Charles River Ventures and Battery Ventures Fund Linux Opens Source Desktop Company Ximian

Ximian - Formerly Helix Code - Secures $15 Million in Funding

Boston, MA, January 17, 2001 -- Ximian, the leading open source desktop company (formerly known as Helix Code), today announced it has secured $15 million in funding from Charles River Ventures and Battery Ventures. Formed in late 1999, Ximian is turning the open source desktop into the industry's most collaborative and useful Internet-based tool. Ximian currently has more than 500,000 users, and is a founding member of the GNOME Foundation advisory board which includes such industry leaders as Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and IBM.

Charles River Ventures and Battery Ventures, two early-stage venture capital firms with successful track records in the Internet and communications sectors, are leading this round of funding. The company will use the new funds to continue development and distribution of their flagship Ximian GNOME desktop products and services, and to help accelerate the adoption of Ximian GNOME as a powerful and cost-effective desktop environment.

"Ximian is making dramatic inroads into the exploding open source desktop market," said Ted Dintersmith, general partner for Charles River Ventures. "We're excited to partner with Ximian to help them meet the needs of this marketplace with the innovative and collaborative tools they are already recognized for delivering."

"This investment is a validation of our accomplishments and innovations, and we're proud to partner with Battery and Charles River," said Nat Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ximian. "In addition to the capital, their expertise and experience will help us build a viable business and deliver a desktop that will be as easy to use as Microsoft's Windows and Apple's Mac OS."

"This funding lets us close the gap between free software and proprietary software and bring the best experience to computer users," adds Miguel de Icaza, Ximian's other co-founder and Chief Technology Officer.

The Ximian GNOME Desktop is a graphical user interface (GUI) for Linux and other Unix systems. It installs seamlessly onto a user's desktop, and combines all the power and customization of a Linux or Unix environment, with the ease-of-use and professional polish of a desktop product. Easy to install, support and upgrade, Ximian's GNOME Desktop is a powerful tool for IT departments, and can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of the desktop

"We are proud to partner with Ximian at this exciting phase of their company growth," said Scott Tobin, partner at Battery Ventures. "In addition to being a group of extremely skilled technicians and leaders in the open source desktop world, they share a sense of community with their customer base, and have the commitment and talent to make their vision a reality."

About Ximian

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ximian (formerly Helix Code, Inc.) builds Ximian GNOME, the world's most productive, user-friendly and cost-effective Internet desktop. The company's software adds an attractive and easy-to-use interface to the power of Linux and Unix operating systems. Ximian is pursuing an aggressive plan of open source application development, providing technology, technical support, and network services to the Linux and Unix marketplace. They are a founding member of the GNOME Foundation advisory board. For more information, visit

About Charles River Ventures

Founded in 1970, Charles River Ventures is one of the nation's leading early-stage venture capital firms, dedicated to discovering and guiding the companies that are defining the new economy. Charles River Ventures goes beyond the traditional venture model to provide entrepreneurs with the intellectual capital needed to create category leaders. Through CRVelocity, Charles River provides entrepreneurs with a complete suite of strategic and operational services designed to help them accelerate their visions. Over the past 10 years, Charles River's funds have been ranked among the industry's top performers. This superior investment record includes leading companies such as Be Free, Cascade, Chipcom, CIENA, iBasis, Sonus and Vignette. Charles River Ventures has offices in Boston, MA and Menlo Park, CA and is available online at

About Battery Ventures

Battery Ventures is one of the world's largest venture capital firms specializing in early stage technology investments. With a team of over 50 experienced professionals, Battery leverages its bandwidth, industry expertise, and capital to actively guide emerging technology companies to category dominance. Since 1983, the firm has invested worldwide in over 130 companies across the communications, software and Internet/e-Business industries. From its offices in Wellesley, MA and San Mateo, CA, the partnership manages over $1.8 billion in committed capital. For more information, visit


Ximian is a trademark of Ximian, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Charles River Ventures and CRVelocity are service marks of Charles River Ventures, Inc. Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of other companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.