Industry Archives: Electronics

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Qualcomm Invests $40M In Four Chinese Startups And Walden International’s New Fund

TechCrunch

Qualcomm this summer announced plans to invest $150 million in Chinese startups, and it has cracked that new fund open to put $40 million into five different organizations in the country, including voice recognition startup Unisound and games development firm Chukong.
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Samsung Ventures Leads $17M Round In Lithium-Polymer Battery Maker Seeo

TechCrunch

Seeo, a Hayward, California-based company that makes lithium-polymer batteries, has closed a $17M round led by new investor Samsung Ventures, the investment arm of Samsung Group. Existing investors Khosla Ventures and GSR Ventures also participated. This brings the total Seeo has raised so far to $40.6 million.
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Revel Systems Raises $100M To Grow Its iPad Point-Of-Sale Business, Sets Sights On IPO

TechCrunch
iPad-based point-of-sale platform maker Revel Systems has raised $100 million in a Series C round of funding, multiplying the startup’s existing funding raise by almost a factor of ten. The new funding comes from NYC private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, along with some select strategic investors, and includes both an up-front $65 million investment from WCAS itself, as well as $25 million in an equity line. As part of the deal, Revel will take on its first external board member, adding Sanjay Swani, WCAS general partner.

The big Revel raise marks the beginning of a period of aggressive hiring and expansion, company co-founders (and the only previous board members before this round) Lisa Falzone and Chris Ciabarra told me. Their company has close to 10,000 terminals deployed and in active use, employs 200 people and is already break-even in terms of annual financials. This new funding will help it

“We’re expanding globally, and in the U.S. also of course,” Ciabarra said. “We’re gonna be taking over Europe as our next battle.”
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Entrepreneur, 13, gets Intel funding for low-cost Braille printer

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Nov 4 (Reuters) – If Shubham Banerjee cannot lay claim to being the world’s youngest venture capital-backed entrepreneur, he comes very close.

Banerjee was 12 years old when he closed an early-stage funding round with Intel Capital, the company’s venture capital arm, last month for his prototype for a low-cost Braille printer. Since then, the San Jose, California middle-schooler has turned 13.

That’s young, even by the standards of Silicon Valley, where many venture capitalists unapologetically prefer to fund youth over experience.

Young entrepreneurs usually have reached at least their mid-teens when they hit it big. Nick D’Aloisio, founder of online news aggregator Summly, was 17 when Yahoo bought his company last year for $30 million.

Brothers John and Patrick Collison, behind payments service Stripe, were 16 and 19 when they sold an earlier business to a Canadian company for $5 million.

After reading a fundraising flyer about the blind, Banerjee felt inspired to turn a high-tech version of Legos, the toy building blocks, into a device that could print in Braille. One day, he wants to mass-produce the printers and sell them for about $350, far less than Braille printers cost now.

This past summer, he worked on incorporating an Intel Edison chip, a processor aimed at hobbyists, into the printer. In September, Intel invited him to a conference in India to highlight uses for Edison. There, he got a big surprise.

Intel executive Mike Bell announced from the conference stage that the giant chipmaker would invest in his company, Braigo Labs. Until then, his funding consisted of the $35,000 his parents gave him.

“I turned back to my dad, and said, ‘What did he just say?'” Banerjee recalled. “I was all over the place.”

Banerjee and a spokesman for Intel Capital declined to disclose the size of the investment. A person familiar with the matter said it was a few hundred thousand dollars. He plans to use it to build a better prototype of the printer and test it with more groups for the blind.

After the announcement, Banerjee had to bone up on unfamiliar terms such as “venture capital.”

He also needed to convince adults to co-sign his funding and patent documents. Among the company officials he turned to: Braigo’s president, his mom, Malini.

Banerjee says he gets mostly As and Bs as a student at the Champion School in San Jose, California. Teachers have given him time off to attend events like the conference in India and the Intel Global Capital summit this week in Huntington Beach, California. He catches up on school work on weekends, he says.

