Three-tier application development company Dynasty Technologies Inc’s IPO heading has been interrupted by two recent bids for its business, one from a hardware company, the other from a large software concern. Both are said to be the result of buy versus build decisions. Dynasty’s crown jewels is its rules-based code generator which is embedded in […]
Three-tier application development company Dynasty Technologies Inc’s IPO heading has been interrupted by two recent bids for its business, one from a hardware company, the other from a large software concern. Both are said to be the result of buy versus build decisions. Dynasty’s crown jewels is its rules-based code generator which is embedded in the Dynasty Development Environment for developing partitioned applications. The company’s spent some four years and $25m-odd venture funding developing the 4GL engine. The technology’s reckoned to be around a year behind where closest rival Forte Software Inc is right now, although some market researchers have said Dynasty could close the gap within 18 months, if it can find a buyer or partner to bankroll it and provide the channels it currently lacks. Industry watchers figure that without such a catch Dynasty’s unlikely to figure as a player in this market like Forte Software or Texas Instruments or Seer Technologies appear destined to be. Gartner Group says Dynasty needs to be doing $150m by 1999 to compete effectively, unachievable without an acquisition or alliance. Whether the company cuts and runs with one of the offers – or a subsequent bid – depends whether its venture backers believe they¦ll get a better return by selling outright now or taking the company to the market in a year or so, or even selling outright then. What’s certain is that any buyer will have to pay big bucks. Other companies in the same technology space do $40m to $50m a year and are growing at 40% or 50%, so even $100m spent would be recouped fairly quickly. Possible suitors include any of the big six service providers, plus vendors such as acquisitive Platinum Technology, Computer Associates, Texas Instruments to Sterling Software. Dynasty’s reckoned to be three years into a four year gameplan laid out by its venture capital backers. The four-year-old Lisle, Illinois-based company¦s garnered $27m from Bank America Ventures, Austin Ventures, St Paul Venture Capital, Frontenac Partners, Marquette Venture Partners, Platinum Venture Partners and William Blair Venture Partners. Dynasty co-founder and chairman Mike Lyons recently stepped aside to allow COO Mike Wilson, formerly of Uniface and veteran of Ingres Corp’s IPO, to take the helm. The history book records Lyons establishing software re-engineering company Catalyst which he sold to Peat Marwick, and subsequently presiding over Case vendor Asyst Technologies, overseeing its merger with Sterling Software. The Dynasty engine is actually based upon an aborted Softlab GmbH repository project which the German Case vendor tried to build using technology from Houston, Texas-based code generation outfit Trimarend. Softlab was a Trimarend OEM, while its parent BMW held a minority stake in the company. Before Lyons acquired Trimarend in 1992 to add into the embryo Dynasty, the company had already received some $10m funding, mostly from cable TV companies. These days Dynasty says Trimarend technology forms the core of its client/server tool. Dynasty claims 78 customers, a handful of them production sites. It counts HP, Tivoli, Tandem and BEA as its strategic partners.