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Good Technology reaches $200 million in funding

The five-year start-up will earmark the funds for its challenge to BlackBerry maker Research in Motion.

Wireless e-mail software maker and service provider Good Technology, already one of the best-funded companies in Silicon Valley, has landed another $65 million in venture funding.

That brings the total amount raised over its five years to more than $200 million.

The new funding round, which one of the participants confirmed, comes only two months after NTP, an Arlington, Va.-based patent holding company, invested an undisclosed amount in Good as part of a licensing agreement. Advanced Equities Financial, a Chicago investment banking boutique specializing in raising late-stage financing for high-tech start-ups from high net worth individuals, raised $40 million of the $65 million round.

It's unclear whether any of the money raised in the fund raising was used to buy out any of the previous investors in the Santa Clara, Calif.-based start-up. But either way, the new financing could well indicate just how tough the public financing market is for technology companies if start-ups such as Good bypass an initial public offering for yet another private round.

A Good press representative declined to comment.

The start-up will use the new funding to continue to challenge competitor Research In Motion, the maker of the popular BlackBerry device and its related software. Good launched its wireless e-mail service in 2002 with an unusual strategy: Its service was compatible with hardware manufactured by chief competitor RIM of Waterloo, Ontario.

Although Good eventually launched a hardware product, it has since steered away from hardware to concentrate on software and services. But its battles with publicly traded RIM accelerated two years ago, when the companies sued each other.

Good filed a pre-emptive suit seeking a declaratory judgment before RIM returned fire with a patent infringement suit. The two squabbled until March 2004, when they reached a settlement under which Good was to surrender a lump sum followed by ongoing royalty payments.

RIM in March also settled with NTP, paying $450 million to close out another lawsuit.

Besides the dominant RIM, smaller competitors in wireless e-mail services include Danger of Palo Alto, Calif., and Visto of Redwood City, Calif.

Good originated in May 2000 with $6 million in first-round funding from Silicon Valley blue chip firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Benchmark Capital.

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