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Exclusive: SoftBank Capital closes in on financing round with Kony - sources

By Nadia Damouni

NEW YORK (Reuters) - SoftBank Corp's venture capital arm is close to securing an investment in enterprise mobile company Kony Inc, and could announce a deal as soon as Tuesday, people close to the matter said.

SoftBank Capital is expected to lead the $50 million financing round, Kony's largest to date, with a group of existing and new investors including Insight Venture Partners, Telstra Ventures and Georgian Partners, the sources told Reuters.

“This is an exciting time for the company and we are always looking at different options to build on our leadership in the enterprise mobility market,” said John Joyce, Kony's chief financial officer.Representatives for SoftBank and Insight Venture Partners declined to comment. Representatives for Telstra Ventures and Georgian Partners were not immediately available for comment.

Kony, which was founded by Raj Koneru in 2007, generates nearly $100 million of revenue and is on the path to an initial public offering, one of the sources said on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private.

The Florida-based company calls itself the fastest growing cloud-based mobile application development platform, helping corporations and other clients build apps for smartphones and tablets. It currently serves 20 million mobile app users every day across 45 countries.

Just last year, Kony added 100 new customers including Aetna Inc, Anheuser-Busch, Bayer AG, the Coca-Cola Co, Sirius XM, SunTrust Banks Inc and US Foods Inc [USFOO.UL].

Kony has also spent the last few months building out its executive management bench. It hired Thomas Hogan, former executive vice president of software at Hewlett-Packard Co, as its chief executive officer. Joyce, a former IBM veteran, became its vice chairman and chief financial officer.

SoftBank Capital has been steadily building up its startup investment portfolio, which has included companies in everything from social media to online retail.

The new financing is expected to allow Kony to get closer to profitability and will further expand its presence in Asia, particularly Japan, through SoftBank's connections, one of the people said.

(Reporting by Nadia Damouni; Editing by Edwin Chan and Lisa Shumaker)

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