London, 14 July 2005: Quester, one of the UK's leading independent venture capital groups, has invested Â£2 million in Level Four Software Limited [âLevel Fourâ], an independent software company which supplies advanced software products for the testing and development of ATM services to major banks and financial institutions worldwide. The capital will be used to accelerate the companyâs development activities and to support its global expansion plans. Quester is the sole investor in the investment round.
Level Four's key offering is the ATM Channel Development Suite, a comprehensive suite of integrated modules that enable rapid deployment of new ATM functionality and end-to-end testing of ATM networks. The capital injected by Quester will enable the company to consolidate its position as the de facto industry standard for ATM testing; helping customers worldwide to safely deploy new open standards-based ATM applications.
Henry Sallitt, director at Quester, commented: "The next five years will be an exciting period of change in the ATM industry, with the market for ATM services at a pivotal point in its development. To date, ATM software has been proprietary, inflexible, time-consuming and expensive to deploy. With increasing pressure from the banking sector to support the move to open standards, there is now a clear market opening for a more modern approach to developing and deploying new ATM applications. We believe that the combination of Level Fourâs innovative technology and its highly experienced management team will enable the company to fill that space." Henry Sallitt will join Level Fourâs board of directors.
Level Four has extensive expertise in the ATM environment and has gained in-depth knowledge of the issues surrounding migration to the EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) chip card standard, as a result of delivering testing and simulation software to its customers worldwide for more than ten years. The company's tools are unique in their target market in that they provide a full test harness for any Windows-based ATM application, supporting live ATM software as opposed to an ATM simulation. This desktop test harness can be connected to a central switching system just like a real ATM. These products are currently unmatched in the market by either ATM manufacturers or other test tool vendors.
"Open standards, such as IFX, are creating radical new technical and business models within our industry, while the market opportunity for ATM and branch terminal software is rapidly evolving, fuelled in part by the introduction of high bandwidth communications," said Nigel Walsh, chairman of Level Four Software. "This strategic investment by Quester comes at an important stage in the development of this sector, as new web-based technologies and distributed architectures look set to replace the legacy onboard applications provided by ATM manufacturers in the past.
"We are delighted to receive Quester's backing to help us achieve our full potential. This investment is a strong endorsement of our technology and people, and we are delighted to be working with them in our mission to become the market leader in this area."