FIRECOMMS ANNOUNCES A FUNDING ROUND OF €9.6 MILLION
Cork, Ireland — April 28, 2006 — Firecomms Ltd., a leading compound semiconductor company that develops high-speed light sources in visible range wavelengths, today announced that it has closed a €9.6 million investment deal with new and existing shareholders.
Firecomms' unique technology provides its key customers with a major competitive advantage in high-volume consumer electronics, including handheld devices, cell phones, personal computers and laptops. This same technology also is the foundation for critical solutions in the home networking and automotive markets.
The company’s world-class photonics communications products are revolutionizing the consumer electronics market by using visible light to enable high-speed optical data transmission and capture. With a market presence in Europe, Japan and the U.S., Firecomms leads the development of devices to drive Plastic Optical Fiber, a low-cost optical alternative to copper cabling in a wide range of applications.
Two new investors have joined the company: ACT Venture Capital of Dublin, and Alps Electric North America, an important strategic investor and key customer for Firecomms. Atlantic Bridge Ventures, the company’s anchor investor since its foundation, also invested in this round and remains fully committed to Firecomms.
This investment will enable Firecomms to increase production of its proprietary semiconductor VCSEL devices, and of the company’s newly released fiber optic devices, which include high-speed fiber optic transceivers used in consumer devices and networks, and an automotive-grade fiber optic transceiver for in-car infotainment systems. This funding also will support the expansion of Firecomms’ product line, sales and marketing fulfillment, and support activities throughout its markets.
"Firecomms’ revolutionary semiconductor light sources open a wide spectrum of applications in which Alps has significant interest," says Steve Runnion, CEO of Alps Electric North America.
Says John O’Sullivan, partner at ACT Venture Capital, "We are excited to be involved with Firecomms at this time as the company builds on its technology lead with major customers in networking and sensing applications."
Brian Long, CEO of Atlantic Bridge Ventures, adds, "We are delighted with the progress Firecomms continues to make with strategic customers particularly in high-volume consumer and automotive markets. We believe the company’s unique optical technology combined with its experienced management team positions it for very significant growth in the next few years."
"We’re delighted to have such solid resources behind the company," states Firecomms CEO Declan O’Mahoney. "This additional funding and new investors will enable us to take advantage of many high revenue opportunities in the giant consumer electronics and automotive markets."
About Firecomms Ltd.
Firecomms, a compound semiconductor company, develops high-speed light sources in visible range wavelengths. Firecomms’ lasers and LEDs provide the groundwork that will revolutionize optical data communications for small area networks, such as in-car networks and home networks. Firecomms’ low power visible lasers unleash the potential for advances in medical devices, barcode scanners, and optical storage devices.
Additional information about Firecomms is available at www.firecomms.com.
About ACT Venture Capital
ACT Venture Capital is Ireland's leading venture capital firm. Founded as an independent operation in 1994, ACT has completed over 70 investments, principally in technologybased companies serving global markets.
ACT takes a stage diversified approach to investing in exceptional companies operating in Information & Communications Technology, Internet & Media, Life Sciences and the Development Capital sector.
ACT has over €350 million under management sourced from leading American, European, Irish, and UK institutions. The company provides capital to high potential companies located within Ireland, the UK and Europe in the range of €1 million to €15 million. Further information about ACT Venture Capital is available at www.actventure.com.
About Alps Electric Co. Ltd.
Alps Electric Co. Ltd. is a Japanese corporation that has manufactured various electronic components since its foundation in 1948. Based on innovative proprietary technology and market outlook, the company provides cutting-edge electronic components that contribute to the advancement of a multimedia society in five key areas; namely, Magnetic Devices, Communication Devices, Peripheral Products, Mechatronic Devices, and Automotive Electronics. Alps’ global activities strive to create partnerships with customers, countries and regions throughout the world. The Alps group includes mobile electronics manufacturer Alpine Electronics and Alps Logistics, a specialized electronic component distribution company.
More information about Alps Electric is available at www.alps.com.
About Atlantic Bridge Ventures
Atlantic Bridge Ventures is a new pan-European fund with offices in Dublin and London focused on making early- and mid-stage technology investments in semiconductors and software across Europe with a strong focus on a US exit model. Atlantic Bridge is comprised of a cohesive, dedicated team of experienced professionals who are committed to the success of the investee companies. The company’s team members come from an industry background and have first-hand experience of the challenges involved in growing technology companies from the start-up stage into profitable businesses. Many of these companies had successful exits either on the public markets or through trade sale.
Additional information about Atlantic Bridge, which is regulated by the FSA, is available at www.abven.com.
OptoLock is a registered trademark of Firecomms Ltd.