Posted: August 10, 2009

CMOSIS Raises 3 Million Euros in Additional Capital for Corporate Expansion

(Nanowerk News) CMOS image sensor start-up CMOSIS NV has successfully concluded a round of private equity financing from several highly regarded Belgian high-tech investment firms totalling 3 million euros. Lead investor is ING Corporate Investments of Brussels, Belgium, acting as strategic financial partner. The new round of capitalization for CMOSIS is geared towards the ongoing development of innovative CMOS image sensor technologies and further business expansion.
"We are convinced that CMOSIS has the potential to be a leader in the highly innovative market for CMOS image sensor technology," says Tom Bousmans, Private Equity Investment Manager at ING Corporate Investments of Brussels, Belgium. "This is due to their uniquely qualified management and engineering teams, their proven scientific know-how base and long-time market expertise. Through this substantial capital increase, we will secure their continued growth. We believe in the strategic direction of CMOSIS and the market potential for high-end CMOS image sensors."
ING Corporate Investments, a part of ING Belgium, is investing 1.5 million euros in CMOSIS. ING Activator Fund, another ING group member, is investing 0.5 million euros. The rest of the current CMOSIS capitalization round is contributed by Vlaams Innovatiefonds ("Vinnof").
The CMOSIS technology portfolio contains crucial IP related to various advanced aspects of image sensors - among them high pixel counts at a high fill factor, high-speed functionality, large bit-depth of column ADCs, high dynamic range, TDI (time-delay and integration) implementation in CMOS and novel rad-hard pixel concepts. CMOSIS was founded in November 2007 and received its initial financing by the founders and by Capital-E, a Belgian Venture Capitalist. In March of 2009, the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders granted CMOSIS a substantial R&D subsidy.
"CMOSIS's first 19 months of operation have confirmed that there are vast, still untapped, business opportunities for CMOS image sensors, especially in areas that were considered CCD strongholds," says CMOSIS CEO Luc De Mey. "We are well positioned for a significant share of future industrial and professional CMOS image sensor markets."
De Mey joined CMOSIS in May 2009 as a widely known expert and veteran of the imaging industry. "Recent progress in CMOS image sensor technology, such as dark current and noise performance, will cause conventional CCD technology to lose market share. At CMOSIS, we are focusing on promising machine vision, medical, scientific and space applications." Other CMOSIS principals, besides Luc De Mey (CEO) and Andre Alaerts (Director of Manufacturing), are Guy Meynants (VP R&D) and Lou Hermans (VP Sales and Marketing).
CMOSIS occupies an 800 m2 industrial facility in Antwerp, Belgium, where it operates development labs, device qualification labs, and a 100m2, Class 100, clean room for wafer and device production testing. The recently enlarged premises support the launch of a suite of standard machine-vision CMOS imagers as well as the manufacture of the company's first custom image sensor products. CMOSIS continues expanding its staff by hiring senior personnel for product qualification and manufacturing, as well as quality and customer support operations.
CMOSIS is a pure-play supplier of standard off-the-shelf and application-specific CMOS image sensors for the industrial and professional market covering applications such as machine vision, scientific, medical, automatic data capture and space. CMOSIS was conceived as a fabless CMOS image sensor vendor providing in-house design, characterization and qualification facilities for research, development and volume production. CMOSIS currently employs 14 people and is headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium.
About ING Corporate Investments
ING Corporate Investments, a part of ING Belgium and the worldwide ING group, is based in Brussels and provides venture, development and buy-out capital to small and medium-size enterprises in Western Europe and Scandinavia,. Another member is ING Activator Fund. The group has been active in the private equity markets for thirteen years. Total investments amount to over 100 million euros.
About ING Activator Fund ING Activator Fund is the ARKimedes Investment Fund of ING Belgium. It provides venture and growth financing to promising Flemish small and medium sized businesses.
About Vinnof
Vinnof (Vlaams Innovatiefonds - Flemish Innovation Fund) provides seed capital for young, innovative companies and start-ups based in Flanders. Vinnof is a 100% subsidiary of ParticipatieMaatschappij Vlaanderen NV, the investment company for Flanders.
Source: CMOSIS (press release)
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