Deal round-up 10/01/03

Benchmark backs BridgCo second round; AXA leads E10m mechanical systems round; Sofinnova invests in digital storage business; 3i backs Vanguard Healthcare round;Nordic Biotech leads Biotica funding

Benchmark backs BridgCo second round


US venture capital investor Benchmark Capital has participated in a $13.3m second round of financing for Bridgco, a Zurich-based software company. Benchmark was joined in the round by fellow previous investors Earlybird, Infineon Ventures and Intel Capital.


BridgCo CEO Christof Heidelberger said the funds will be used to continue to develop the company’s entertainment network adapters. BridgeCo is also involved in a research collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, funded by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation.


AXA leads E10m mechanical systems round


AXA Private Equity has led a E10m financing round for PHS MEMS, a micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturer based in Grenoble. Other participants in the round included CDP Capital Technology Ventures, IDI Kairos, Thales Corporate Ventures, the Houston Group and ETF Group.


Financing from the round, which will be left open to new investors until March 2003, will partly be used to recruit additional operations staff to meet production commitments resulting from contract wins from a several international clients. The fund raising will enable PHS MEMS to achieve break-even by Q1 2004.


Sofinnova invests in digital storage business


A group of international investors comprising Sofinnova Ventures, Sofinnova Partners, Advanced Technology Ventures, US Venture Partners and 3Com have backed a further $6m financing round for Intransa, a California-based digital information storage and access solutions developer. The round takes the total amount raised by Intransa to $33m.


To date, Intransa has used its funding to finance the development of its network storage product and to build its management and technical team. The current financing will be put towards increased marketing and sales programs and towards building the company’s customer service solutions as it prepares to launch its first product storage product.


3i backs Vanguard Healthcare round


The Bristol office of European venture capital firm 3i, is to provide £5m growth funding for Vanguard Healthcare Solutions Ltd. The investment will allow Vanguard to provide more support to the UK’s National Health Service to reduce surgical waiting lists.


Vanguard Healthcare was formed in March 2002 by Andrew Allen, chief executive and Gary King, managing director. The Bristol-based company provides unique mobile operating theatre suites which provide day surgery units and experienced nursing staff, enabling the NHS to offer additional operating capacity.


Nordic Biotech leads Biotica funding


Danish venture capital fund Nordic Biotech has co-led a $5m first round financing of Biotica Technology, a drug discovery technology company spun-out of the University of Cambridge. San Francisco-based Biotechnology Value Fund has also participated in the round.


The proceeds from the round will be used to advance Biotica's proprietary discovery pipeline and will also allow the company to strengthen its research effort and expand its management team. Biotica has been collaborating with Pfizer in anti-bacterial research since 1997, and recently announced an expansion of the project.