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AVST Closes $10 Million in Series B Funding; Investors Recognize AVST's Prominence in the Evolving Enterprise Communications Market
[September 28, 2004]

AVST Closes $10 Million in Series B Funding; Investors Recognize AVST's Prominence in the Evolving Enterprise Communications Market

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- Sept. 28, 2004 -- Applied Voice & Speech Technologies Inc. (AVST), a leading provider of second generation communications solutions for the enterprise market, today announced further validation of its strength in the market with $10 million in new funding. Ignition Partners led the round with participation from Dolphin Equity Partners. Additionally, existing AVST investors have an option and have expressed a commitment to participate in the B round with an additional $2 million in investments. AVST plans to use the proceeds from this funding to accelerate product development and expand its sales and marketing efforts to support the increased demand for its innovative enterprise communications solutions.



"This is the first institutional round of funding for AVST," said the company's president and CEO, Hardy Myers. "The investment by these two prestigious equity firms as well as the additional committed investment from our existing investors validates our business model and leadership position in the market. The increased capital from this fundraising will enable AVST to further accelerate the development and distribution of our world-class CallXpress(R) communications solution to meet the demands of the rapidly evolving enterprise market."

Catering to businesses and organizations of all sizes, AVST has uniquely combined the strengths of its world-class unified communications platform, CallXpress, with its innovative speech applications platform, Seneca(TM), to create a powerful second generation enterprise communications solution. With many companies seeking to replace their first generation technology over the next 24 to 36 months, CallXpress delivers a best-of-breed solution with its broad integration capabilities, scalability, modularity and extensive feature set including advanced voice messaging, unified messaging, and speech-enabled auto attendant and personal assistant capabilities.


AVST has over 34,000 systems installed worldwide and an impressive list of customers, including many Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, healthcare facilities and government agencies. AVST also has a strong long-term OEM relationship with Ericsson which distributes CallXpress worldwide in 15 languages under the "OneBox(TM)" brand. With strong distribution partners including Verizon's Enterprise Solutions Group, Altura Communication Solutions and Norstan Communications, as well as 150 additional independent resellers worldwide, AVST is poised for rapid growth.

"We choose investment opportunities by identifying businesses that can exploit major technology trends," said Steve Hooper, general partner and one of the founders of Ignition. "There is a large market opportunity for second generation enterprise communications solutions, and AVST, with its world-class CallXpress platform, is well positioned to take advantage of this growing demand."

Cascadia Capital, a national investment bank specializing in the financing of companies in a number of market sectors including information technology and communications, assisted AVST in securing the financing.

About Ignition Partners

Ignition Partners, with headquarters in Bellevue, Wash., is a premier venture capital firm focused on early-stage computing, network infrastructure and telecommunications start-ups in the western United States. Ignition brings together an unparalleled combination of domain focus, technical expertise and operational experience. Ignition's partners are proven business leaders with more than 160 years of combined experience, who have built some of the world's most successful businesses of the last two decades, including Microsoft Windows, McCaw Cellular Communications, AT&T Wireless and Microsoft's enterprise business. For more information, please visit www.ignitionpartners.com.

About Dolphin Equity Partners

Dolphin Equity Partners L.P. (www.dolphinequity.com) specializes in investments in emerging media, communications and related information technology companies operating in the United States and abroad. Located in New York, Dolphin currently manages over $340 million in capital.

About Cascadia Capital

Cascadia Capital (www.cascadiacapital.com) offers corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions, strategic advisory services, and capital market services to companies across North America. Cascadia Capital serves emerging growth and middle market companies, both public and private. The firm focuses on the following sectors: Information Technology, Communications, Security & Defense, Healthcare, and Industrial & Consumer.

About AVST

Applied Voice & Speech Technologies Inc. (AVST) is a leading developer of enterprise communications solutions for businesses of all sizes. Through its world-class unified communications platform, CallXpress(R), and its innovative speech applications module, Seneca(TM), AVST offers the industry's most powerful suite of enterprise communications solutions. AVST's solutions enable direct access to an enterprise's communications infrastructure including voicemail, e-mail and fax messaging from any voice or data device via a touch-tone, GUI or speech interface. Established in September 2003, AVST was formed from the combined businesses of Sound Advantage (established in 1997) and the CallXpress division (established in 1982) of Captaris Inc.

With headquarters in Orange County, Calif., AVST maintains facilities in Bellevue and the United Kingdom and has remote sales offices across the United States. With over 34,000 systems installed worldwide, AVST's communications solutions are sold and supported internationally by an extensive network of resellers and OEM partners. For more information contact Denny Michael, VP of marketing at 949-699-2300 or access the company's Web site at www.avstgroup.com.

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