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INSIDE Contactless Secures $25 Million in New Funding; New Round Helps Accelerate the Growth of INSIDE's Contactless Payment and NFC Business Lines.

AIX EN PROVENCE, France -- INSIDE Contactless, a world leader for contactless semiconductor chips, announces today that it has closed a new funding round of $25 million led by Granite Global Ventures (GGV). The other new investor for this round was EuroUs Venture. Current investors who contributed to half of the total amount of this round led by Sofinnova Partners, now the largest shareholder, include Vertex Venture Capital, Vertex Management, GIMV, and Siparex Ventures.

This funding will allow INSIDE Contactless to further expand its sales and marketing presence in Asia and the United States. It will also reinforce INSIDE's research and development efforts, and accelerate new product introduction across the company's two major business lines in Payment and NFC (Near Field Communication).

"We are excited to invest in the leading technology provider for NFC and contactless payments. These markets are poised to take off and see very significant opportunities in Asia for INSIDE going forward, and we will support the company with our presence and strong connexions in the region," comments Mr Lee Kheng Nam, Venture Partner from Granite Global Ventures.

Jean Schmitt, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners states: "INSIDE has what it takes to succeed, financial strengths, management talent, and a booming market, all the components to build end to end solutions, strong IP, strong syndicate of supportive investors. We expect the company to lead the explosion of contactless applications."

"This latest round of funding with top names of the Venture Capital industry further validate INSIDE's vision, technology, and ability to capitalize on the market opportunities that we've been pioneering in the last few years," said Remy de Tonnac, CEO of INSIDE Contactless. "The contactless payment and NFC markets are on the verge of exponential growth, and today's funding will allow INSIDE to further reinforce its leadership."

"We have tested INSIDE's technology and have been impressed by the company's undeniable expertise," said Laurent Jullien, Director of Contactless and Payment Services from Bouygues Telecom. "We believe that INSIDE's NFC chipset is likely to become a major component in the evolution of mobile phones and mobile services. In addition, its financial backing from major venture capital players, makes it even more convincing."

In 2005, INSIDE raised $10.6 million from Sofinnova, Vertex Venture Capital, GIMV, Siparex Ventures, and Visa International. The funding helped business expansion into key growth markets for contactless and mobile Near Field Communication (NFC).

INSIDE's MicroPass(TM), microprocessor-based contactless chip platform, enables consumers to make purchases by simply waving their contactless credit and debit cards past a secure reader. INSIDE's chipsets require low power and deliver optimum read distance - to facilitate a fast transaction speed and a consistent user experience. This technology supports all major global RF standards and is available for use in a variety of card, and other form factors.

INSIDE's Near Field Communication (NFC)-based technology enables mobile devices to behave as both readers, and cards. Once fully deployed, this technology will enable consumers to complete numerous "contactless" transactions - such as: paying for purchases; redeeming coupons; obtaining receipts; buying e-tickets; passing through gates in transit systems; gaining access to secure buildings; or logging onto computers - simply by waiving their mobile phones past a secure reader.

INSIDE's board members include Alex Brabers from GIMV, Jean Schmitt from Sofinnova Partners, Robert Genieser from Vertex Venture Capital, Lee Kheng Nam from Granite Global Venture (GGV) as well as GGV's Managing Director Scott Bonham as a board observer and Patrick Jones as an independent Director.

About INSIDE Contactless

Headquartered in France with a global presence in China, Singapore, Poland and the USA, INSIDE Contactless is a leading fabless semiconductor provider, delivering the most flexible, innovative, cost-effective, and trusted platform for contactless applications including bank card payments and Near Field Communications (NFC). INSIDE is involved in numerous industry initiatives, including the NFC Forum, which is driving the standardization of NFC; as well as the IN-CLUB Limited, which is a non-profit association that brings together companies in the Payment, ID, Mass Transit and Mobile application markets, to collaborate on contactless applications and initiatives. For more information on INSIDE, please visit:

About Granite Global Ventures

Granite Global Ventures is an expansion-stage venture capital firm with a highly diverse team managing over $400 million from its offices in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, and Singapore. GGV invests across a broad range of sectors including software, information technology, new media, systems, and healthcare. Since its launch in 2000, GGV has provided capital and helped accelerate international business development for its worldwide portfolio of high-growth companies, particularly in the U.S. and China. GGV's portfolio includes (combined with Yahoo!), 2Wire, AAC Acoustics (HKSE:2018), and Sirna Therapeutics (NASDAQ:RNAI). Recent exits include Qpass (acquired by Amdocs), Xfire (acquired by Viacom), P-Cube (acquired by Cisco), and Netscaler (acquired by Citrix). For more information please visit

About Sofinnova Partners

Founded in Paris in 1972, Sofinnova Partners is one of Europe's leading independent venture capital firms. With EUR 900 million under management, Sofinnova Partners invests in start-ups and early-stage companies in information technology and life sciences. Its investment strategy consists of investing early in teams and projects with high potential, most often acting as lead or co-lead investor. Sofinnova Partners also benefits from a long-established relationship with its sister company in San Francisco, Sofinnova Ventures. Sofinnova Partners' teams consist of 12 professionals who bring market insight and technical expertise to portfolio companies. For more information, please visit

About Vertex Venture Capital

Vertex Venture Capital is a top-tier player in the international venture capital arena; headquartered in Tel Aviv and with representatives in Europe, Singapore and Japan. Vertex invests in Israeli and Israel-related high technology companies in the early stages of development in the areas of enterprise software, information networking, components and other leading emerging technologies. Vertex Venture Capital has established a global network of business relationships and strategic partners that provides unparalleled possibilities for companies in facilitating potential growth, business opportunities and leveraging synergies throughout Israel, Europe, USA, Japan and Asia. Vertex has an impressive track record of financial exits through M&A and IPO on NASDAQ, NYSE, SWX and HKSE.

About Siparex Ventures

The venture capital activity accounts for 22% of Siparex Group assets under management (EUR 940 million). Siparex Group is one of the leading independent private equity management companies in France. The "group" first entered the venture capital business in the United States, where it has been present for 18 years through its San Francisco office and has listed 11 companies on the NASDAQ so far. In France, specialized funds finance start-ups, operating in the areas of information technology, security, telecommunications, microelectronics, and the life sciences. Siparex Ventures is also a fund manager for outside investors in France and manages 9 "FCPI" innovation funds for well-known financial institutions. Siparex Ventures' team is composed of 11 professionals based in Paris, Lyon, and San Mateo (Silicon Valley, USA). Some of them have a double Franco-American culture and more than 18 years experience in venture capital. For more information:

About GIMV

GIMV is a Belgian investment company. It was established in 1980, and since 1997, it has been quoted on Euronext Brussels. Its purpose is to invest in the equity of unlisted companies (private equity).

Growth is in the forefront for GIMV, because this increases the value of its shareholdings, generates profits when these interests are sold and, as a consequence, provides the resources for new investments. To reinforce this growth, GIMV contributes knowledge and experience (through the board of directors) in addition to its capital investment.

GIMV operates in three areas. GIMV's venture capital is invested primarily in ICT and Life Sciences. In more traditional industries it also undertakes management buy-outs (MBOs) and it provides growth capital (Corporate Investment). The portfolio maintains a balance among start-up companies, fast growth companies and major enterprises. In this way, GIMV positions itself as a player on the international market.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Sep 6, 2006
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