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Frontiers Capital, 3i Group, MVI Finance, IDEO and Siemens Venture Capital participate in second round funding to reduce time to market for soft interfacing technology

22 October 2001 -- London, UK -- ElectroTextiles, a UK based company that develops and licences soft interfacing technology, today announced that it has raised $8.75 million (£6 million) in a second stage funding round from a consortium comprising venture capitalists and corporate partners.

Frontiers Capital led the second round and 3i Group, who followed their original investment of $3 million (£2 million), also participated with other investors including MVI Finance; IDEO; and Siemens Venture Capital GmbH.

The investment will be used to accelerate the implementation of its unique technology in mobile computing and wireless applications, to develop additional interfacing opportunities and increase core technology development.

The company is also changing its name to ElekSen, which more accurately reflects the core switching and sensing activity of the business.

ElekSen has developed a sensing technology platform, called ElekTex, which combines a soft, conformable fabric interface with firmware and software, to create soft, lightweight interfaces for consumer electronics products, such as keyboards for mobile phones and handheld computers. ElekSen licenses its intellectual property to organisations that manufacture and distribute high volume consumer products for global markets.

“It is an endorsement of the ElekTex proposition and to the progress the management team have made, that the company has successfully concluded this fund raising in a very difficult equity finance market and achieved a valuation considerably ahead of that of the first round,” said Stuart Wallis, chairman, ElekSen.

“ElekTex is a fundamental technology that increases the potential applications of electronics particularly in the rapidly expanding mobile environment and also enables electronics to deliver functionality previously not possible. Electronic devices will always need to consider the person machine interface and ElekSen enables those interfaces to be soft, tactile, lightweight and efficient,” said Bernard Smith, CEO of ElekSen.

“Eleksen is a technology company with the potential to be genuinely disruptive in the vertical markets it has targeted. Frontiers Capital is investing in a solid management team and will actively assist Eleksen in developing its markets and business,” said Phil Terrett,” partner, Frontiers Capital.

“This investment demonstrates our continuing support for companies in this sector. ElekSen is a genuinely innovative technology company with a cutting edge product in a growing market. ElekSen has forged strong partnerships and with a committed and focused management team we believe the company has tremendous potential for growth,” said Krishna Visvanathan, investment manager, 3i Group.

Andersen Corporate Finance advised ElekSen on the investment round and Lawrence Graham, Solicitors, acted for the company.


About ElekSen

ElekSen is a switching and sensing company that develops and licences soft interfacing means. ElekTek technology is the first release from ElekSen and is already defining the capabilities of soft interfacing. The technology has been developed to enable creation of a new generation of consumer products with soft, flexible and lightweight interfaces.

ElekTex combines conductive fabric structures with microchip technology. It is lightweight, durable, flexible, cost competitive and affords designers new opportunities in designing contoured and portable products for emerging product markets.

ElectroTextiles has its sights set on five vertical markets: in the short term targeting PDA computing, cellular and games controllers with the automotive and healthcare markets, targeted for medium term product delivery.

ElectroTextiles has development partners and licensees in several sectors including telecoms, text interfacing, automotive and healthcare.

For more information, please check: http://www.eleksen.com

Contact:


Stephen Waddington/Chris Measures/Zuzanna Pasierbinska
Rainier
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7494 6570



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