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  • Google Snaps Up On2 (10 Comments)

  • Bijective BWT (36 Comments)

    David Scott has written a bijective BWT transform, which brings all the advantages of bijectiveness to BWT based compressors. Among other things, making BWT more suitable for compression-before-encryption and also give (slightly) better compression.

  • Asymmetric Binary System (172 Comments)

    Jarek Duda’s “Asymmetric Binary System” promises to be an alternate to arithmetic coding, having all the advantages, but being much simpler. Matt has coded a PAQ based compressor using ABS for back-end encoding. Update: Andrew Polar has written an alternate implementation of ABS.

  • Precomp: More Compression for your Compressed Files (7 Comments)

    So many of today’s files are already compressed (using old, outdated algorithms) that newer algorithms don’t even get a chance to touch them. Christian Schneider’s Precomp comes to rescue by undoing the harm.

  • On2 Technologies is Hiring (9 Comments)

    There aren’t too many companies working on cutting edge codecs, and of those few this one is hiring. Best of luck.

Infima - The best executed compression fraud

Posted by Sachin Garg on 12th April 2006 | Permanent Link

On April 4th, Nir Halowani, CTO of Infima Technologies announced an Archiver called “Infima - Ultimate Compression” which claimed to achieve best lossless compression on *all* types of data. MP3: 56%, BMP: 96%, JPG: 32%, DOC: 96%, AVI: 65%, PDF: 50%

It created a lot of noise (threads at comp.compression, MaximumCompression Guestbook, HydrogenAudio Forums etc…) and it managed more than 7000 downloads within a few days. There were reports of minor bugs but everyone was amazed by their ‘achievements’. The CTO Nir Halowani was very responsive in the forums and it would have started giving sleepless nights to authors of other archivers.

But thatz just about as far as this fraud was going to go. And admitedly, this is the farthest any data compression fraud has been able to go. There have been many frauds which have captured interests and bagged huge investments from stupid investors, but none of them had come close to convincing anyone knowledgeable in this domain. Infima did managed to get attention and get kudos from everyone, but only for a few days.

The end of their party came on 7th April when Dwing and Johan De Bock figured out that Infima was nothing more than all the major command-line compression tools combined together under a buggy GUI, a massive copyright/gpl violation.

Infima was just command-line versions of a large number of great compression algorithms bundled together (packed and encrypted). Monkey’s Audio Console Front End (v 4.01), Lossless Audio Compressor 0.4b, SBC Archiver 0.970, BMF 1.1, J.Class Optimizer for Windows. Version 1.00, ImageMagick 6.2.4 09/10/05 Q16, UPX 1.93 beta, gzip 1.2.4 Win32 (02 Dec 97), library and tools for JPEG images, DURILCA v.0.4b, Monstrous PPMII compressor based on PPMd var.J, DURILCA v.0.4b, Fast PPMII compressor for textual data, variant J, Feb 16 2006, 7-Zip 4.31, LAME version 4.0 (alpha 14, Sep 25 2005 10:04:14), PAQ 8g, photo PGM(P5) < => BMF file convertor, v.2.0, flasm 1.52 build Sep 30 2004, Word Replacing Transformation, rebuild of WRT, pdftk 1.12, rebuild of Optipng, fCoder Batch Converters, FFmpeg version CVS

All their claims of ‘patent pending’ ‘innovative’ technology are obviously baseless. For compression of already compressed files (mp3, jpeg etc…) they tried a neat (and dangerous) trick of modifying the original files before adding them to archive (so that their lossy techniques wont get caught during bit-wise comparisons of decompressed files with original files).

The download count at their website is still climbing as more poeple are checking out this nicely executed fraud. But as expected, we haven’t heard from Nir Halowani since then.

