In 1992 James Douglas raised £400,000 of venture capital from MTI to fund a management buyout of an arm of the electronics giant Siemens that specialised in EDA – electronic design automation (the automated design of computer chips). Success did not come until 1995 when the company launched a software package that allowed microchip designers to test their products to ensure they worked before launching them. Determined to break into the lucrative American market, TransEDA set up an American sales and marketing operation in 1996 and brought in Ellis Smith, a Californian chief executive, to spearhead its sales drive there. The move proved to be so successful that 60% of the company’s sales are now in America. Overall, sales have risen 81% a year, from £529,000 in 1996 to £3.1m in 1999. The Hampshire company floated on the Alternative Investment Market in September, when it was valued at £25.2m.
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