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Crossroads Trades Cash for Tech

Crossroads Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CRDS) and startup
NexQL Corp. did a little Texas two-step this week when the Lone Star State companies entered into a technology development agreement. Crossroads pledged up to $2.5 million in funding to NexQL as part of a deal that calls for joint development of database access solutions.

Crossroads CEO Rob Sims said the company would pursue strategic opportunities in 2004 when the company announced its fourth-quarter earnings earlier this month. Sims made good on that promise a few weeks early.

Although Austin-based Crossroads has never earned a profit and forecasts losses for the current quarter, the company finished last quarter with $31.4 million in cash. Sims is using some of that money in hopes of NexQLs technology helping Crossroads pick up market share.

“We’re becoming more aggressive as we pursue our goal for 2004: maintain, gain, and attain,” he explains. “We’re doing well maintaining, but we’re looking at partnerships to help us gain and attain. We’re going out and funding technologies that will drive our strategy.”

In this case, he’s funding an unproven entity. Little is know about NexQL, a Dallas-based startup, except that it claims to be developing high-volume data access hardware and software. Sims sees enough in the company’s potential that he hails it as a good fit for Crossroads’ family of routers for open-system SANs.

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