64 Responses to “Infima - The best executed compression fraud”

  1. Daniel Mido Says:

    I am not sure if it is still relevant or not, but at least on their website there are quite a lot of updates regarding this issue which consist mainly on 3rd party software removal and fix for many bugs related to lossy issues:

    28.4.2006: Infima Archiver 1.15 released which consist on the following:
    Mp3 – All rates are now working (Retain full quality but not bit-to-bit).
    Compression/Decompression speed improvements.
    Fix for Mp3 ID3Tag bug.
    Fix for Compression/Decompression bugs.
    23.4.2006: Infima Archiver 1.14 released which consist on the following:
    Fix AVI RIFF problems – bit-to-bit reconstruction.
    Improvement for compression/decompression speed in most cases.
    Compression improvement for text files.
    Minimized installation package size.
    18.4.2006: Infima Archiver 1.13 released which consist on the following:
    Bug fix for some of the compression/decompression problems.
    No quality loss optimization – used only when optimize source files option is set.
    Fix mp3 decompression problems only for 128kb (Other rates are still lossy).
    Mp3 decompression – not bit-to-bit reconstruction but retains quality.
    Video codec’s are in some cases still lossy (effect quality) – will be fixed soon.
    15.4.2006: Infima Archiver 1.12 released which consist on the following:
    Removed 3rd party software’s.
    Using ImageMagik, VirtualDub and ffmpeg only for sampling purposes.
    Core implementation consists on FAST PAQ implementation + new concept modeling.
    New Installation package.

    Once again I am not an expert but at least with version 1.15 the results are quite good.

    - Daniel Mido

  2. Malcolm Says:

    They are only getting better at hiding the use of third party software. I have also heard that they now embed the Maximum Compression SFC files to allow them to seem to be compressed well while bit identical when decompressed.
    The bottom line is that they are attempting to not only profit from other peoples hard work, but also defraud people by using lossy compression and calling it lossless.

  3. Mohammed Says:

    I think the word must get out about this fraud or else people are going to get hurt in the pocket soon.

  4. TaeBoX Says:

    Make sure you digg this if you read it.

  5. teamaster Says:

  6. Infima - a fraud thats refusing to die? - The Data Compression News Blog - Says:

    [...] For those of you who missed the earlier story (go read it first), Infima 1.0 was nothing more than all the major command-line compression tools combined together under a buggy GUI, a massive copyright/gpl violation. [...]

  7. Mashgin Says:

    Crazy!! I fell for it as well and downloaded the archiver. It crashed twice in 5 runs, and I don’t know what they did to it, but its actually increasing the size of mp3’s and pdf’s I tried it on, instead of decreasing them :p So much for the best compression in the world :-)

  8. GHOST Says:

    So what compression software is the best after all?

  9. Sachin Garg Says:

    There is no absolute answer. Different tools/algorithms are meant for different types of data and at different speeds. Some are propriety and closed while for some support (like zip) is there on all platforms with open specs.

    It depends on what you want to compress, and what is the right balance of speed , compression ratio, and openness/compatibility for you. If you can define your best, I might be able to suggest a few pointers :-)

  10. Vitalie Scurtu Says:

    What is the best compression algorithm for digital sound? Doesn any one know? Even in research? Are there in research some algorithm/method that has best compression ratio?

  11. Peter Milsner Says:

    Compression scams.

    Companies That Have Promoted Fraudulent Compression Scams

    Web Technologies, (1995) – November 1995
    In an announcement that sounded too good to be true, WEB Technologies (Smyrna, GA) claimed it had developed a compression algorithm that could squeeze almost any amount of data to less than 1024 bytes. The company claimed that its DataFiles/16 program could compress files larger than 64 KB to about one-sixteenth their original size. Skeptics said what WEB claimed was impossible, yet BYTE received numerous inquiries from readers, many of whom said they felt obliged to investigate WEB’s claims, however implausible.
    BYTE contacted WEB for a beta version of the software so that we could evaluate it. WEB at first declined to give us the beta, but we said we couldn’t write a story about the product without one. WEB relented and sent us the beta version, which we tested and wrote about in the June 1992 issue.

    Not surprisingly, the beta version of DataFiles/16 that reporter Russ Schnapp tested didn’t work. DataFiles/16 compressed files, but when decompressed, those files bore no resemblance to their originals. WEB said it would send us a version of the program that worked, but we never received it.

    When we attempted to follow up on the story about three months later, the company’s phone had been disconnected. Attempts to reach company officers were also unsuccessful. WEB appears to have compressed itself right off the computing radar screen.

    Pixelon (2000) – Investor loss exceeds $40M

    Pixelon, a beleaguered streaming media start-up, fired most of its remaining employees this week in a desperate attempt to reorganize itself, sources have confirmed.

