Firecomms, a Cork, Ireland-based provider of high-speed plastic optical fiber components, has raised $5 million in new VC funding. Swisscom, Alps Electric of Japan and GP Bullhound Sidecar were joined by return backers Atlantic Bridge, ACT Venture Finance and Enterprise Ireland.
Firecomms, a provider of high-speed Plastic Optical Fiber components, has closed a $5m funding round that includes a significant investment from Switzerland-based telecom provider Swisscom.
“Already an adopter of Firecomms’ IPTV interconnect technology, Swisscom has first hand experience with the advantages of Plastic Optical Fiber in the home,” says Firecomms’ CEO Declan O’Mahoney. “As Swisscom is an innovative leader in IPTV deployment, this investment is a huge validation of our home networking technology and it will enable us to continue to expand our business with Telcos all over the world.”
“Our development kit exploits several of the most popular interconnect solutions to enable a quick and easy installation of a set top box,” says Jean-Michel Goiran, IPTV Set Top Box business development manager at STMicroelectronics.
“Firecomms’ technology has enabled us to offer a Swisscom-branded Fiber Optic self install solution today. Our engineers have recognized the advantage of Firecomms’ Plastic Optical Fiber technology in reducing and simplifying the install time for our IPTV subscribers,” says Pär Lange, investment partner with Swisscom. “We believe our investment in Firecomms will lead to more collaboration between our companies, which will result in the widespread adoption of POF technology throughout the IPTV world.”
Other investors in Firecomms’ latest funding round are Alps Electric of Japan, a major customer for Firecomms’ automotive transceiver products; London-based GP Bullhound Sidecar; and Firecomms’ existing venture capital investors Atlantic Bridge, ACT Venture Finance, and Enterprise Ireland.
Firecomms home networking technology enables the quick and easy deployment of fiber optic cable in the home. Using low-cost, easy to use transceivers, like the company’s proprietary OptoLock® plugless transceivers, Firecomms makes possible a reliable and future-proof connection between IPTV set top boxes and home gateways. Plastic Optical Fiber technology is widely used in millions of cars worldwide, so Firecomms devices have achieved the low-cost and high reliability required for use in home applications.
Additional information about Swisscom and the other companies investing in Firecomms can be found at their respective websites:
Swisscom Ventures www.swisscom.ch/aboutswisscom
Atlantic Bridge www.abven.com
ACT Venture Finance www.actventure.com
Enterprise Ireland www.enterprise-ireland.com
About Firecomms Ltd.
Firecomms, a semiconductor company, develops high-speed optical components that drive IPTV home networks and in-car multimedia entertainment systems. The company’s revolutionary Optolock® technology, licensed worldwide, has created the ability to bring fiber into every home in the world.
Firecomms is headquartered in Cork, Ireland and has facilities in Japan and the USA. Additional information about the company can be found on its web site at www.firecomms.com.
Swisscom is Switzerland‘s leading telecoms provider with 5.3 million mobile customers, around 5.4 million fixed lines including 1.7 million broadband connections. The company has a presence throughout Switzerland and offers a full range of products and services for mobile, landline and IPbased voice and data communication. Swisscom also is active in one of the most attractive broadband markets in Europe via the Italian provider Fastweb.
Swisscom Ventures seeks to acquire minority stakes in companies that operate in promising markets for information, communication and entertainment technologies. These efforts also include spinning off Swisscom’s internal business activities. As a value-creating investor, Swisscom is able to provide companies with the technical know-how and strategic experience of an established telecommunications provider.