Kennet provides first venture backing for wireless chip provider

Dutch wireless audio company STS has had its first ever venture backing from Kennet Partners, as companies in the wireless space continue to attract venture funding.

Kennet Partners has completed a $6 million (€4 million) financing round into wireless audio chips company STS.
The company has developed high bandwidth chips and modules which provide uncompressed audio to wireless headsets, speakers and iPod docking stations.

Over 40 million integrated DVD systems, portable audio docking systems, amplifiers and speakers are sold annually, with just a fraction incorporating wireless capability, providing STS with a relatively untapped market, the company said in a statement.

“With very little capital, the STS team has successfully designed and brought highly innovative wireless audio semiconductors to market.” said Eileen Tanghal, director at Kennet Partners. The company has had design wins with some of its products, she said.
STS was founded by chief executive Reinier Winter and chief technology officer Hans Van Leeuwen to develop and market wireless audio chips to consumer electronics manufacturers.

Kennet is the first institutional investor in STS. As part of the investment, Michael Elias and Eileen Tanghal of Kennet will join the board of directors of STS’s parent company, Wireless Audio.

Wireless coverage and development has been a key focus of venture firms recently. Accel Partners, Atlas Venture and Advent Venture Partners were joined by search engine Google in the $25 million funding round of Ubiquisys, a 3G mobile access provider last month.

Also last month UK buyout firm ECI bought underground wireless networking company Avitec for rival portfolio company Aerial in a deal valued at £24 million ($49 million, €36 million).