    The San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based company has come upon tough times after its founder spent more than $12 million on an over-the-top Las Vegas launch party last fall shortly before admitting he was a fugitive of the law.

    Michael Fenne, as the founder was known, surrendered to Virginia authorities last month on charges that he bilked about $1 million from elderly investors in the late 1980s. Fenne, it turned out, was a convicted embezzler named David Stanley. He is in jail awaiting trial on a probation violation in Wise County, Va., authorities said.

    If Pixelon was beset with problems before, publicity of the arrest combined with the wild spending on the glitzy party undoubtedly propelled its downfall, said Russell Reeder, the company’s vice president of product development.

    “There were so many things, but the very bad news about the founder caused some investors who were prepared to back up the company to pull out,” Reeder said.

    Creditors are seeking involuntary bankruptcy of the company to force some kind of payment.

    Yesterday, the company’s remaining 55 employees, including Reeder’s son, Richard, were called into a conference room and told they were being laid off.

    Founded in 1998, Pixelon promised to deliver crisp audio and video clips over the Internet. Advanced Equities of Chicago raised about $30 million to fund the company. Other deals with Sprint and UUNet seemed to set Pixelon on the right course.

    Eventually, however, it became clear that the streaming software was not up to the task of providing live broadcasts over the Internet.

    After Stanley’s arrest, PricewaterhouseCoopers was called in to do an audit of the company to determine, among other things, if embezzlement had occurred. The audit came up clean.

    The senior Reeder and five other managers will continue to work without pay on a restructuring plan that includes filing for Chapter 11 protection while it reorganizes. Hope for survival remains high, Reeder said.

    Zeosync (2002)

    “Reuters is reporting that ZeoSync has announced a breakthrough in data compression that allows for 100:1 lossless compression of random data. If this is true, our bandwidth problems just got a lot smaller (or our streaming video just became a lot clearer)…” This story has been submitted many times due to the astounding claims - Zeosync explicitly claims that they’ve superseded Claude Shannon’s work. The “technical description” from their website is less than impressive. I think the odds of this being true are slim to none, but here you go, math majors and EE’s - something to liven up your drab dull existence today. Update: 01/08 13:18 GMT.

    The ZeoSync Corporation website shutdown (June 3, 2002) after they announced (January 7, 2002) their invention to the world and after they funded (round March 1, 2002 an extra 40 million dollar private stock and the company was already started with 10 million dollar private funding).

    Adam’s Platform Technology (2004)

    The most recent talk of the town in the Australian IT world…….an incredible claim by a bloke named Adam Clark to send video quality image down a dialup telephone line. Media World Communications (ASX: MWC) who owns the rights to this technology otherwise known as Adam’s Platform Technology had ASX listing in sight when it sought to re-list in the ASX by September 2004 to raise a further $7.2 million, apart from the many millions raised earlier from private investors. It was discovered that the incredible claim could not stand to tests by other members of the company

    It was reported in the Financial Review that Adam Clark had used a freely available open source video compression algorithms called On2 VP3 ( by On2 Technologies ( as the basis of his technology and managed to fool the Tolly Group (

    MEDIA RELEASE - 27 January 2005
    Class Action Against Media World Communications
    National law firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman today confirmed that it has filed a class action writ against Media World Communications in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

    The class action represents those investors who lost money in reliance on representations regarding Adams Platform Technology made by Media World, its directors and associated entities, and who instruct Maurice Blackburn Cashman.

    It is alleged in the Statement of Claim that Adam Clark, his companies and others made misleading and deceptive representations to the investors in Media World, and that the prospectus did not contain all of the information that it was required to contain.

    Maurice Blackburn Cashman senior partner Bernard Murphy said Media World predicted that it would achieve 14% penetration of Australian TV households within 5 years of commencing video-on-demand services and would derive annual operating income from those services in Australia of $145 million before launching into the international markets worth more than $127 billion.

    Media World encouraged investment in Adams Platform technology, which it heralded as unique data compression technology that was invented by Adam Clark that would enable full-screen DVD-quality video to be transmitted in real time across standard copper-wire telephone lines.

    “After collecting approximately $35million from investors between 2000 and 2004 Media World announced that the technology did not work even as well as already existing commercially available technology and went into administration.” Mr Murphy said.

