Tyco Buys VC-Backed Sensitive Object

Tyco Electronics has acquired Sensitive Object SA, a French maker of touch input technology based on acoustic waves processing, for approximately $62 million. Sensitive Object was formed in October 2003 as a spinoff from the French Public Center of Research, and raised VC funding from both Sofinnova Partners and Motorola Ventures.

Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm, today announced that Tyco Electronics Ltd.has acquired all of the shares of Sofinnova’s portfolio company Sensitive Object, SA for approximately $62 million upfront.

Sensitive Object is a developer of a touch input technology based on acoustic waves processing. The company was created in October 2003 as a spin off from the French Public Center of Research (CNRS) with an innovative and patent-protected technology capable of “tactilizing” any surface with any type of touch (stylus, finger, etc.). This unique software technology leverages acoustics to analyze sound waves propagating after touching an object to precisely and cost-effectively transform any product into a touch sensitive device.

Sofinnova, a majority investor in SO, seeded the company in 2004, well before touchscreens became the standard of the mobile phone industry. Sofinnova was the sole investor in further rounds, until joined in the last round by Motorola Ventures. Other shareholders were the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique(National Center for Scientific Research), founders, management and employees.

“Sofinnova invested in Sensitive Object at the very beginning – when the company was one genius inventor with one patent back in 2004, incubated at ESPCI in Paris”, said Jean Schmitt, Managing Partner with Sofinnova Partners, who led this investment since 2004. “Sofinnova’s aim is to backinnovative technologies and entrepreneurs and help them tirelessly until successful exit. In short, we are convinced that bold investments and teamwork do pay off. We’re pleased to have started the year off with this emblematic exit, demonstrating the strength of venture capital investment in Europe”.

Fromlandmark historical investments including Genentech, Vistaprint and Biogen to more recent successes such as CoreValve, Fovea, Purple Labs and Novexel. Sofinnova has a history of discoveringand nurturing companies and entrepreneurs in the technology and life sciences industries. Its team of partners, associates and analysts, and its network of entrepreneurs and consultants have been instrumental in investing in nearly 500 companies throughout the firm’s 35-year history.

About Sofinnova Partners

Sofinnova Partners is an independent venture capital firm based in Paris, France. For over 35 years, the firm has backed nearly 500 companies at different stages of development – pure creations, spin-offs, as well as turnaround situations – and worked alongside Europe’s key entrepreneurs in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors. With EUR1.1 billion of funds under management, Sofinnova Partners’ experienced team and hands-on approach in building portfolio companies through to exit have created market leaders, from landmark historical investments including Genentech, Actelion and Vistaprint to more recent successes such as CoreValve, Novexel and Fovea. With a global mindset, the firm has a sister organization in San Francisco, California.