Frontier Silicon closes $28 million investment led by ACT Venture Capital and Apax Partners' FundsFunding round is supported by existing investors Apax Partners Funds, Alta Berkeley and BlueRun Ventures (formerly Nokia Venture Partners) plus new investor Quilvest
London, 28th February 2005: Frontier Silicon - the leading fabless manufacturer of semiconductors for mobile digital television and DAB digital radio products - has announced it has closed a $28 million investment round. The lead new investor is ACT Venture Capital and the round was supported by existing investors including funds advised by Apax Partners, Alta Berkeley and BlueRun Ventures (formerly Nokia Venture Partners), and new investor Quilvest. Frontier Silicon was advised by Citigroup Global Markets Limited in this transaction.
Frontier Silicon has successfully pioneered and helped to grow the DAB digital radio market since its inception in 2002 and recorded impressive growth. This latest funding round will enable the company to establish a leading position in the mobile digital television market, and further develop its DAB digital radio products.
Anthony Sethill, CEO and founder of Frontier Silicon, said, "We are pleased to welcome ACT Venture Capital and Quilvest as investors. This latest investment allows us to aggressively target and drive market share in the emerging mobile digital television market in the same way that we have established our chips in over 70 percent of DAB digital radios. Our launch this month of a mobile digital television chip set has been well received by key mobile handset manufacturers. This new funding will be used to expand existing and open new design centres for our future mobile digital television IC and software products. We will continue to focus on technologies targeted at the digital radio and television markets, both for the home and mobile broadcast sectors".
Kieron Branagan, general partner at ACT Venture Capital added, "We are very excited to be involved with Frontier Silicon at this time as the company ramps its development of digital broadcasting platforms. The management team at Frontier Silicon is uniquely positioned to leverage the significant opportunities afforded by DAB and emerging mobile digital television standards such as T-DMB and DVB-H."
Frontier Silicon was established in 2001, and is privately funded. Key shareholders include ACT Venture Capital, Apax Partners Funds, Alta Berkeley, GLG Partners and BlueRun Ventures, as well as Digital One, operator of one of the world's largest DAB digital radio networks in the world, and Imagination Technologies, a leading supplier of semiconductor intellectual property for the multimedia and communications market.
This month Frontier Silicon launched two new chips which enable a complete solution for receiving terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting (T-DMB) services on mobile phone handsets; the Apollo chip receives broadcast signals while the Kino chip provides the digital baseband processing. The combination provides the world's lowest power consumption and smallest footprint solution that will allow handset manufacturers to rapidly enable mobile operators and broadcasters to offer digital broadcast services to consumers.
Anthony Sethill said about the launch, "The convergence of mobile communications and broadcasting is happening now, and I believe the addition of low power TV tuners to mobile handsets will enable the next killer application for mobile phones, opening up significant new revenue opportunities for content providers and network operators. Frontier Silicon's objective is to be one of the key chip suppliers to this new market sector."
Editor's notes: About Frontier Silicon
Frontier Silicon is an award-winning company at the forefront of the digital multimedia revolution with a range of semiconductor solutions for mobile digital television, digital TV and digital radio.
The company develops and delivers both the broadcast signal receiver modules and digital processing circuits as individual chips and complete system modules to leading consumer electronics and mobile phone brands.
As a fabless semiconductor business, Frontier Silicon's core products include complete DAB modules, DVB-T solutions, DMB (digital multimedia broadcasting) solutions, and the underlying system-on-chip (SoC) devices and receiver chips.
Key customers for the company's products include consumer electronic, automotive entertainment and PDA/mobile phone manufacturers such as Bang & Olufsen, Cambridge Audio, Goodmans, Grundig, Hitachi, Ministry of Sound, Philips, PURE Digital, Roberts Radio, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and TEAC. Frontier Silicon has won a number of awards and its products have also enabled award-winning consumer products. The company's awards include the Fabless Semiconductor Association's start-up to watch award, PricewaterhouseCoopers hottest technology company of 2004 award, the World Economic Forum's technology pioneers to watch 2005, and the Tornado T100 award for one of the best-performing and innovative high-tech private companies.
About ACT Venture Capital
ACT Venture Capital is Ireland's largest venture capital management company. It is funded by leading Irish, European and US institutional and fund of fund investors. ACT invests primarily in information & communications technology and life sciences companies in Ireland and the UK which possess innovative technologies aimed at international markets. ACT has a portfolio of over 30 such companies and funds under management of EUR350 million.
The Quilvest Group is a global financial group operating in Europe and in the US with 6 billion dollars under management. Quilvest has been investing both in funds and private companies for more than 30 years, with a continuous commitment to venture.