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Cisco invests more in Net2Phone venture

The venture, which plans to sell software for Internet-based voice networks, says it raised $25 million in its second round of funding from Cisco and the Softbank Asian Infrastructure fund.

    Cisco Systems has increased its stake in a Net2Phone venture that plans to sell software for Internet-based voice networks.

    Adir VOIP Technologies announced Monday that it raised $25 million in its second round of funding from minority investors Cisco and the Softbank Asian Infrastructure fund.

    Internet telephony company Net2Phone launched Adir last September to sell software for telecommunications service providers to build Internet-based voice networks. The Net2Phone subsidiary has now secured a total of $48 million in funding.

    Cisco, which plans to help market Adir's technology, has targeted Net-based phone calls as one of several emerging but high-growth markets for the company. The networking giant competes against Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks and others in the market for Internet telephony equipment.

    Net2Phone President David Greenblatt said Adir now has the funding to carry out its business plan. The company hopes to release products by the end of the year and launch a worldwide sales and marketing program. Adir's software is the same technology Net2Phone used to build its own Net-based phone network, he said.

    Greenblatt declined to state how big Cisco's stake is in Adir, but said the company remains a minority investor. The Softbank Asian Infrastructure Fund is a private equity fund launched by Softbank in January. First round investors included IDT, a service provider that owns a minority stake in Net2Phone.

    Greenblatt added that Adir plans to nearly triple its work force between now and the end of the year, from 45 to 120 people.