ChipWrights, Inc., a leader in digital signal processing technology for mobile imaging applications, today announced it has completed an $8.7 million round of equity financing. This new round brings the companyfs total funding to over $13 million. BancBoston Ventures led the round, which included a number of new investors such as Band of Angels VC Fund, MTDC Ventures, New England Partners Capital, and existing investors JPMorgan Partners and Techfarm. ChipWrights will use the new funding to support product delivery and rapid company growth.
ChipWrightsf patented digital signal processing (DSP) architecture represents a quantum advance in the performance available to developers, enabling them to exploit the data level parallelism inherent in imaging applications. It is relevant for the fast growing digital camera and mobile communications markets, as well as other markets such as digital color copier and printers, video, and image servers and transcoders. It also applies to high performance signal processing applications in the evolving telecom/datacom infrastructure. Characterized by the very high performance and programmable flexibility required to support applications such as MPEG4 encoding and JPEG2000, and supporting the low cost and low power targets required for consumer products, the ChipWrights architecture is poised to enable OEMs to create compelling new mobile, visual communications products.
"We are pleased to have secured new venture capital funding in this challenging economic climate," said Brian Fitzgerald, President and CEO, ChipWrights, Inc. "We formed this company to bring a new, application specific processor to market; one that meets the low power, low cost, and high performance demands of a new and evolving class of video intensive, battery powered digital devices. We are committed to helping OEMs develop innovative products that will keep them competitive under rapidly changing market and technology conditions."
"ChipWrightsf new processor architecture will be viewed as a strategic advantage by OEMs seeking more rapid and differentiated product development," said David Hunter, Venture Partner, BancBoston Ventures. "This architecture delivers a long-term value proposition, as we can expect more digital imaging opportunities will emerge and grow as bandwidth increases and analog applications, such as photography, migrate to digital formats."
ChipWrights has brought together a seasoned semiconductor industry management team that combines entrepreneurial drive with a wealth of experience -- from small company start-ups and eturn aroundsf to large, multinational corporations -- and expertise in delivering breakthrough semiconductor products.
"ChipWrights has put together a strong management team that understands how to balance the inherent technology and business challenges unique to early-stage organizations," said William Parent, Director, BancBoston Ventures. "The ChipWrights team has the ein the trenchesf expertise necessary for success in the fabless semiconductor industry."
"The problem today is that manufacturers have been locked into designing products based on the limitations of general purpose DSPs and fixed algorithms," said Jeffrey Logan, Principal, JPMorgan Partners, L.L.C. "ChipWrightsf solution unlocks those constraints to deliver the design flexibility that OEMs need to compete effectively. This approach enables customer-centric product design. The company also has the imagination and the muscle to adapt its technology for future product innovation."
"ChipWrights is pioneering a new approach to mobile image processing," said Frank Pinto, President, MTDC Ventures. "It is the kind of solid technology vision that brings about exciting and profitable new applications and business opportunities."
Headquartered in Newton, MA, ChipWrights is a fabless semiconductor company specializing in the design, development, and marketing of a new class of fully programmable digital signal processing devices. ChipWrights is developing a fully programmable, low cost, low power, and very high performance DSP/RISC microcontroller for fast-growing digital imaging markets. Specific application areas include real time image capture/presentation and image transmission/network media infrastructure. ChipWrights will also provide a complete software development tool suite and hardware reference designs. Additional company information can be found at www.chipwrights.com.
About ChipWrightsf Investors
ChipWrightsf investment group includes some of the industryfs most successful and respected organizations and individuals:
BancBoston Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of FleetBoston Financial (NYSE: FBF), provides early-stage venture capital to emerging growth companies in the technology, communications, and healthcare sectors. Its sister company, BancBoston Capital, provides later-stage equity for buyouts, recapitalization, and expansion of mid-sized companies. During its 42 years, BancBoston Ventures and its affiliates have invested over US$5 billion in more than 500 companies. Headquartered in Boston, the firm has global offices in Palo Alto, London, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo. Additional information on BancBoston Ventures is available at www.bancbostonventures.com.
Band of Angels VC Fund is a $50M venture fund comprised exclusively of institutional partners including three corporations, two university endowments, and a large pension fund. The Fund co-invests exclusively in deals that are subscribed by members of the Band of Angels and provides institutional support to these deals via bridge and follow-on financing.
Entrepia Ventures offers venture capital financing for private, technology-based, expansion-stage US companies that stand to benefit from market or technology affiliation with Japan. Operating out of its offices in New York, San Jose, and Tokyo, Entrepia actively helps generate international revenue for its portfolio companies by leveraging its access, hands-on approach, on-the-ground presence, and relationships in Asia. Increasingly recognized as the "go to Japan" fund, Entrepia enables its portfolio companies to become more competitive and successful through incremental top-line growth.
JPMorgan Partners (JPMP), formerly Chase Capital Partners, is a global partnership with over $30 billion under management. It is a leading provider of private equity and has closed over 1,800 individual transactions since its inception in 1984. JPMP has more than 160 investment professionals in eight offices throughout the world. JPMP's primary limited partner is JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the largest financial institutions in the US. For additional information, visit the JPMP website at www.jpmorganpartners.com.
MTDC Ventures provides venture capital funding for start-up and early-stage technology companies. Since 1979, MTDC has invested more than $46 million in 105 Massachusetts firms.
Mitsui Comtek Corp. is the high-tech subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. Ltd. of Japan (Mitsui Japan), one of the largest multinational conglomerates in the world. Working in tandem with the Electronics & Information Business Group of its parent company, Mitsui Comtek specializes in creating synergies in high-tech/electronics, communications, and multimedia industries.
New England Partners Capital, a private equity investment firm with offices in Boston and Virginia, specializes in investing in emerging growth companies, including companies focused on technology infrastructure (both software and hardware), information technology services, networking and broadband communications, and medical technologies.
Start-up101.Com is a team of highly experienced professionals who have started and operated a company in the US and Japan. The mission is to increase the success rate of early-stage start-ups by providing venture funds, advisors, and partnerships. Start-up101.Com is continuously expanding the network of venture funds, angels, entrepreneurs, and service providers, through the international operation between the US and Japan.
Techfarmfs mission is to identify innovative companies early in their corporate development and assist those companies in achieving their fullest potential. Techfarm offers a new model of partnership for technology start-ups by working with its portfolio companies to provide active managerial assistance and guidance where they need it. To that end, Techfarm believes that the combination of an enthusiastic entrepreneur, cutting edge technologies targeted towards a transitioning market, and the seasoned managerial and financial expertise of the Techfarm professionals greatly increases a company's probability of success.