Systemonic AG, a German wireless-communication-chip company, today completed a second round of funding, receiving $30 million from an investment consortium.
Dresden-based Systemonic is developing a highly flexible platform technology aimed at broadband wireless communication markets such as high-end telecommunications and Internet content and video streaming. Systemonic plans to ship its first chipsets at the end of the first quarter of 2001.
The investment round was led by Apax Europe IV, a technology investment consortium that includes Lehman Brothers, Robertson Stephens' Bayview 2000, Atlas Venture, and Krone mt. The funding will be used to expand the business into the United States and Asia.
Systemonic was founded in June 1999 by Gerhard Fettweis and Michael Bolle, two experts in wireless communication. Their technology, called OnDSP, uses software to realize functionality and flexibility in broadband-wireless digital signal processors. Systemonic can thus quickly support early or late changes in emerging wireless standards as well as provide simultaneous support for converging wireless standards, according to the company.
In addition, Systemonic's approach to designing its DSP-based application-specific standard products (ASSPs) for broadband wireless systems reduces design time and production costs, the company said. Systemonic's technology is based on research at the University of Dresden into automating the design methodology and architecture for DSPs.
"Systemonic has developed a breakthrough technology that can be applied across many areas of the wireless semiconductor market," said Christian Reitberger of Apax Partners, the investment advisor of Apax Europe IV. "The flexibility of the solution is extremelycompelling for equipment providers facing the challenge of quickly changing standards."
"We are delighted by the investment consortium that has been put together, as it allows us to move aggressively into the U.S. and Asia while at the same time consolidating our position in Europe," said Karl Lange, executive vice president of sales and marketing and acting CEO of Systemonic.
Systemonic co-founder Fettweis is the Mannesmann Mobile Telecommunications Chair at the Technical University of Dresden. Bolle is an expert on digital audio broadcasting at Robert Bosch GmbH. The company currently employs 35 engineers.
"Their involvement has enabled them to attract the best in talent for wireless system development from day one," said Alexander Bruehl, principal at Atlas Venture, an international, early-stage venture capital firm. "We look forward to continue fostering Systemonic's world-class technology."
Systemonic claimed that its first product, HiperSonic, is the first chip to be applicable for both the European HiperLAN2 and U.S. IEEE 802.11a standards.