AXA Innovation Fund Takes Equity Position in Rising Linux Start-Up, MandrakeSoft

PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 24, 1999--MandrakeSoft, publisher of the popular Linux-Mandrake operating system, today announced that the Investment Fund of AXA, AXA Placement Innovation, took an equity position in the company to fuel its aggressive growth.

AXA Placement Innovation specializes in financing promising high tech companies.

"We believe that MandrakeSoft is poised to be a dominant player in the emerging but potentially huge Linux market," said Peter Bieliczky from AXA Investment Managers Group. "MandrakeSoft has evolved very quickly since its inception a few months ago and we are strong believers in the Linux-Mandrake strategy and team."

"We feel pretty excited about this investment that means a recognition of our strategy by a world class investor, and will help us keeping our pace of expansion," said Jacques Le Marois, president, MandrakeSoft. "We now have the fuel to finance even more open-source projects and consolidate our position as one of the major Linux distribution players."

About Linux-Mandrake

Linux-Mandrake is a user friendly Linux operating system that can be used at home or in the office. Linux-Mandrake won two awards at LinuxWorld Expo in August 99 for Best Product of the Year and Best Linux Distribution/Server, and was a finalist for the Linux Distribution/Client Award.

Linux-Mandrake 6.0 features the "Mandrake touch," MandrakeSoft's signature graphical interfaces that give users selected desktop icons including easy CD-Rom and floppy disk access and easy Internet upgrades using the "Mandrake Update" icon. It also features Pentium optimization with performance enhancement from 5 to 30%, scalable font support and KDE/Gnome. LinuxMall, the largest online reseller of Linux products, reports that Linux-Mandrake was its best selling product in July.

About AXA

With assets under management valued at nearly US$ 655 billion and earnings of US$ 1.7 billion in 1998, AXA is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers.

About MandrakeSoft

Founded in 1998 on the Internet, MandrakeSoft publishes the user friendly and popular open-source Linux-Mandrake operating system, which is compatible with the leading Red Hat Linux(TM) distribution. MandrakeSoft is headquartered in both Europe (France), and the U.S., with offices in Germany. MandrakeSoft signed a strategic partnership with MacMillan, and today, Linux-Mandrake counts thousands of contributors around the world.

MandrakeSoft is the originator of several other innovative Open Source cooperative projects that focus on ease of use, including HardDrake, an automatic hardware configuration, Linux4Windows, which allows users to install and use Linux directly on top of a Windows directory, and the DiskDrake hard-drive partitioning tool. For more information on Linux-Mandrake and additional products, please visit us at

Note to Editors: Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Mandrake and Linux-Mandrake are registered trademarks of MandrakeSoft. All other trademarks and copyrights are owned by their respective companies.