    “This is an important case. It is vital to the proper workings of the capital markets that prospectus type documents and presentations made when raising capital are accurate and reliable. Actions of this type play a significant ‘private enforcement’ role to ensure that the law is complied with and that shareholders are properly compensated when wrongs occur.” Mr Murphy said.

    The claim relies on provisions in the Corporations Act, the Trade Practices Act, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act and the Fair Trading Act of Victoria in order to provide a basis for claims that all investors’ funds should be returned with interest.

    In a related matter, an application by the administrator of the Media World companies will be heard by Justice Finkelstein in the Federal Court in Melbourne tomorrow morning at 9.30 am. The administrator has asked the Court to determine whether or not the investors should be declared contingent creditors in the administration of the company.

    IPEX (2006)

    Hyped by LA Trading firms this company briefly reached an 80 million cap value, not without taking investors for $4.2 million. This company now trades from a high of $6 to $0.06. The company was launched by the invesment firms of Ault-Glazer and Strome Securities, both from Los Angeles, California looking to make a quick buck and that they got.

    Millions of shares traded hands in the early stages of this company with the stock soaring from $2 to $6 rapidly, then once the insiders had profited, the company was left to languish leaving most investors high and dry.

    The company’s technology was acquired from Massimo Ballerini, who’s company is called RGB SRL in Milan, Italy. The software is referred to as Luminaxys. A quick Google search of the word “Luminaxys” will show that this software is a shareware program available for 99 euros for enhancing pictures, like thousands of other programs on the market, and it didn’t even win any awards!

    The company makes outrageous claims published in its FORM 8-K dated June 29, 2005, “the company entered into a purchase agreement, dated June 7, 2005, with B Tech Ltd., Massimo Ballerini and Emanuele Boni (the “B Tech Agreement”). Under the B Tech Agreement, the Company purchased certain intellectual property rights including quadratic, circular transform algorithms, codes and formulas for image enhancement, compacting and content protection applications (the “B Tech Assets”). The purchased technology and formulas also include the concept of “floating pixels” versus a frame by frame system and the integration of sound into a digital image to stream live content for wireless systems based on 9,6Kbit/s and to be used on full display screens at less than 64Kbit/s (ISDN).”

    The holy grail - full stream video over a standard phone line using a modem!! We’ve seen this promise for decades, all have failed.

    To date the company has been reduced to a pink sheet status and investors caught in the reality are seeking justice. Last reports showed massive losses, as the company pumped its revenue brokering VoIP minutes for a gross margin less than 3%. No revenues are or will be received from its compression technology. Despite an informal review from the SEC no one is going to jail, pity.

    For those who are looking for the finger print of a compression scam, we’ve outlined the steps below:

    The standard compression scam is executed with the following steps:

    • Visionary develops an astonishing breakthrough in compression.

    • Company announces this amazing breakthrough without any validation, to promote himself and his company (the company has already issued several statements and releases on this technology).

    • Visionary surrounds himself with key names, hires an ex-Qualcomm division president Jerry Beckwith.

    • Makes sure that all management in the company are “in” through issuing stock (all upper management, the BOD and audit committee members have received stock or options from IPEX, or associated companies Digicorp (NASDAQ:DCGO) and/or Patient Safety Technologies (AMEX:PST)).

    • Files patents with major patent firm (though they will never be issued). IPEX is working with Fish & Richardson which is the same company that represented Zeosync (above).

    • Throughout the process, insiders sell off millions of shares pocketing a fortune.

    • Investors spend millions on a triumph of “hope over reality”. The company eventually folds leaving investors holding the bag.

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  13. Andrew Polar Says:

    If Arthur Heiley was alive he would write a new novel called “Smoke and Mirrors” that would be a best seller piece of insider view on technological fraud kitchen.

    Same things are happening in other technologies and in other software development companies. This field is different only because it can be understood by public. holds also some other stories and more details.

  14. George Says:

    It begins with compression softs…and now, why not a burning soft ?

    Look at this, in the News section:

    InfraRecorder is a victim of these same frauders…
    They are calling their soft “Brisk DVD Creator” which is available on this website:

    …website, registred by Mr Nir Halowani…

  15. Sachin Garg Says:

    This is very unfortunate.

