Serial entrepreneur Vijai Karthigesu considers himself a citizen of the world, and the latest location he’s developing a business in is Sydney.
The native of Sri Lanka last year founded his fourth business, Ubique Networks Inc., based it in the Cape Breton city and has ambitious growth plans.
Ubique — pronounced U-bi-quay, it’s the Latin word for “everywhere” — has developed technology that significantly reduces the lag time in online communications, especially in multi-player online games.
The venture capital funds together made eqity investments of $1 million in the company, and Ubique has leveraged that investment into a further $1 million through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Industrial Research Assistance Program, or Irap. Funding from ACOA and Irap are debt and/or grants.
Karthigesu, who is based in Toronto, came up with the idea for Ubique because he has a background working with telecom service providers like Rogers and Bell. He noticed that there is a huge problem with multi-player online games: when players in different parts of the world are playing one another, the system is much faster for the player closest to the server, giving that player an unfair advantage.
“We came up with an idea that will fix the Internet or end this frustration to make the technology better,” said Karthigesu in an interview Tuesday.
“We looked at gaming industry online, which is struggling with the lag and is a very big industry — it’s a big pain for this industry.”
The gaming industry is now worth $15 billion, and more than 700 million people around the world play multiplayer online games or are engaged in e-sports. Ubique said the numbers are growing.
Ubique’s solution is to develop a network of remote servers, so the players are always playing on a server based roughly equal distances from each of them.
It now has servers in Toronto, Seattle and Chicago and is growing the network.
As he was developing plans for the company, he spoke with Jim Deleskie, the CEO of Sydney-based Mimir Networks (formerly Heimdall Networks), who suggested Ubique consider Cape Breton as its base. Karthigesu checked out Sydney and was impressed with the coding talent and support from the community and government programs.
So the company and its five-member development team are now based in Sydney, though the sales team is in Toronto.
Ubique was listed as a regional finalist for Innovacorp’s recent I-3 competition, but had to leave the race once it became apparent that Innvoacorp was considering in equity investment in the startup.
Ubique has so far tested the product and plans in the next three months to roll it out with consumers. The goal in the next year is to prove the product can generate revenue and use that to come up with a larger funding round to grow internationally.
“Our plan is to prove the revenue model and go to the second round of financing to help us go global,” said Karthigesu. “In 12 to 18 months, we hope to be a global company with global customers using the product.”
Disclaimer: Innovacorp is a client of Entrevestor.