LONDON (Jul. 26)
Fairy tales can come true. Just ask 32-year-old Israeli software engineer Ran Mokady and his wife, Amy, who have become the latest Microsoft multimillionaires.
The couple, who established their own high-tech company, STNC, in the spare room of their home in Britain six years ago, sold it to the U.S. giant this week for an undisclosed sum thought to run into several million dollars.
“Put it this way,” says Mokady. “I’m not complaining.”
Mokady moved to Britain 10 years ago to work for the Cambridge-based Acorn computer company after having worked for one of its distributors in Israel.
In 1993, they decided to gamble on themselves.
“We had very limited funds, some savings and enough money to see us through for a number of months,” he said. “But we had some clients and things went from there.”
The company, which now employs 40 software experts, specializes in developing technology to hook up the Internet to mobile phone networks.
The centerpiece of its success is a kit that allows mobile phones to receive e- mail or browse the World Wide Web.
The company’s big break came with an agreement to supply technology to a consortium of mobile phone companies — Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia — that is backing the next generation of hand-held computers and mobile telecommunications products being made by the British firm Psion.
Chief executive Mokady and his marketing director wife own 70 percent of STNC. The remaining 30 percent is owned by 3i, the venture capital group that put up about $1.5 million in development capital three years ago.
Despite his windfall, Mokady has no plans to retire and will continue working for Microsoft — the name by which his company’s switchboard started answering calls this week.