The Federal Government has granted more than $3.7 million in a commercialisation loan to help Web development firm Bullant Technology go to market.
The R&D Start Concessional Loan is the largest ever granted to an Australian company and roughly three times the amount generally offered. Bullant has six years to repay the loan.
Viki Forrest, vice president of marketing for Bullant, said the company applied for the loan when patents were lodged in December last year, after four years of development work.
"We had to meet stringent conditions," Forrest said. "There is a limited amount in the Government's bucket and the fact that they offered us $3.7 million reflected their appreciation of our technology. The criteria for the loan included management capability, market need and competitiveness, and technical and product synergy."
A statement from Senator Nick Minchin, Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, said Government support for R&D and commercialisation provides increased economic and employment opportunities throughout all regions of Australia.
"This is 21st century technology which puts Australia at the cutting edge again," Minchin said. "Companies are always after that competitive edge that will allow them to provide services to customers as quickly and easily as possible."
The loan comes at the end of Bullant's capital raising phase, which has achieved a comfortably oversubscribed target of $US21 million, and Forrest said an IPO is envisaged for the end of next year as an exit strategy for investors.
The company has an R&D and sales office in Sydney, a sales office in Silicon Valley, and an Indian operation for engineering, benchmarking and testing.
"The focus is to open up in the US with an international view. There is huge potential wireless opportunity, which could be quite big in Europe and Japan," Forrest said.
Bullant offers scalable client server technology, which is particularly useful for application service provider (ASP) and wireless deployment, according to Forrest.
The ASP would buy ZF Bullant Player at the server end, and the client would download Bullant Remote free of charge.
"Bullant is the ideal product set for the development of applications for ASP delivery because there is zero cost of ownership at the client end," said Forrest.
Bullant also offers a development product, Bullant Builder. Currently, the product is available for Windows NT, but there is a Linux version in Beta, and the intention to port to other platforms when the demand and opportunity arises.