  16. den Says:

    What i can’t understand is that when i went on quicksilverscreen via ovgude, i was downloading movies at 700mb which were perfect quality. I put about six movies on a 4.7gb disc and was wondering what type of compression software they use and is it commerically available.

  17. earl colby pottinger Says:

    High compression of video (which is lossy by the way) is done with special code that designed for just that.

    Try Googling DIVX and MPEG-4, this software is for VIDEO compression only (okay sound too). It can not be used to compression other type of data files.

    Remember that detail. It is always possible that a new and better compressor will come out for any one particular type of data but a high level of compression of all types of data using just one compressor is the mark of a con-artist.

  18. Matt Mahoney Says:

    Not only does Infima steal code, now they steal patents.

    The application was filed May 24, 2006. It plagiarizes text from my TR on PAQ6 which I published in 2005.

    They are too stupid to realize that they described the gradient descent mixer I used in PAQ6. It is not based on a neural network, which is how they describe it. In PAQ7 I replaced the mixer with a neural network which works differently from their description.

  19. Sachin Garg Says:

    Now thats too bad (not that the patent review process would find this out, but still ;-)

  20. Shy Zyman Says:

    Matt, before posting any critism on Infima, I believe you should be honest enough to let everyone know you are acting as the Chief Scientist of Ocarina Networks, our competitor.
    We surely oppose the allegations and we are preparing an official response. Shy Zyman, Infima’s CEO

  21. Matt Mahoney Says:

    My TR on PAQ6 and Infima’s patent application were both years before I started working at Ocarina. The patent was just now brought to my attention. I am sure others can read the TR and the patent and see many paragraphs of identical text with no mention of prior art.

  22. Matt Mahoney Says:

    Also, I am not speaking for Ocarina. I published and dated all of my compression code since 2000 to establish prior art, precisely so that none of the algorithms could be patented. I was hired by Ocarina in Sept. 2008.

  23. Waffa Says:

    I have some ISO files (games and software) that are compressed in .rar a way it should not be possible.
    Can anyone please explain how they did it?

    I have 6.8 GB of Game DVD ISO what is compressed to 9.13MB & 12.9MB of size ( smaller one is rar’ed 2 x)
    And 3.7 GB of software DVD ISO file that is compressed to 8.9MB & 9.2MB (smaller one again is rar’d 2 x) - how is this possible?

    I know it is not possible - but they are on my hard drive, i can upload and give link to someone if they are interested. I scanned whit ESET v4 and there was no viruses or anything.

    Here is screen shoot:

  24. Werner Bergmans Says:

    Try to install the application ‘in the ISO’ file. Thrust me, it will be corrupt…

  25. Jason Schroeder Says:

    This from a recent Advanced Equities new fund offering under a differnet name: APEX Clean Tech & Energy Fund—the majority of their investor pitch text below is greatly embellished, if not blatantly riddled with outright false representations to prospective investors.

    “Apex Clean Technology and Energy Fund—Growth and Later Stage Growth Investing

    George Middlemas, Robert Troy and Robert Marassa will present the Apex Clean Tech and Energy Fund, Apex’s 7th, its first Fund devoted to New Energies, Water treatment and Clean Technology.”

    “While Apex has had a successful investing record in Energy and Clean Technology in prior Funds, we believe that the market is now sufficiently robust to warrant a Fund devoted primarily to this sector.”

    As an investor in a prior Robert Troy fund, please check the actual facts behind these statements:

    “Robert Troy (62) is Senior Managing Director of Advanced Equities Inc. an investment bank specializing in late stage financing for high-tech and cleantech companies, Robert most recently represented Advanced Equities Inc. at the board of 10 companies including Altra, Suniva, Cilion, Raza Microelectronic, Turin and Netxen and served as portfolio manager for the firm.”

    Very misleading as Mr. Troy was NOT a voting Board of Directors member—however, did have some “observer” abilities in a few of them.

    “Before joining AEI, Mr. Troy was for 10 years the Founder and Managing Director of Geneva Venture Partners a Silicon Valley based early stage venture capital operation which was the initial seed investor in (NYSE:CRM), Zantaz (Autonomy), Callixa (SAP), Encirq, Tradec (Agile) and NetXen.”

