PARIS, France, January 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Stepmind has just secured one of France's largest round of venture capital funding in the last year. This fabless microelectronics company, specialising in high speed wireless communications technologies, has concluded an investment round of EUR20 million with leading investors including AGF Private Equity and Nam Taï Electronics Inc, a Telecommunications and Consumer Electronics manufacturer listed at New York Stock Exchange (NYSE Symbol: NTE; CBOE Symbol QNA; Frankfurt Stock Exchange Symbol 884852).
Founded by Alain and André Jolivet in July 2000, Stepmind's ambition is to become a major player in the GSM/GPRS/EDGE and WLAN markets. Stepmind develops highly integrated chips which enable its customers to reduce the cost of their solutions.
After three years of development, the company is now commercialising a radio transceiver chip which will be the smallest and most integrated available in the market. "Furthermore we anticipated by several years, the acceptance of the EDGE standard as well as the emergence of WLAN in multimedia applications. The WiFi market is quickly moving from just PC-based networking to the emerging digital media and smart home markets. Our innovative components allow our customers to address markets enabling the transmission of music, pictures and video over high speed domestic wireless networks" said Alain Jolivet, Stepmind President and CEO
Guillaume Lautour, Investment Director at AGF Private Equity, comments : "Stepmind gathers vision, great intellectual assets and exceptionnaly talented people, its products challenge industry leaders. We believe this company will create a lot of value on its markets."
Within an aggressive approach to the reduction of system cost, Stepmind is targeting unprecedented levels of integration by developing both baseband and radio transceiver on a single chip. Stepmind is also preparing for the convergence of GSM/GPRS/EDGE mobile telephony and wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) standards, which opens the door to a vast market of nomadic communicators (mobile phones, PCs, PDAs etc).
Stepmind employs 120 people in its sites in Boulogne-Billancourt (Paris), Le Cannet (French Riviera) and Caen (Normandy).
About Stepmind (www.stepmind.com):
Founded in July 2000, Stepmind is a fabless solutions and components supplier, developing applications which require high performance and secured data links. Stepmind develops and designs integrated circuits in the field of RF transceivers and baseband according to the GSM/GPRS/EDGE, IEEE 802.11a/b/g and HiperLAN2 standards. This expanding microelectronics company will also market WLAN complete solutions.
About Nam Tai (www.namtai.com):
Nam Taï is an electronics manufacturing and design services provider to original equipment manufacturers of telecommunications and consumer electronic products. Through its electronics manufacturing services operations, Nam Taï manufactures electronic components and subassemblies, including LCD panels, LCD modules, radio frequency modules, flexible printed circuit subassemblies and image sensors. These components are used in numerous electronic products, including cellular phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, copiers, fax machines, electronic toys, handheld video game devices and microwave ovens. Nam Taï also manufactures finished products, including cellular phones, palm-sized PCs, personal digital assistants, electronic dictionaries, calculators and digital camera accessories for use with cellular phones.
About AGF Private Equity (www.agfprivatequity.com):
AGF Private Equity is specialized in non-listed investments. The Company manages an investment portfolio worth over EUR800m for institutional and private investors, through two activities: funds of funds and venture capital investments.AGF Private Equity is among the leaders in France in managing primary funds of funds and is also one of the most active French investors in venture capital.