Beijing-based WestSummit Capital announced that it has backed Chinese optical lens provider Union Optech, which develops lenses and sensors used in security cameras, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Terms of the funding were not disclosed. Beijing-based WestSummit also invests in U.S. companies from its location in Palo Alto, Calif.
WestSummit Capital Expands Mobile Ecosystem Portfolio
A Successful IPO and New Investment Validates Global China Funding Strategy
PALO ALTO, USA and BEIJING, CHINA– Mar. 19, 2012 — WestSummit Capital today announced a new investment in the mobile technology ecosystem with funding for leading Chinese optical lens provider Union Optech, and the successful IPO of European Near Field Communications (NFC) technology provider INSIDE Secure (NYX: INSD). Union Optech and INSIDE Secure join Unity Technologies, a breakthrough software development platform for creating games and interactive 3D with over 800,000 registered developers, and GigaDevice, China’s dominant supplier of NOR Flash memory, as core holdings in the firm’s mobile ecosystem portfolio. WestSummit Capital is one of the first China-based funds with a global mandate and an exclusive focus on growth stage technology companies. The firm invests in market leaders in the Internet, mobile, cloud and enabling clean technology sectors.
“WestSummit has deep roots in high technology, particularly in the mobile industry, and our team is recognized in both the US and China for their executive leadership and strong operational credentials. This first-hand knowledge influences the firm’s strategy in the sector,” said Raymond Yang, co-founder and managing director, WestSummit Capital.
Yang’s experience in mobile technology began nearly 10 years ago when he led the turnaround of Linktone, which became China’s leading wireless value added services provider at the time of its IPO on NASDAQ in 2004. Dr. Datong Chen co-founded Shanghai-based mobile technology platform Spreadtrum Communications, which completed an IPO on NASDAQ in 2007 and remains a core building block that enables the explosion of mobile devices in China and other emerging markets.
Yang added, “We congratulate the INSIDE Secure team on a successful public offering. Our investment in the company, which is based in France and has a significant presence in China and the U.S., is a perfect example of our proven, global China investment strategy for growth stage technology companies. Union Optech, our newest investment, provides an opportunity for WestSummit to help take a Chinese company global as we expect that their leading optical lens modules should find strong demand in overseas markets.”
Portfolio Public Offering:
INSIDE Secure (NYX: INSD) debuted on February 20, 2012 on the NYSE Euronext’s European market as the largest listing in two years. INSIDE Secure semiconductors are designed for “tap and go” digital wallet payments. A recognized leader with dominant global market share in contactless payment technology, INSIDE Secure produces the fastest, low power, highly secure Near Field Communication (NFC) ICs in the industry. Gartner analyst Mark Hung states in a February 2012 report, “In 2011, the Near Field Communication (NFC) market successfully expanded into new mobile phone OS platforms and device classes. This trend will continue in 2012, as the overall NFC chipset shipment is expected to exceed 100 million units for the first time.”
Union Optech Co. Ltd., based in Zhongshan, China, produces optical and electric modules such as lenses and sensors used in digital, in-vehicle, and security cameras, smartphones, and other devices. WestSummit Capital is the lead investor in this round. The infusion of funds will be used to expand manufacturing facilities and support worldwide growth initiatives. Dr. Datong Chen will represent WestSummit on the company’s Board of Directors.
GigaDevice is China’s leading fabless memory integrated circuit (IC) design company. Originally founded in Silicon Valley, GigaDevice’s high performance NOR flash memory ICs read and process data and allow random data access in computers, cameras, televisions, MP3s, DVDs and many other mobile devices.
Unity Technologies, based in San Francisco, is the creator of Unity, an intuitive and flexible development platform used to make wildly creative and intelligently interactive 3D and 2D content. Unity boasts a thriving community of 800,000 registered developers including Bigpoint, Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, Disney, Electronic Arts, LEGO, Microsoft, NASA, Nickelodeon, Ubisoft, US Army, Warner Bros., as well as indie studios, students and hobbyists.
About WestSummit Capital
WestSummit Capital is one of the first China-based global technology growth equity firms in the industry. The firm invests in companies that have a substantial presence in or strategic interest in China and focuses on the technology, media, telecommunications and enabling clean tech sectors. WestSummit has offices in Beijing, China and Palo Alto, USA. More information can be found on the WestSummit Capital website at: www.westsummitcap.com