It seems like every publicly traded tech company around the Beltway has spent the past year diligently preparing to meet the requirements of the new Sarbanes-Oxley financial regulations.
Well, maybe not every company.
Last week Intelidata Technologies Corp., a Reston online banking company, told investors that its accounting procedures aren't exactly airtight. In fact, the firm said its internal controls were lacking because it didn't have the resources or expertise to deal with complex accounting matters, that its process for preparing financial statements was inadequate, that it didn't properly segregate financial duties and that there is "more than a remote likelihood that a material misstatement in our . . . financial statements could occur and would not be prevented or detected."
So Intelidata executives are probably snapping into action to get those issues straightened out, right? Actually, "at this time Intelidata has not devised a plan to address its material weakness," it said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company is in the process of being acquired by Corillian Corp., a Hillsboro, Ore., firm that also provides online banking services. Only if the $20 million deal doesn't go through, Intelidata said in its SEC filing, will it devise a plan to deal with the accounting problems.
Intelidata didn't respond to repeated phone calls, but Corillian officials said the revelations shouldn't quash the deal.
"The due diligence we've done would have uncovered that, and we're moving forward with the merger," said Steve Shaw, a Corillian spokesman. "We hope the Intelidata shareholders approve the deal in August."
Landing nearly $30 million in venture financing is no small feat when most funds still have a few portfolio companies on life support, but Vienna-based RaySat Inc. didn't seem to have much trouble. The start-up company plans to announce today that it received a $27 million capital infusion led by Apax Partners. The round follows a $10 million investment by Benchmark and Seed Partners in November 2003.
RaySat makes satellites that provide high-speed communication services on moving vehicles. Passengers on 70 trains zipping across Europe can tap into wireless Internet connections powered by the company's satellites. And this summer the firm launched a satellite that can bring live television to the back seats of SUVs across the nation. The new product -- a five-inch-tall satellite antenna at sits on the roof of the vehicle -- extends a consumer's traditional satellite TV service to the car.
The company was co-founded by Samer F. Salameh, former chief executive of Prodigy Communications Corp., and Yoel Gat, who previously led Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. The company's television product is now being sold at electronics stores through Audiovox, and the firm is working on installation deals with automakers. Next spring, Salameh said, it will introduce a version of the satellite that also extends high-speed Internet service to cars.
RaySat now has about 140 employees, many of them working to shrink the antenna so that it won't be restricted to SUVs. "Within a year or two, it will become small enough and cheap enough to fit on any car," Salameh said. "Eventually [it] will disappear into the roof of the car itself."
Improving Franco-American relations isn't Gad Tobaly's main focus, exactly, but if his company can help bridge the divide, then so be it. Tobaly, chief executive of InfoVista Corp., a communication software company with headquarters in Herndon, France and Singapore, will ring the Nasdaq Stock Market's closing bell this afternoon, marking the company's 10th anniversary and France's independence.
Tobaly says the company's power center is increasingly shifting to the Herndon office, where he is based and 45 of the firm's 250 employees work. InfoVista first set up a U.S. office in 1998 and held an initial public offering in July 2000.
So what's the significance of the Bastille Day celebration?
"There's absolutely no significance to that. . . . It happens to be our 10th anniversary," Tobaly said. "But if the marketing people want to promote it as Bastille Day, ehhhh, that's okay. I won't veto it."
With a fierce horseshoe competition on one side of the picnic tables and a few coolers of beer on the other, Razorsight Inc.'s soiree seemed more like a family reunion than a technology company's launch party.
And in some ways, it was. Though the Fairfax company -- which was called Nisco Solutions until it changed its name on Monday -- has been around only four years, some of its employees have been working together for more than a decade. In just over a year, the company has grown from 15 employees to 150, including the addition of Charlie Thomas, former chief executive at NET2000 Communications Inc., who took the top spot at the start-up in February. The telecom cost-management industry is a small one, so whole teams that previously worked together at companies like Fairfax-based Vibrant Solutions Inc. were lured away.
"They knew the industry and . . . they hit the ground running," Thomas said. "It's always good from a teamwork, camaraderie and operational standpoint to have people who have worked together in the past."
Last week, Northrop Grumman Corp. named Albert A. Pisani its vice president of information superiority.
"I'm an extraordinary type of guy, so the title fits," Pisani said.
Kidding aside, the appointment is indicative of the defense contractor's push to sell more bits and bytes along with its tanks and warships. Pisani's division is charged with building and protecting government networks and devising systems to push information to the right people at the right time.
"The future of warfare and homeland security is in the field of information intelligence," Pisani said. "In many ways, this really is the future of the corporation."
Ellen McCarthy writes about the local tech scene every Thursday. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.