Wireless Applications

Kovio Raises $20 Million in Venture Capital

July 15, 2009

The funding will provide the necessary capital to begin volume shipments of the company's RF barcodes, which use low-cost and eco-friendly printed electronics to provide everyday consumer products with intelligence.

MILPITAS, CA /PRNewswire/ -- Kovio Inc., a privately held pioneer in printed silicon electronics, announced that to date it has raised $20 million in Series E financing, all from its current investors. With this series of funding, Kovio plans to commence volume shipments of its Kovio RF barcodes, a new category of barcode that leverages low-cost and eco-friendly printed electronics to affordably and securely bring intelligence to everyday things, from transit tickets to consumer products.

"The continued support of our world-class investor team validates the strength of Kovio's vision and the growing momentum behind bringing its RF Barcodes to market," said Amir Mashkoori, President and CEO, Kovio. "Our investors recognize that Kovio has immense potential, with an opportunity to serve a market of literally trillions of products. This round of funding will provide Kovio the capital required to reach its next significant milestone - volume shipments of the first printed RF barcodes in the industry."

Kovio plans to bring together the online and physical worlds through RF barcodes that are printed using Kovio's proprietary silicon inks and high-performance graphics printing technologies. Kovio's RF barcodes are designed to affordably and securely enable a wide range of digital information for everyday consumer products, including product details, direct access to Web sites, nutritional information, or even promotional programs. The digital information that is enabled by Kovio RF barcodes and accessed through ubiquitous mediums, such as the mobile phone, creates new opportunities in promotions and authentication at the item-level, enabling a new communication medium for brands and retailers to interact with consumers at the point of sale.

Kovio investors who participated in the current round of financing include Bessemer Venture Partners, Duff Ackerman & Goodrich Ventures, Flagship Ventures, Harris & Harris Group, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mitsui Ventures, Northgate Capital, Panasonic Venture Group, Pangaea Ventures, Pinnacle Ventures, and Yasuda Enterprise Development.

"We are very excited about the Kovio opportunity," said Rob Chandra, partner, Bessemer Venture Partners. "Kovio is a company that is creating a new category of products with unique, protectable technology, and we believe the market they can enable is enormous. As a result, they fit our highly selective investment profile very well."

Kovio's printed silicon platform can also be applied to a range of other applications, including sensors and displays, expanding the company's potential market opportunity beyond RF barcodes. This financing announcement follows a series of recent company award wins, including the 2009 Red Herring 100 North America, the 2008 and 2009 IDTechEx Printed Electronics Awards for New Product Development, and the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal 2008 Emerging Tech Special Judges' Award.

About Kovio
Kovio Inc., a privately held Silicon Valley company, is developing a new category of semiconductor products, using printed silicon electronics and thin-film technology. Kovio's approach delivers a unique and compelling value proposition in multiple industries, including retail, healthcare, consumer electronics, transportation, manufacturing, and energy.

Kovio's investors are Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bessemer Venture Partners, Duff Ackerman & Goodrich Ventures, Flagship Ventures, Harris & Harris Group, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Mitsui Ventures, Northgate Capital, Panasonic Venture Group, Pangaea Ventures, Pinnacle Ventures, Toppan Forms, and Yasuda Enterprise Development.

About Bessemer Venture Partners
Bessemer Venture Partners is a global investment group with offices in Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, Bangalore, Mumbai, Beijing, and Tel Aviv. As the oldest venture capital practice in the U.S., BVP has partnered as an active, hands-on investor in Ciena, Ingersoll Rand, Parametric, Skype, Staples, VeriSign, and W.R. Grace, among many others. More than 100 BVP-funded startups have gone public on exchanges in Canada, India, London, and the U.S.

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