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DEWB and zouk ventures acquire a majority stake in Nanotron

04-14-2008 01:39 PM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: DEWB

Unique radio communication and tracking system with a broad range of applications in the strong growth RTLS market
- 11 million Euro financing round for further expansion

Jena/London/Berlin, 14 April 2008 – Deutsche Effecten- und Wechsel-Beteiligungsgesellschaft AG (DEWB) – Prime Standard/ISIN DE0008041005 – has taken a stake in Nanotron Technologies Ltd. (Nanotron), Berlin, within a financing round. DEWB acquired an 18.1 percent share and is taking over the role of co-lead investor with the British Venture Capital investor zouk ventures, London. The financing round has a volume of 11 million Euros. In addition to DEWB and zouk ventures the existing shareholders Danfoss, PolyTechnos, IBB - VC Fonds Berlin, as well as the Nanotron Management also participated.

The Berlin-based chip designer Nanotron is a leader in the development and sale of wireless sensor networks and solutions for radio-based communication and localisation. The company’s main product is the nanoLOC chip based on the reliable Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS) transmission system. This transmission system is clearly superior to rival technologies and suited in particular to communication as well as real time object monitoring (RTLS – Real Time Location System) to a high level of positioning precision. Other prominent features of Nanotron’s network solution are a fast and low-cost installation, as well as high robustness, high reliability on extensive ranges plus extremely low power consumption. Over recent years the Chirp system has been integrated in the IEEE Standard 802.15.4a and work is underway to obtain ISO certification.

“The first applications for asset tracking in industry were based on active RFID solutions. However, RFID does have its limits in terms of precision locating. This is an area in which Nanotron is deploying its product and so targeting the rapidly-growing RTLS market. The annual growth rates of over 30 percent are the same as in the RFID market,” says Bertram Köhler, Member of the DEWB Management Board, commenting on the first major new investment for three years. “With its unique and patented technology, success in standardisation as well as the highly experienced management team, there is significant potential for Nanotron to gain clearly disproportionate benefit from this growth. The fact that Nanotron has successfully attracted high-profile key clients proves our investment decision,” states Köhler, who is now to become a member of the Nanotron Supervisory Board.

“With its superior reliability and precision compared to other technologies and the much lower energy consumption of the transmission method, even in harsh transmission environments, Nanotron’s system offers a wide range of potential uses; whether as an industrial application e.g. for container and asset tracking, modern traffic control systems or applications for the integration of intelligent energy meters. The fast and straightforward assembly of the necessary infrastructure enables users to implement these networks on an ad-hoc basis in accordance with the “plug & play” principle,” explains Felix von Schubert, Partner at zouk ventures and member of the Nanotron Supervisory Board.

“We are pleased with the fact that in DEWB we have attracted another leading investor with expertise, one which has already invested successfully in companies within our target market. We see the latest investment by the existing shareholders as a demonstration of their confidence in our work. We will use the funds raised from the financing round to aggressively drive forward our international expansion and significantly increase our market share in the area of wireless network solutions,” said Dr. Jens N. Albers, CEO of Nanotron, on completion of the financing round.

Marco Scheidler
Phone: +49 (0) 3641 573 3600
Fax: +49 (0) 3641 573 3610

About DEWB
Deutsche Effecten- und Wechsel-Beteiligungsgesellschaft AG (DEWB AG, Prime Standard, Securities No.: 804100 / ISIN: DE0008041005) is an investment company that specialises in young and established medium-sized companies. The focus of our investments is on strong growth companies from the areas of photonics and sensor systems for which we provide support through shareholders’ equity, expertise in corporate development and our sector network. Our regional focus lies in the German speaking countries (D, A, CH). Since 1997 we have invested more than 300 million Euros in 54 companies and realized more than 400 million Euros through 35 exits, eight of which were in the form of IPOs. The company is located in Jena, one of the most successful technology and science regions in Germany, with a long tradition in the field of optical technologies and one of the most important European centres for photonics.

About zouk ventures
zouk ventures was created in 1999 as a specialist pan-European technology investor with the aim to build successful clean technology companies across key European markets. As part of its clean technology strategy zouk is focusing on expansion stage companies in the areas including solar technology, energy efficiency and storage, water, emission reduction, nanotechnology and recycling. Zouk’s latest investments have been in solar technologies, energy efficiency technologies and semiconductor companies in Europe, North America and Asia. Zouk has been a leading investor in the carbon market for over seven years.

About Nanotron Technologies
Nanotron Technologies is a leader and innovator in the design, manufacturing and sales of world-class wireless products for manufacturing, logistics and healthcare applications. These products include integrated circuits, modules, and board level subsystems based on its patented Chirp transmission system. Chirp technology guarantees high robustness and ultra-low energy consumption. Nanotron's Chirp technology is part of the IEEE 802.15.4a standard for wireless PANs. The company's key product, nanoLOC, works in the license-free ISM band at 2.4 GHz, and was developed for the booming RTLS, sensor networking and industrial control markets. Nanotron Technologies was founded in 1991 and is an active member of IEEE, ISO, EPC-Global and the ZigBee alliance. The company with 28 employees is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and has reached revenues of about 2 million Euros.

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