Motorola Adds 'Mobility’ Startup

Keeping up a year-old buying binge, Motorola plans to acquire privately held Leapstone Systems, a developer of software for delivering bundled video, voice and data services across multiple networks.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Leapstone would be the third company Motorola’s Home & Networks Mobility group has acquired this year — after Terayon Communication Systems and Modulus Video — and its seventh in a year.

The move helps explain the “mobility” part of the new moniker for Motorola’s video and broadband group (formerly known as Connected Home Solutions).

Leapstone’s customers include Verizon Wireless and AT&T, which uses its technology as part of delivering U-verse TV. The Communications Convergence Engine (CCE) product suite provides content-management and multimedia-service delivery for both fixed and wireless operators.

Essentially, the Leapstone system provides a centralized management platform to “bridge content coming from a wide variety of providers and a wide variety of formats and deliver that to consumers,” said Geoff Roman, chief strategy officer for Motorola’s Home and Networks Mobility business unit.

“Our top-level acquisition thesis has been to develop the strategy of seamless mobility,” he added.

Roman said Leapstone’s CCE can, for example, manage content delivered via Motorola’s Broadbus video-on-demand servers, its video-encoding platforms or third-party components.

Leapstone said CCE is “aligned” with the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) framework standard and can support IPTV, voice over IP, high-speed Internet and converged fixed-mobile services.

Based in Somerset, N.J., Leapstone has 75 employees, all expected to join Motorola.

Motorola said the acquisition — subject to usual closing conditions, including the approval of Leapstone’s shareholders — is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2007.

Investors in Leapstone, founded in 2001, include Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Oak Investment Partners, Mayfield, Soros Private Equity Partners, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Redwood Venture Partners.