The company creates a version of Linux for non-PC computing devices such as network hardware, set-top boxes or the loosely-defined "Internet appliance" for surfing the Web without a standard PC. As evidenced by this investment and a $20 million investment in Lineo competitor Lynx Real-Time Systems less than a month ago, embedded Linux is as hot with investors today as Linux for servers was in 1999.
Lyle Ball, vice president of marketing at Lineo, has said the company is bound for an initial public offering. However, he declined to comment on the possibility today.
Investments by major companies often is an indicator, however, that an IPO is imminent.
Lineo has been on a major shopping spree, announcing acquisitions of six smaller companies in the last two months.
Lineo's investors are Motorola, Samsung, Mitsubishi, Citrix Systems, Access, Acer Group, Arima, Compal Electronics, DaiShin Information and Communications, First International Computer, Global Alliance, Hikari Tsushin, and Mitac International. In addition, investment firms including Egan Managed Capital, J&W Seligman and Astoria Capital Partners.
Lynx and Lineo aren't the only companies interested in securing investments. Sources have said that MontaVista Software also has been looking for deeper pockets to help it expand and take Linux in new directions.