This is the second Intel investment connected to the Banerjee family. His dad, Neil, works for Kno, an education start-up that Intel bought last year.

While many young entrepreneurs who win venture-capital cash end up ditching their education to focus on their businesses full time, Banerjee says he won’t take that path.

“It’s an after-school thing,” he says.

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Fuel3D Bags Another $6.4M For Its 3D Scanner Tech As It Eyes New Verticals

TechCrunch
What’s a 3D scanner for? More than just providing source material for 3D printers, reckons Fuel3D, an Oxford University spin-out that last year Kickstarted a consumer-grade, high-resolution handheld 3D scanner.

Today it’s announcing a $6.4 million expansion round of funding, led by Chimera Partners, which it dubs a “pre-IPO round” — having previously penciled in early 2015 for an initial public offering. The funding will be used to scale up the application of its tech.

Fuel3D pulled in $300,000 last year via Kickstarter before going on to secure $2.6 million in early stage VC financing. It also bagged a $1.1 million development contract to broaden the applications of its 3D tech, focusing on medical imaging.
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Apple Acquires Power Efficient LED Tech Company LuxVue

TechCrunch May 2, 2014
Apple has acquired LuxVue Technology, a stealthy company that had been working on micro-LED, screen technologies, we’ve heard from sources close to the transaction. The company had raised $43 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins, iD Ventures America and others. Apple has given us a statement which reads “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” which is as close to a conformation as the company usually gives on acquisitions.

LuxVue had managed to remain fairly quiet over the past few years, and what we know is that the company develops low-power, micro-LED-based displays for consumer electronics. We’ve heard Apple acquired the company to add to its hardware innovations area.
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Russian TV gear maker acquires Portuguese IT assets, eyes new markets

East-West Digital News April 3, 2014
GS Group, a St. Petersburg-based industrial holding with vested interests in telecommunications, has bought into Novabase, the leading IT player in Portugal, and is paving the way for a major expansion in Western Europe and Africa.
The sizable Russian manufacturer of TV receivers and software for TV operators announced earlier this week that it had completely taken over Novabase Digital TV EURL and DTV Research and also acquired 49% of Novabase Digital TV in a €5 million deal.
GS hopes the move will open the Novabase markets for Russian chips manufactured at the holding’s flagship asset, GS Nanotech, in Russia’s westernmost enclave of Kaliningrad. The Russian company underscored that its chips are based on its proprietary SiP (system-in-package) technology.
In addition to taking its own SiP technology to yet-untapped markets from Britain to Mozambique, the investor expects the Portuguese company to move its chip production from Asian countries (predominantly China) to Russia’s Kaliningrad, thus helping GS Group extend its product line.
An expert in digital TV products and services and a major European systems integrator, Novabase is present in 40 countries, all areas of interest for the Russian holding, GS pointed out in its press release.
This story first appeared in East-West Digital News, a leading online resource on Russian digital industries.

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Grishin Robotics invests in Californian startup to “create a fresh approach to music.”

East-West Digital News
Yesterday Boombotix, a San Francisco-based startup developing audio hardware and software, announced a $4 million strategic investment from existing and new investors. Among them is Grishin Robotics, a venture fund launched in 2012 by Mail.ru Group’s CEO Dmitry Grishin. Continue Reading →

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Boombotix Raises $4M For Its Wearable Action Speakers And Audio Sync Software

TechCrunch
Kickstarter funding will often lead to the more traditional kind, and in the case of Boombotix, that’s exactly what happened. The California startup raised $17,000 for its music syncing app, which allows people to synchronize playback of music across multiple devices using mobile networks, and nearly $130,000 for its Boombot Rex mobile Bluetooth action-ready portable speaker. Continue Reading →

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Slovenia agrees second selloff for reported $25 mln

LJUBLJANA, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Slovenia has sold the second public company from a list of 15 state assets slated for privatisation for a reported 18 million euros ($25 million), as part of efforts to revive its economy after narrowly avoiding an EU/IMF bailout last year. Continue Reading →

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