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Carmel firm acquired by Silicon Valley company

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A 10-person technology firm in Carmel plans to hire 25 people in the next year after being acquired by a Silicon Valley company.

Anacore Inc., which develops software for touch-screen programs, was purchased last month by Prysm Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based company that makes big-screen video walls that use Anacore’s technology. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

“We are now able to get laser-focused on developing a great product and free of the distractions that come with the other aspects of running and growing this business,” Anacore founder and President Brandon Fischer told IBJ on Monday.

The company started in 1999 under the name Solocorp., a more general custom software developer. One well-known program the company worked on was the original version of ChaCha Search Inc., noted company founder and President Brandon Fischer.

In 2006, the company changed names and soon after unveiled the first of its two main products, MediaStation, for digital signs and interactive kiosks. The NCAA’s Hall of Champions became one of the first major customers. After a fire scorched the building in 2007, the organization installed interactive kiosks with MediaStation as part of the rebuild, Fischer said.

The product has since applied to everything from marketing display for Miller Lite to customer phone call dashboards for The Hillman Group

Anacore, a few years, expanded the touch-screen concept into the much more elaborate Synthesis platform.

The technology goes beyond that of more basic projector displays or smart boards. Touch screens let the users move and alter dozens of documents, charts, videos and other displays. Multiple computers and other mobile devices can plug into the system. And companies can also access a single display from multiple locations, as long as they have the hardware set up.

Anacore sells its Synthesis system as a massive efficiency measure, especially for major clients such as Eli Lilly and Co. that spend hundreds of hours of employees’ time in meetings trying to pull together research. The multi-site capability also eliminates needs for costs of travel and the accompanying downtime, said Darrin Brooks, Anacore’s chief marketing officer.

“You think of the issues. It’s ‘Alright, why are we travelling so much? Because we can’t get work done over distance,’” Brooks said. “So now if we get work done over distance, we start to take that travel out of it, so we can start to leverage that human capital.”

Anacore, whose Synthesis system costs up to $280,000, targets Fortune 500 companies—Lilly, Intel Corp. and Twitter, to name a few—and colleges as large as Columbia University.

“And these customers aren’t just buying one or two systems,” Fischer said. “They’re considering this for massive adoption.”

The acquisition will let Anacore focus on product development and pursue industry-specific products for its customers.

New parent Prysm, which has about 250 employees worldwide, intends to keep Anacore’s Indiana workforce in place—it was something Fischer said he was adamant about during negotiations.

“That’s a center for excellence for us,” said Prysm spokesman Tim Messegee. “Rather than try to reinvest that [in California], we want to build that up.”

The acquisition doesn’t limit Anacore’s technology to only Prysm’s screens. Part of the Indianapolis build up will also mean finding sales people to sell Anacore’s systems for other companies’ hardware.

And the company has grand, nearly futuristic ambitions for the future, in which these systems will appear in people’s homes.

“We’re kind of inventing the future interface,” Fischer said. “In five, 10 years, this could actually be on your living room wall. I don’t know. That’s crazy to think.”

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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