Capital-E Ready to Seed Europe's Best in Micro- and Nanoelectronics

3/22/2006 - Capital-E, a new venture fund closely related to the Belgian research centre for nanotechnology and nano-electronics IMEC, today announces a first capitalization of 35.5 million euros.

Capital-E aims at two to three investment projects a year in micro- and/or nanoelectronics startups in various sectors. The fund wants to become the European reference in its domain.

On April 10, 2005 the Belgian research centre took the initiative to launch a new venture capital fund, called Capital-E. Eleven months later, the fund - together with its daughter fund Capital-E ARKiv - announces that it has gathered a total of 35.5 million euros. It is thereby ready to finance 'young potentials' within the micro- and nanoelectronics sector.

Next to IMEC's contribution, injected through its daughter Fidimec NV, Capital-E secured additional investments from various (mainly institutional) Belgian players, including the Arkimedes fund of the Flemish government. In its domain, Capital-E is Belgium's largest fund that is also prepared to finance 'seed' initiatives. The management of the fund wants to become the reference in Europe in its domain.

On the short term, the focus is mainly on Flanders, but will gradually shift towards the whole of Western Europe. Before the end of 2006, Capital-E expects to announce a second close with also non-Belgian investors, bringing the total capital to 50 million euros. Capital-E specifically looks at 'early-stage' micro-electronics companies in a variety of sectors.

A total of ten to fifteen projects are projected to be financed within the next five years. Capital-E will not only focus on IMEC spin-offs, but targets any microelectronics startup in various sectors such as healthcare, biotechnology...

The fund is uniquely positioned in several ways. First of all because of the privileged operational link with IMEC, a globally renowned research centre that has set up more than twenty successful spin-offs over the years. Besides this, Capital-E has a right of first refusal on IMEC spin-off incubation projects. Moreover, the managers of Capital-E partners stand out because of their entrepreneurial and industrial background, which ensures a natural fit with starting companies.

Gilbert Declerck, CEO of IMEC, announces: "Together with its daughter Fidimec NV, IMEC is very pleased to participate in Capital-E. It is our strong believe that through Capital-E, we will provide a solid base for future spin-off projects based on IMEC's intellectual property. The fact that Capital-E also invests in seed initiatives makes them an attractive partner. Capital-E allows for a fast, efficient and well-founded transition from a great idea towards a successful company."

About Capital-E
Capital-E, including daughter company Capital-E ARKiv, is an early-stage venture capital fund that focuses on electronics-related startups. The fund is managed by an independent and complementary team of three people. Wim De Graeve has been closely involved in two startups himself.

Pascal Vanluchene can count on a solid industrial background in both multinationals as high-tech startups. Marc Wachsmuth completes the team. With his experience in a prominent Flemish investment company, he can be called the 'venture capitalist' of the team.

About IMEC
IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC's research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry.

Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide position IMEC as a key partner for shaping technologies for future systems.

As an expansion of its wireless autonomous microsystems research, IMEC has created a legal entity in the Netherlands. Stichting IMEC Nederland runs activities at the Holst Centre, an independent R&D institute that develops generic technologies and technology platforms for autonomous wireless transducer solutions and systems-in-foil.

IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of about 1400 people includes close to 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2005, its revenues are estimated to be close to EUR 200 million.

Fidimec NV is the IMEC holding company and was established as vehicle for IMEC's stock-option plan. IMEC contributes all its equity participations to Fidimec, from where they are managed. Fidimec holds a portfolio of 15 participations, which are a.o. shares originating from technology transfers in both spin-offs and other start-ups.

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