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Silverberg fund ignites wireless venture Avogadro

Former Microsoft employees who worked on the software company's Internet technologies launch a wireless venture backed by Brad Silverberg's Ignition.

A group of former Microsoft employees who worked on the software company's Internet technologies announced on Monday the launch of a wireless venture called Avogadro.

Avogadro's first-round funding, totaling $7.5 million, was led by Ignition, the wireless-focused venture capital fund headed by former Microsoft luminary Brad Silverberg.

Avogadro's products allow businesses to reach clients and customers on both PCs and wireless devices. With travel information, for instance, people can purchase airline tickets on their desktops and use their handheld computer or mobile phone to check whether flights are on time. The service will also prompt travelers to check their flight or hotel reservations through their cellular phone, handheld PC or desktop computer, depending where they are logged on.

The founders of the Seattle-based company bring considerable experience to the new venture. While at Microsoft, Avogadro CEO Thomas Reardon launched Internet Explorer and helped the software giant define its Internet strategies. John Cordell, president, was one of the original developers of IE and MSN Explorer.

Avogadro chief software engineer Sam McKelvie oversaw the architecture of Windows 95 networking and MSN Messenger, and vice president of engineering Robert Williams engineered Windows 95 dial-up networking.

Their former co-worker and current backer lavished praise on the group. "I've seen them build amazing consumer products and Internet-scale services," Silverberg said in a statement. "They are an incredibly qualified, passionate group."

Other investors in Avogadro include Rob Glaser, founder and CEO of RealNetworks; Arthur van Hoff, co-creator of Java and chief technology officer at Marimba; Max Metral, founder of Firefly and chief technologist at PeoplePC; and Mike Slade, the retired chairman and CEO of Starwave.