Cisco buys into remote-access company

Networking giant invests undisclosed amount in SoonR, provider of remote access to desktop files from mobile phones and other devices.

Cisco Systems has invested in SoonR, a company that offers mobile-phone users remote access to their desktops.

The amount that the networking giant has invested remains undisclosed, but a statement released by SoonR on Tuesday put the total figure for this "Series B" round--in which Cisco appears to have been the leading investor--at $9.5 million. Previous investors Intel Capital and Clearstone Venture Partners were also involved in the investment round.

According to SoonR, the investment it has received in its two years of existence now totals $15.5 million.

SoonR allows its users to access, share, or back up files on their desktop computers from their phones or other Internet-enabled devices. Because the files are synchronized from the PC to SoonR's servers, the service works even when a PC is switched off.

"Cisco was among the first to recognize that a massive convergence between the desktop and mobile worlds was on the horizon, and that next-generation solutions were needed to advance this trend," Patrick McVeigh, SoonR's chief executive, said Tuesday. "We both believe that crucial business documents will need to be accessible and actionable from 'the cloud,' or the layer of network intelligence, through a myriad of Internet-connected devices."

In October 2007, a partnership was announced between SoonR and the mobile-office software company Quickoffice, whose software can be found on a wide range of Symbian and UIQ mobile phones. SoonR also has deals with various international mobile operators, including Denmark's TeliaSonera.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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