LOUVAIN-LA-NEUVE, Belgium, January 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
VIVES - Louvain Technology Fund, managed by Sopartec S.A., together with CDC Entreprises, Iris Capital and early investors of the company among which Inovam (IRD Group), announce an investment in DelfMEMS, a developer of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems) switching solutions for applications in the RadioFrequency (RF) communication field. The funding of €8.2M ($10.5M) will enable DelfMEMS to accelerate the industrialisation of its products.
IEMN spin-off. Established in late 2005 in Villeneuve d'Ascq near Lille (France), DelfMEMS is a provider of RF switches based on MEMS technology. The company is an IEMN spin-off (Institute of Electronics, Microelectronics and Nanotechnology), a joint research unit involving the CNRS and three higher education institutions in the region Nord Pas-de-Calais.
Revolutionary chip for mobile phones. Since its inception, the company has perfected a particular family of integrated MEMS relay (miniature switches) from its innovative patent portfolio and targeted to "front end modules" for next generation mobile devices, smartphones or tablets. "This new micro-mechanical block, which solves the weaknesses and improve performance of previous generations of competing products, enables our customers to simplify their products while minimizing cost, size and power consumption," said Olivier Millet founder of DelfMEMS.
International expansion. « These funds will enable us to qualify first design wins and DelfMEMS manufacturing process with our partner for high volume manufacturing entity in the USA. The goal is to support the aggressive production ramp-up of our customers to penetrate the market, in order to become a major player in the RF MEMS market ». DelfMEMS is currently engaged with the leaders of equipment for mobile applications and is also targeting other high added value applications.
Scientific collaboration with Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). "I have close relationship with DelfMEMS since its inception, including participating in the Scientific Committee, and my lab collaborates regularly with the company. I am particularly pleased with the success of this fundraising which should help the company to translate its technical and scientific excellence into industrial success. This is also an opportunity to nurture collaborative between UCL and DelfMEMS, especially through the UCL WELCOME and WINFAB platforms "said Jean-Pierre Raskin, professor at UCL.
First VIVES cross-border investment. « With this first investment in France, VIVES materializes its ambition to become a cross-border fund for young technology companies. We are pleased to support the company in this new phase of its development and are looking forward to encouraging cross-fertilization with UCL ecosystem » concludes Philippe Durieux, CEO Sopartec, the management company of VIVES - Louvain Technology Fund.
DelfMEMS (http://www.delfmems.com) develops radio frequency switches based on MEMS technology. Its customers are manufacturers of automatic test equipment, manufacturers of RF front-end modules, semiconductor and telecommunication infrastructure industry, etc.. DelfMEMS allows them to increase their productivity and reduce costs.
About VIVES and Sopartec
VIVES - Louvain Technology Fund (http://www.vivesfund.com) is a cross-border private technology fund that invests in spin-offs from Université catholique de Louvain (UCL, http://www.uclouvain.be) as well as in technological start-ups. VIVES is a multi-sectorial fund with particular emphasis on eco-innovation projects. VIVES invests in companies at all stages of maturity: seed, start-up and growth. Created at the initiative of UCL in September 2011, VIVES closed its 1st financing round at € 43 million, making it the largest European investment fund ever initiated by a university.
VIVES is managed by Sopartec (http://www.sopartec.com), UCL´s technology transfer company and a member of the Louvain Technology Transfer Office (LTTO, http://www.ltto.com). Since more than 20 years, UCL, Sopartec and the VIVES fund have supported the creation of more than 60 spin-offs and start-ups, which currently employ over 3.000 people. VIVES is capitalised by leading national and European investors such as the European Investment Fund (EIF), SFPI-FPIM, Fortis Private Equity Belgium, CDC Entreprises (France), ING Belgium, Sofina, AXA Belgium, Belfius Bank, IRD (France), Nivelinvest, but also by Sopartec and its management team.
About Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Founded in 1425, the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL, http://www.uclouvain.be) is one of Europe´s oldest universities. It offers hundreds of educational programmes to more than 27,000 students from some 120 countries. UCL is ranked 125th in the QS World University Rankings (2011-2012), making it the number one university in the French Community of Belgium. Education, Research and Service to Society are the three fundamental missions of UCL. Anchored in a tradition of excellence, they have always opened up UCL to its region, Europe and the world.
About CDC Entreprises
CDC Entreprises is a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts (France) and one of the shareholders of Vives - Louvain Technology Fund. FSN PME is an investment fund dedicated dedicated to innovative SMEs, initiated by the French State through its Long Term Investment Program (Programme d'investissement d'Avenir) and managed by CDC Entreprises. This 400 M€ fund co-invest in SME's with strong innovation and growth profile, developing new usages, services and digital contents or technologies necessary to digital economy expansion.
About Iris Capital
Iris Capital (http://www.iriscapital.com) is a pan-European venture capital fund manager specializing in digital economy. Since its inception in 1986, the Iris Capital team has invested more than €900 million in more than 200 companies. Iris Capital targets opportunities in service or technology companies, seeking growth capital in order to realize their strategy. It provides active support to its portfolio companies on the basis of its strong sector specialization and experience, and has offices in Paris, Düsseldorf, San Francisco, Montreal, Riyadh, Dubai, Beijing and Tokyo. In 2012 Iris Capital has entered into a strategic partnership with Orange and Publicis to manage their joint venture capital initiative.
About Inovam and IRD group
Inovam is a regional seed capital that invests in early-stage growth companies in the North of France. Inovam invests in the sectors of information technology (hardware and software), security, telecommunications, microelectronics, cleantechs and life sciences. Inovam provides supports for companies via the IRD group (http://www.irdnpdc.fr) network of entrepreneurs. The deal flow of Inovam is ensured by the universities as well as by technological start-ups located in the North of France; Inovam is capitalised with € 10M by the following partners: IRD group; Conseil regional Npdc; Caisse d'Epargne; PRES; FPMEI-FCPR (CDC) et CRCI. Since its creation, Inovam has invested 6 ME into 41 companies. IRD is one of the shareholders of Vives - Louvain Technology Fund.