Existing investors Benchmark Capital, Earlybird and Infineon Ventures also participated in the round. The company will use the funds to finance the expansion of its corporate infrastructure - sales, marketing and customer support - and to expand its Entertainment Network Adapter(TM) (ENA) platform to enable a number of new consumer applications.
Based in Switzerland, BridgeCo is the pioneer of digital entertainment networking applications. It has developed a unique silicon and software solution, the ENA platform, that can be used for wired and wireless connectivity in entertainment and computing systems in the home. BridgeCo's platform has been successfully adopted in three markets: wired equipment for high-end musical instruments and music reproduction; wireless connectivity between the Internet, PCs and home entertainment systems; and 1394 and Internet connectivity for DVD/AVR players.
Fidelity Ventures' Simon Clark commented, "BridgeCo's unique combination of silicon and software addresses the consumer's need for a simple all-in-one networking solution by offering an integrated platform. This, together with its strong management team, underpin our conviction that the company is well-positioned to take advantage of the substantial opportunities available in the consumer electronics networking arena and to build a leadership position in this space. With this investment, we see a solid opportunity to assist BridgeCo with its go-to-market strategy."
Angelo Ugge, CEO of BridgeCo added, "This new round of funding demonstrates the success of our integrated approach. These funds allow us to focus our efforts on developing further new designs for the consumer electronics market and aggressively increasing sales and marketing efforts, driving our objective to become a leading player in the consumer electronics networking market."
According to an Instat-MDR report, the media networking market is expected to reach $5.7bn by 2008. In addition, it is estimated in an IDC report in March 2004 that 104 million products will be connected to a home network by 2006.
BridgeCo is a pioneer of digital entertainment networking solutions. Its BeBoB (BridgeCo enabled Breakout Box) is a highly integrated, cost-effective platform that places audio capture and mix solutions into the hands of musicians and content creators. The company's Entertainment Network Adapters(TM) (ENA) provide consumers with 'more media, less wire, and no hassle' access to rich analog, digital, and Internet media sources. BridgeCo ENAs are used in a wide range of consumer products, including wireless audio adapters, audio/video receivers, DVD/AVR players and music instruments.
Underlying all BridgeCo solutions are proprietary, integrated semiconductor and software technologies that network PCs to CE devices via widely-used standards and protocols (e.g. IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 1394, UPnP, WiFi, and DHWG) for network and signal processing.
BridgeCo is an ISO 9001-certified company based in Zurich, Switzerland. Its key investors include Fidelity Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Earlybird, Infineon Ventures, and Intel Capital. For more information, please visit www.bridgeco.net.
About Fidelity Ventures
Founded in 1969, Fidelity Ventures invests private equity in entrepreneurial companies preparing to "go-to-market" in the information technology and communications sectors. By combining a collaborative partnership with a global network, Fidelity Ventures enables its portfolio companies to accelerate their market entrance and become leaders in their respective fields. Over the last three decades, the firm has contributed to the success of such industry leaders as GeoTel Communications (IPO subsequently acquired by Cisco), Teleport (IPO subsequently acquired by AT&T) and COLT Telecom (NASDAQ: COLTY). Recent investments include ONI Systems (IPO subsequently acquired by Ciena), WaveSmith (acquired by Ciena), and Newisys (acquired by Sanmina). Fidelity Ventures currently manages more than $500 million in venture capital, and invests in U.S.-based companies out of its Boston office, and in European companies out of its London office. For more information, visit www.fidelityventures.com
About Benchmark Capital
Benchmark Capital was founded in 1995 to help talented entrepreneurs build great technology companies focused on long-term growth. Benchmark's partners take an intensive, hands-on, team-oriented, approach to venture investing to deliver a superior level of service to the firm's portfolio companies. Benchmark's portfolio includes franchise companies such as Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA), Betfair (the world's largest online betting company), eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR), MySQL (the leading open source database business, founded in Sweden) and Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT).
Managing more than $2 billion in committed venture capital, Benchmark focuses on investing in entrepreneurs with original ideas. Benchmark manages one of the largest early stage, high- tech investment funds dedicated to investing in Europe of $500 million. Benchmark has been in Europe since May 2000 since when it has made 25 investments across a variety of market sectors and geographies. For more information on Benchmark, visit its website at www.benchmark.com
Earlybird Venture Capital provides capital, knowledge, management support, and a large network of industry experts to selected information technology, communications, and healthcare enterprises as well as innovative entrepreneurs in Europe and North America. Currently managing three funds, Earlybird has USD/Euro 300 million in committed capital.
With offices in Europe (Hamburg, Munich) and the US (Palo Alto), Earlybird is well positioned to take advantage of international opportunities and to assist its portfolio companies in gaining access to the international market place and financial resources. The recent exit of its portfolio company element 5, the Cologne based leading supplier in electronic software distribution in Europe and Asia, which was acquired by Digital River, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRIV), the U.S. market leader in electronic software distribution, is a prime example of Earlybird's transnational business approach, which includes helping European companies access the US market and vice versa. More information can be accessed at www.earlybird.com
About Infineon Ventures
Infineon Ventures is the venture capital subsidiary Infineon Technologies AG. Since its inception in 1998 Infineon Ventures has become a prime venture partner for early-stage companies in microelectronics and communications, operating on a worldwide basis out of its offices in Munich, Germany, San Jose, California and Singapore. Further information on Infineon Ventures is available on www.infineon.com/ventures.
Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for the automotive and industrial sectors, for applications in the wire-line communications markets, secure mobile solutions as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2003 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 6.15 billion with about 32,300 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at www.infineon.com.