MEMS Optical, Inc. Secures $18M Series A Funding
Leading provider of MEMS-based precision micro-optics and components poised to accelerate production and penetrate new vertical markets
HUNTSVILLE, AL. - July 10, 2001 - MEMS Optical, Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of microlenses, microlens arrays, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for numerous top tier optical original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), announced today that it has secured an $18 million equity investment from a syndicate of investors. Summit Accelerator Fund and Vanguard Ventures co-led the Series A round, whose participants also include Dynafund Ventures and Teledyne Technologies Incorporated. MEMS Optical will use the funds to increase its manufacturing infrastructure and expand into new vertical markets.
"We are excited to contribute to the ongoing success of this supplier of critical optical components, said Kip Sheeline, General Partner of Summit Accelerator Fund. "MEMS Optical, which has already generated impressive top line growth and bottom-line results, is poised to become a dominant supplier of MEMS-based optics and micromachines."
MEMS Optical, Inc. designs and produces a variety of micro-optics and opto-mechanical components, including precision refractive and diffractive optics, long-reach micro-actuators, and miniature tilt mirrors. MEMS Optical sells its products and services into several high-growth vertical sectors, including optical communications, optical storage, and semiconductor capital equipment. The company has an extensive portfolio of issued patents and is the sole source supplier of certain micro-optic components to numerous top tier optical OEMs.
"This infusion of capital positions us to leverage our proprietary MEMS and micro-optics process expertise and patent portfolio, and dramatically ramp our foundry's production volume," said John Shih, MEMS Optical's Chairman and CEO.
"The extremely broad set of vertical applications for MEMS Optical's micro-optics and MEMS manufacturing capabilities are particularly attractive to us," said Don Wood, General Partner of Vanguard Ventures. "Virtually anyone who needs a small, high performance lens stands to benefit from the company's unique technologies."
"We are pleased to have this opportunity to expand Teledyne's relationship with MEMS Optical," said Robert Mehrabian, Chairman, President and CEO of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:TDY). "Teledyne believes that MEMS Optical's ability to manufacture precision micro-optic devices and the economies of scale provided by wafer scale production will open significant new opportunities in several attractive markets including optical communications."
Sheeline and Wood have joined the company's Board of Directors. The company's current directors are Shih and Rod Clark, President of MEMS Optical.
About MEMS Optical, Inc.
MEMS Optical, founded in 1997, has pioneered and perfected the application of a unique technology for mass fabrication of miniature complex curved surfaces using semiconductor manufacturing techniques. With this technology, and its proprietary microelectromechanical capability, the company produces a wide range of optical and opto-mechanical components for such diverse markets as optical switches, optical storage and playback, and photolithography steppers. MEMS Optical, Inc. has a broad portfolio of issued and pending patents. Located in Huntsville, Alabama, the company's investors include Summit Accelerator Fund, Vanguard Ventures, DynaFund Ventures, Teledyne Investments and high net worth individuals. For more information, please visit the company's web site at www.memsoptical.com.
About Summit Accelerator Fund
The Summit Accelerator Fund ("SAF") was established in August 1999 in partnership with Summit Partners, one of the largest and most successful private equity and venture capital firms in the U.S., with a capital base of over $6 billion. SAF invests in emerging information technology and related services companies. SAF's focus is on companies that have demonstrated exceptional performance in their early development stage and are seeking to accelerate their growth. For more information, please visit SAF's website at www.safvc.com.
About Vanguard Ventures
Founded in 1981, Vanguard has offices in Palo Alto, California and Houston, Texas. Vanguard is an early-stage venture investor. Each of Vanguard's six partners has run a successful business prior to becoming a venture investor. Vanguard's portfolio includes more than 100 companies in the communications, IT, software, and life sciences sectors. In aggregate, Vanguard's successes have created over $70 billion in market value and returned over $1 billion to Vanguard investors. Example portfolio companies include Ciena, Cobalt, Advanced Fibre Communications, Aldus, Digital Island, Network Appliance, and Macromedia. For more information, please visit Vanguard's website at www.vanguardventures.com.
DynaFund Ventures is a venture firm with $220M under management and is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA with branch offices in the Bay Area and outside Washington DC. The fund focuses its investments primarily in early stage information technology firms, and its core industry investment sectors are communications, electronics, photonics, Internet services and software. DynaFund will also consider later-stage opportunities if they fit within the overall scope of the fund. DynaFund typically leads most of the deals it participates in, with initial investments in the range of $2M-$5M. Representative companies in DynaFund's portfolio include Luminous Networks(optical networking equipment), MEMGen (MEMs foundry services), NuTool (semiconductor fabrication equipment) and Cyclone Commerce (enterprise connectivity software). For more information, please see our website at www.dynafundventures.com.
About Teledyne Technologies
Teledyne Technologies is a leading provider of sophisticated electronics and communications products, systems engineering solutions, and aerospace products and components, with operations in the United States, the United Kingdom and Mexico. More information about Teledyne is available from its website at www.teledyne.com.