want to compete."

Kountz notes that some major tech companies, such as IBM and EDS, are moving quickly into the wireless game.

Tantau is especially strong in Europe and Asia, while 724's strength is in North America. Shareholders of 724 will own roughly 68 percent of the combined 724 Soultions Inc., while Tantau shareholders will hold the remaining 32 percent.

Mark Bruno can be reached by e-mail at:

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