Deal round-up 29/10/03

European investors back US nanotech round; Apax leads Wisair round; ePlanet Ventures invests in End2End; Bumper round for Biospect

European investors back US nanotech round


Geneva-based Vision Capital, Schneider Electric, and Milan-based Net Partners have joined Crossbow Ventures, FirstHand Capital, Capital Valley Ventures, Greyhound Fund, AFA Private Equity Fund and Ariadne Capital have invested in NanoMuscle, a California-based developer of miniature motion technology.


Founded in 1998, NanoMuscle manufactures components that displace small electric motors in high volume markets including the children’s toy and automotive industries. The company has been financed by strategic partners around the globe including AutoVision, a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen and DaimlerChrysler Capital Services.

Apax leads Wisair round


Apax Partners has led a group of international investors in providing $15.5m series B financing for Wisair, an Israeli developer of wireless communication chipset solutions.


Other participants in the round include Vertex, RAD Ventures, Bynet Ventures, Tamar Ventures and RAD. In April 2002, Wisair completed its first round of financing which was also led by Apax Partners. Other participating investors in the $4.3m first round were Tamar Ventures, Bynet Ventures and RAD Ventures.


“We remain committed to our investment in Wisair, which has achieved remarkable progress in the last two years,” said Gal Hayut of Apax Partners. “Wisair’s innovative breakthrough technology makes the company a technological leader that will revolutionise the wireless home entertainment communications market.”


ePlanet Ventures invests in End2End


Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures, the global fund of Silicon Valley-based firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, has led a E10.5m round for End2End, a European provider of solutions for mobile data services based in Denmark. Existing shareholders Deutsche Bank and HP have also backed the round.


The financing, a combination of new equity and debt-to-equity conversion, will be used to finance the firm’s business plan and leaves the company debt free. “End2End has positioned itself as a strong mobile data services partner for mobile operators and service providers, as well as content providers and media companies,” said Roderick Thomson, chairman of Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures.


Bumper round for Biospect


Biospect, an emerging life sciences company developing systems for detecting biomarker patterns, has received a total of over $27m in equity financing from four venture capital  firms. Advent Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by Prospect Venture Partners, Venrock Associates and Versant Ventures. The company also secured investments from a number of undisclosed European individual investors.


The company also announced the appointment of Deborah Neff as president and CEO. Before joining Biospect, Neff most recently served as president of BD Biosciences, a division of Becton, Dickinson and Company.