    He was certainly not the founder. He was hired as a recruiter prior to co-founding Geneva Venture Partners, with the actual founder of GenevaGroup. Mr. Troy served as co-Managing Director. Mr. Troy did invest and served on the Boards of Paglo, Network Chemistry, SoftCoin, iPIN, Abazab, and VisiblePath, all of which failed, and closed operations with a total loss of investment—negative return. Another of his picks, NeTXen ceased operations 30 days ago at a substantial loss. Mr. Troy was never the representative investor in, nor did he participate in the firm’s investment in, Callixa, Encirq, Tradec, nor participated in any Board activities—these investments were realized and distributed to LPs from the fund while significantly off-setting Mr. Troy’s investment losses.

    “Mr.Troy was also an early stage investor in AdForce (CMGI), Netgravity, Brixlogic (Diebold), Force10, Motricity and Extricity (Peregrine).”

    Very misleading as Mr. Troy was never a bonfide investor in ANY of these companies, but rather compensated a few shares for recruitment work done through GenevaGroup for Adforce, Netgravity, Force10, Motricity, Extricity. Though he was given a few shares, he never completed his recruitment work at Netgravity nor Extricity. Mr. Troy never received any shares in BrixLogic per BrixLogic’s investor cap table.

    “He is a former entrepreneur who created and led the international development of Verilog SA, a software engineering company which has been acquired by Telesoft and IBM.”

    Mr. Troy “created and led” Verilog to $2M in “international” revenues and approximately $8.5M in debt over a span of 10 years prior to its debt sale through bankruptcy. No investors received ANY returns. Mr. Troy served as a field sales representative for a 12 month severance period in Wash DC following the company’s court administered asset sale.

    Mr. Troy was never a part of the sale transaction of assets to Telesoft. That was initiated and concluded 9 years after his departure.

    “Mr. Troy has a doctor degree in computer science from University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France.”

    No, he does not have a Doctoral degree. It is a considerably lesser degree of which he has exaggerated greatly.

    “He completed The Venture Capital Institute’s certification program of the NVCA (National Venture Capital Association) in 1998.”

    Correct, 4.5 day seminar in Atlanta, GA.

    “Mr. Troy will become Senior Managing Director of the Fund.”

    So, when will the SEC start monitoring and applying licensing requirements to these guys! Here’s the rest of their investor pitch–easy to find the lies….

    “May 5, 2009

    The Fund will invest primarily in the USA and in Europe. Many of the technologies being considered have salubrious implications for the rest of the world. As examples; Clean Coal is very beneficial to China, which is coal rich and will become the world’s largest polluter if there is not developed a way to make bituminous coal cleaner; Solar power is of great benefit to the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia where sunshine is plentiful year round; Technology that exploits natural gas, such as Bloom Energy (although Bloom is fuel agnostic) is of great benefit to Russia and The Middle East, as well as to countries that do not have mature power grids. In addition software companies that will make the grid “smarter” will raise marginal efficiency for energy distribution where there is a power grid.

    Because of our extensive investment experience and the experience of our Advisory Board, we shall add value as Board members and facilitators of joint ventures and other business arrangements. We also expect to offer co-investment rights, where appropriate, to fund investors. In addition, based on past successful investing experience in this area with Advanced Equities, Inc., Kleiner Perkins, NEA, and others, we expect the vast majority of our investments to show these firms as our partners in transactions.

    The Fund is targeting one to two “keystone” investors of $50 Million and several investors in the $10-50 Million range. As stated above, we expect the transactions done by Apex VII to be with strong co-investors, primarily in companies that need later stage or expansion financing and therefore have little technical risk, and in which we can invest such an amount as to obtain Board seats, observation rights, and/ or “control rights” in the round invested. We are targeting rates of return above 20% and would ideally like to have a current return as a feature of any expansion stage investments.

    The Fund Management will be headed by a team of high experienced Venture Capitalists and will be augmented by additional resources in subject matter areas and in later stage transactions as well as experienced Advisory Board Members.

    The Fund currently has a pipeline of deals and is investing in them through Apex VI, which will be fully committed by fall “09.

