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Quios looks to extend global reach

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An Internet startup which acts as a channel to send SMS messages to 400,000 users says the firm is ready to sign a series of deals with a number of different content providers. Marc Vanlerberghe, CEO of Quios, said today that his firm, which got its second round of financing this year, provides instant messaging, communities and mobile email addresses to a large number of individuals across Europe, Asia and the US, using over 150 carries to route the calls. Two days ago, said Vanlerberghe, his firm signed a deal to provide slashdot.org to his geekish customers who use his Web page. The firm is looking to strike similar deals with others over the next weeks and months. Vanlerberghe said that his company was initially funded by the Flanders Valley consortium, initiated by Lernout and Hauspie last year, but that the second round of financing, more recently, included Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins. He admitted that the lion's share of Quios' users - 70 per cent - came from Europe, and that US users were reluctant to adopt the short messaging system (SMS). Most people who do use that service are aged between 17-24 he said. For these and other reasons, Quios will look to extend its reach into the consumer rather than the business markets, he said. The three types of partners he was trying to find are co-branding, content like Slashdot, and services including auction and travel. ®

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