Founded in 1999 and sold in 2000, Extensibility took maximum advantage of a limited window of opportunity and became an early-stage success story for the Research Triangle. The companys technology is used to design XML schemas to enable businesses to create and exchange digital documents and to validate electronic commerce transactions into their own products.
When the company was founded, industry insiders understood that XML was becoming the new universal standard. They recognized that the language would certainly be used, but that very few companies were using it at the time the company was creating tools that enabled businesses to use the cutting-edge technology just as the power of the language was becoming apparent.
The investment community was similarly interested when the company went in search of its first round of financing in 1999, Extensibility fielded offers from several groups of investors eager to fund the company.
Intersouth had met the company’s founders, CEO Reid Conrad and CTO Lee Buck, before they began looking for capital. The company had an experienced, well-balanced management team with a technical founding group and a CEO focused on sales and marketing. Intersouth funded the company with a .7 million round in late 1999 and Mitch Mumma joined the company’s board of directors.
As Extensibility began talking to customers about its technology, company executives realized the scope of the market they had tapped. Beyond wanting to purchase Extensibility’s products, many clients expressed interest in acquiring the company outright.
The Intersouth team, led by Mumma, helped the company through its strategic process, considering acquisition offers and balancing them with the growth of the company. In the summer of 2000, another potential customer, Tibco Software, offered to acquire Extensibility in a deal valued at $100 million. This offer provided the company with a true strategic partner, setting the stage for the next evolutionary step of XML with a partnership that would enable both company’s customers to build robust electronic commerce businesses.