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Issue Date: September 2006

SA develops first .net framework for non-Windows smartphones

1 September 2006

A young, entrepreneurial South African business, Red Five Labs, has developed technology that will allow Symbian and Windows Mobile smartphones to speak the same language. The technology will meet a need for Microsoft-oriented mobile software developers and looks set to launch in the first quarter of 2007 thanks to a recent venture capital injection from HBD Venture Capital and the Innovation Fund.
Julia Long, CEO of HBD Venture Capital, an independent commercial division of the Shuttleworth Group, said that the incompatibility of smartphone programming languages has long been a headache for developers the world-over. "Currently the majority of software developers use the .NET programming languages but the vast majority of smartphones are based on Symbian and do not support .NET. Red Five Labs' technology changes all of this; removing the need for applications to be rewritten for each type of smartphone.
Left to right: Ela Romanowska, Innovation Fund; Dusan Babich, Red Five Labs and Julia Long, HBD
Left to right: Ela Romanowska, Innovation Fund; Dusan Babich, Red Five Labs and Julia Long, HBD
"Because developers will not have to develop and maintain source code for multiple operating systems the new technology will allow mobile application developers across the globe to cut their investment in development time with immediate benefits to the bottom line. It will work for both existing and new applications and the online nature of the development community will enable a speedy entry to market."
Dusan Babich, co-founder of Red Five Labs said South Africa was an ideal environment in which to develop this technology. "This country provides us with excellent technical people to develop our product and the advanced nature of SA's mobile industry assisted in highlighting the market gap which our product addresses."
Ela Romanowska Innovation Fund's seed fund manager said that Red Five Labs is another great example of South Africa's ability to compete internationally, with a world-first technology platform. "The Innovation Fund is mandated to nurture innovative technologies in order to help create jobs and other economic outcomes for South Africa, and we are delighted to help local entrepreneurs play a role in developing, especially in the information and telecomms sector, where South Africa is a net importer or licensee of technology."
For more information contact Dusan Babich, Red Five Labs, +27 (0) 11 807 4229 or +27 (0) 82 461 0082,

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