PARIS – Fabless supplier of smart-card chips Inside Contactless SA has concluded a round of investment of €25 million ($36.7 million) led by Nokia Growth Partners, the venture capital arm of the wireless phone maker. The funds aim to help the French company accelerate its international presence and expand its product portfolio.
Commenting on Nokia's investment, Rob Trice, a partner at Nokia Growth Partners, highlighted both parties' intention to team on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
“This is more than a financial investment. This is about a strategic partnership with key players who are committed to building and driving the NFC eco-system," confirmed Rémy de Tonnac, Inside Contactless' CEO. "Three years ago a similar strategic investment was made with Visa which brought the company to a leading position in the field of contactless payment. We hope that this new development for Inside leads to a similar success in the NFC market.”
In June of 2006, Inside Contactless SA has closed a funding round of $25 million led by Granite Global Ventures (GGV). EuroUS Venture joined in as a new investor and existing investors contributed half of the total amount of this round led by Sofinnova Partners, now the largest shareholder. Other investors include Vertex Venture Capital, Vertex Management, GIMV, and Siparex Ventures.
Inside also raised $10.6 million from Sofinnova, Vertex Venture Capital, GIMV, Siparex Ventures, and Visa International in 2005.
INSIDE was created in 1995 by five highly experienced people coming from STMicroelectronics NV and Gemplus. A global team of nearly 100 experts now serves the world’s markets from offices in France (HQ), China, Singapore, Poland, and both the East and West coasts of the United States.