Icera closes $20M investment from 3i
Bristol, UK, 16 October 2006. Icera Inc., the cellular wireless semiconductor company, today announced that 3i has invested $20M in the company as an extension to its recent series C funding round, which now totals $60M. World leading venture capital firm, 3i joins a strong investor group comprising Benchmark Capital Europe, Atlas Venture, Accel Partners and Amadeus Capital Partners. Icera has now attracted over $100M in venture funding since it was founded in 2002.
The new funding reinforces Icera's strong, long-term financial standing and positions Icera to execute on its expansion strategy and to establish leadership in the cellular wireless market.
Icera's technology - the Livanto® wireless soft modem - is a disruptive new architecture for mobile phones and datacards. Together with Icera's Adaptive WirelessT software, Livanto® delivers the world's highest performance cellular broadband via the latest version of the 3G air interface standard, HSDPA, enabling consumers to download large email files with attachments, speedily access web pages and download music tracks onto media players over the air in seconds. Already supporting 2.5G standards, GSM, GPRS and EDGE, Livanto® will be developed for additional air interfaces, including HSUPA, WiMAX and Mobile Digital Video, which can be consolidated on the same device.
Stan Boland, President and CEO of Icera, said: "We're very pleased that 3i has made this substantial investment in Icera and excited they recognize that the baseband modem is the technology pivotal to mobile phones. 3i has an excellent track record as an investor in early-stage companies and in helping them to become huge successes, the most recent example being CSR. With their expertise in private equity, as well as in venture capital, we also have more capability to consider developing our business plans inorganically and to leverage our technology into creating a large, successful wireless chipset and software company."
Laurence Garrett, the 3i partner joining the Icera board, added: "We have known Icera for some time and it's a pleasure for us to be joining this strong VC syndicate in backing Icera's superb management team. From our experience in the wireless semiconductor market, via investments like TTPCom, UbiNetics and DiBcom, we believe that Icera is already amongst the top 3 private semiconductor firms in the world and we are excited to work with the team to build the next multi-billion dollar business which will revolutionize mobile phone design."
Early versions of Livanto® have been sampling since September 2005, in parallel with achieving interoperability and network testing. Since the physical layer and protocols are all in Adaptive WirelessT software, advanced receivers and diversity support are delivering dramatic performance advantages in HSDPA, doubling sector capacity and halving baseband costs.
The fundamental new soft architecture of Livanto® breaks the vicious cycle of handset availability lagging infrastructure for new standards. As well as being amongst the first to market with a 3.6Mbps HSDPA solution, Icera aims to drive the availability of faster and more complex standards through software upgrades on the same Livanto® device - but without the time and cost of developing, verifying and manufacturing new silicon. OEMs can deliver the same terminal, tailored to the standards and features of different geographic or consumer markets through software instead of hardware changes, quickly and easily. After sale, they can be field-upgraded as new infrastructure is rolled-out: a revolution in handset communications technology.
Notes to editors
Icera has developed a disruptive new architecture for cellular phones, cellular datacards and cellular modems, the Livanto® wireless soft modem and Adaptive WirelessT software. Founded in 2002, Icera is headquartered in the UK, with design locations in the UK and France, sales offices in Europe and Japan and representative support in Korea. For more information, visit http//www.icerasemi.com
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. 3i's global venture capital business focuses on investing in scaleable start-up and early-stage businesses across US, Europe, Asia and Israel. 3i's VC investments fall into four main industry sectors, including healthcare, telecommunications, software and electronics/semiconductors.
3i's successful realizations have included Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR), UbiNetics, Trigenix, TTPCom, Bookham, Virata, Interhyp, KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, Arakis, dtms, RedDot, Element5 and many others. More recent investments include DiBcom (mobile TV), TransMedics (organ transportation system), Sulake (gaming community), The Cloud (wifi) and TransTech (airfield monitoring). For more information, go to http://www.3i.com