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Starfish Ventures to Accelerate Holly Connects’ Growth Strategy

Sunday, 02 March 2008
Starfish Ventures to Accelerate Holly Connects’ Growth Strategy

CAMBRIDGE, Mass– March 3, 2008: Holly Connects, a leader in next-generation infrastructure for telephony and speech solutions to carriers, hosted service providers and large enterprises, today announced it has completed a major investment by leading venture capital firm, Starfish Ventures, a deal which will fast track the company’s strategic plans to further pursue growth through international expansion.

The investment by Starfish Ventures, a specialist in technology companies, sees the buyout of Holly’s original investors as well as providing additional growth capital to the Company.

Commenting on the deal, Holly Connects’ CEO and co-founder, Lance Berks said: “The commitment by Starfish is more than just financial, it allows Holly and its management team to enhance our capacity to support our quickly expanding customer and partner footprint in North America and Europe. A key goal for organizations today is to lower cost of ownership and drive global strategies for voice self-service. Starfish will help expand Holly’s engineering and product leadership, giving us greater potential to meet these needs.”

Support for this expansion is through the relocation of Holly’s headquarters to Boston, Massachusetts, and an acceleration of its staff investment in both North America and Europe across sales, technical sales, marketing, technical support and project delivery.

“We have increased our product marketing, branding and partner affinity programs for 2008 including additional programs to drive replacement and adoption of next generation voice platforms,” said Mr Berks.

Ivor Frischknecht, Investment Director of Starfish Ventures, said: “We’re focused on making strategic investments in well-managed companies that have significant global growth potential and strong market leadership positions. Holly Connects is one of a select few companies that we back each year. The company will benefit from Starfish Ventures’ assistance in fast tracking its expansion into international markets.”

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to invest in Holly. It is a compelling business with customers including American Express, Telstra, US Airways, Vodafone and West Interactive and we have confidence that it has considerable upside potential through its quickly expanding international business,” said Mr Frischknecht.

About Holly Connects
Holly Connects is an engineering visionary and leader in the development of standards-based, next generation voice platforms for enterprises, carriers and hosted service providers. Following strict adherence to industry standards such as VoiceXML and VoIP the Holly Voice Platform is a leading visionary in Gartner Group’s Magic Quadrant for IVR and Enterprise Voice Portals in 2008. It was also named Next Generation IVR platform leader by Frost & Sullivan and is the only independent platform running large, complex customer deployments world-wide. Holly has deployed thousands of ports and hundreds of applications across six continents into major customer sites including Vodafone, Telstra, and US Airways. Holly customers benefit from strong multi-tenancy features, sophisticated reporting and industry leading speech recognition logging and call recording. For more information, visit www.holly-connects.com.

About Starfish Ventures
Established in 2001, Starfish Ventures is a leading Australian venture capital fund manager committed to building innovative global technology companies. Based on over 80 years of collective venture capital investing, entrepreneurship and technology experience, we understand the challenges of seeding, building and managing high growth technology businesses from an Australian base. Starfish Ventures currently manages over $350 million in investment funds and has made investments in 29 companies to date. These funds are available for investment in technology businesses that possess outstanding management teams, are commercializing innovative technology and are capable of becoming a global or regional market leader. The team's track record includes Australian technology success stories ResMed, Moldflow, Engana and Sirtex Medical. Further information about Starfish Ventures can be found at www.starfishvc.com.