    Returns and rationale

    The Fund expects the deal hurdle rate to be 20% or above, and to have a higher success rate than a normal venture portfolio because of our emphasis on later stage and expansion stage investing. We expect the investment period to be 4-5 years, but portfolio maturity to shorter than the 6-7 years for early stage investments. For this reason, should there develop an IPO market earlier in the cycle, more of our investments will be liquid than the “normal” portfolio. Investments in this fund should be regarded as providing diversification from stock market risks whilst providing competitive returns over a longer time period. If executed properly, returns should begin in year 4 and remain consistent through the windup of the fund.

    While this fund is medium to long-term in terms of investment horizon, it should be viewed a suitable from a risk point of view for those investors who have extensive knowledge of private investments and their risks. Early redemptions are permissible only at the Fund’s discretion. Retail commitments are set at US$ 5mm and Institutional minimums are US$10mm. Investors will be legally bound to fund capital calls (just in time) for the 4 or 5 year investment period.

    Management fee—For the investment period, 2% per annum; for the remainder of the fund 1.5% per annum.

    George Middlemas (62) is Senior Managing Member of Apex Venture Partners. A venture capitalist since 1979, Mr. Middlemas was a founder of America Online (AOL) and RSA Security (RSAS) as well as Verisign, which was a spinout from RSA. He was also instrumental in the initial financing of Tut Systems, Exodus Communications, Concord Communications, Online Resources (orcc), Purecycle Corp (Water development company) (PCYO), Data Critical Corp. (acquired by GE) and Advanced Equities, Inc. He has most recently led two of the last 3 rounds in Bloom Energy, a cleantech energy company based in California. Mr. Middlemas has an MBA from Harvard Business School, as well as M.A.’s and B.A degrees in History and Political Science. He was past President of the Pennsylvania State University Library Development Board and was a member of the Board of the Board of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago for over 10 years. Mr. Middlemas will become Senior Managing Director of the Fund.

    Robert Troy (62) is Senior Managing Director of Advanced Equities Inc. an investment bank specializing in late stage financing for high-tech and cleantech companies, Robert most recently represented Advanced Equities Inc. at the board of 10 companies including Altra, Suniva, Cilion, Raza Microelectronic, Turin and Netxen and served as portfolio manager for the firm. Before joining AEI, Mr. Troy was for 10 years the Founder and Managing Director of Geneva Venture Partners a Silicon Valley based early stage venture capital operation which was the initial seed investor in (NYSE:CRM), Zantaz (Autonomy), Callixa (SAP), Encirq, Tradec (Agile) and NetXen. Mr.Troy was also an early stage investor in AdForce (CMGI), Netgravity, Brixlogic (Diebold), Force10, Motricity and Extricity (Peregrine). He is a former entrepreneur who created and led the international development of Verilog SA, a software engineering company which has been acquired by Telesoft and IBM. Mr. Troy has a doctor degree in computer science from University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France. He completed The Venture Capital Institute’s certification program of the NVCA (National Venture Capital Association) in 1998. Mr. Troy will become Senior Managing Director of the Fund.

    Robert Marassa (36) is the President of Advanced Equities Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Advanced Equities Inc. in charge of International development. Mr. Marassa has a long and extremely successful track record at raising money for number of Silicon Valley high-tech and cleantech companies. He has extensive relations with strategic investors all over the globe. He will join the fund as a venture partner.

    Wayne Boulais (45) is a Managing Member of the General Partner. Prior to joining Apex in 2000, Wayne was a charter team member of the Marsh & McLennan Capital Communications & Information Fund, as well as a partner at Mercer Management Consulting in the Communications and Information Technology practice. Wayne also gained extensive experience in technical management and engineering development building ASICs, hybrid components and sub-systems for communications systems while at Raytheon Corporation. Wayne holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

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    Jim Johnson (71) founded Apex in 1987 and is a Member of the General Partner. Prior to founding Apex, Jim was one of three founding partners of Knightsbridge Partners, a private investment firm. Knightsbridge sponsored investments in small to medium size companies with excellent growth prospects. Previously, he was associated with Beatrice Foods, serving in a number of positions including CFO of the parent corporation and senior vice president of the $6 billion revenue US Foods operating subsidiary. While at Beatrice, he was active in more than 200 acquisitions and divestitures including Esmark, Tropicana, Culligan, Air Stream Trailers, Coca-Cola Bottling of Los Angeles, and Dannon Yogurt. Jim holds an MBA from Northwestern University and a BA from Loyola University.

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