BRUSSELS /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- in3Depth Systems SA/NV, the financial holding controlling Softkinetic SA/NV, Optrima SA/NV, and Softkinetic Studios SA/NV, has announced the closing of the first part of its Series B financing round, with an €8 million strategic investment by European telecom operator Belgacom and SRIW Techno, the technology venture capital fund of SRIW. The Series B financing will be used to continue technology developments, accelerate commercialization efforts, and finance working capital.
"Our investors will help us drive the commercialization of our full range of 3D+RGB+Voice solutions with Softkinetic's standard software platform. This new investment round is also an acknowledgment of the quality of the research that was achieved since Optrima was spun off from the Vrij Universiteit Brussels."
in3Depth offers an entire range of solutions for the creation of 3D, gesture-controlled user interfaces and applications in consumer electronics devices, such as set-top boxes, televisions, game consoles, and PCs, as well as in a variety of vertical sectors, such as interactive marketing and advertising, digital signage, healthcare, and military. Existing partners and clients include semiconductor company Texas Instruments, telecom operator Belgacom, IPTV platform provider Metrological, and consumer electronics manufacturer Panasonic.
in3Depth's Product Offerings
- Optrima's 3D camera sensors—DepthSense, a family of time-of-flight CMOS sensors, based on the company's patented Current Assisted Photonic Demodulation technology, which offers unrivalled performance with the lowest market price point, and OptriCam, a family of 3D+RGB+Voice cameras for both consumer and professional deployments
- Softkinetic's middleware suite—iisu, the most advanced 3D gesture-recognition software technology, allowing applications developers to develop and deploy 3D gesture-based applications and supporting all major 3D camera manufacturers
- Softkinetic Studios' 3D user interface, video games, advergames, and other applications, which enable its clients to use 3D gesture technologies off the shelf
Softkinetic CEO Michel Tombroff stated: "Our ambition is to build the world leader in 3D gesture and motion capture, a technology disruption of a similar magnitude to touch interfaces in smartphones. It is gratifying to see two European investors taking the lead in promoting such a global play, bringing commercial momentum, financing, and strategic expertise."
"The market for 3D cameras is entering into a phase of rapid growth, and Optrima is ideally positioned to leverage its unique patented technology to offer the best-of-class, lowest cost solutions for the consumer electronics and professional industries," added André Miodezky, CEO, Optrima. "Our investors will help us drive the commercialization of our full range of 3D+RGB+Voice solutions with Softkinetic's standard software platform. This new investment round is also an acknowledgment of the quality of the research that was achieved since Optrima was spun off from the Vrij Universiteit Brussels."
"From a standing start in June, we have successfully completed the first tranche of our fund-raising in a record time, despite a challenging environment for venture companies," stated Frederic Papeians, CFO, in3Depth. "This is a testament to the strategic nature of the 3D gesture technology market in the eyes of investors, and the quality of our business execution. We are well on our way to complete our full Series B by year end, which will round up our lineup of strategic and financial investors in order to capture the market and increase shareholder value."
Didier Bellens, CEO of Belgacom, commented: "This investment is in line with Belgacom's ongoing strategy to invest in promising companies that have developed innovative services and products to enrich Belgacom's customer experience. Belgacom brings its commercial and strategic support while also benefiting from this initiative as a shareholder. Recent other examples include strategic investments in OnLive (U.S.), the innovative online streaming game service, and Jinni (Israel), a unique search and recommendation engine for film and television. We look forward to introducing in3Depth's solutions to our customer base in a near future."
Olivier Vanderijst, President of SRIW, added: "SRIW has been supportive of in3Depth for some time via the investment of our technology subsidiary SRIW Techno in Softkinetic Studios, in3Depth's content development unit in Charleroi. With this round of financing, this is the opportunity for us to back the group as a whole, alongside a major industrial investor. The Regional Investment Company of Wallonia, via its subsidiary SRIW Techno, is proud to support such a world-class creative company headquartered in Belgium."
Laurent Degryse, Managing Partner of Hunza Ventures and Chairman of in3Depth, which supported the initial Series A financing, commented: "From the start, Hunza Ventures has been impressed by the ambition of a team addressing a global market need with a portfolio of truly disruptive technologies. It is satisfying to see the considerable progress in the past two years. As a reference shareholder, our intention is to help in3Depth to become a world-class venture success for its investors. With new institutional shareholders on board, in3Depth is giving itself the means to achieve its ambitions."
About in3Depth Systems
in3Depth Systems SA/NV is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, with operations in the U.S. and Asia. It is the financial holding that controls Softkinetic, Optrima, and Softkinetic Studios. This group of companies—currently 45 staff strong—is the world's only provider to offer a complete solution for the creation of 3D gesture-based user interfaces and applications for both consumer and professional usage. The solution encompasses DepthSense and OptriCam, a 3D camera CMOS chipset and 3D camera reference design; iisu, an advanced 3D gesture-recognition software platform; and a series of applications for both B2C (e.g. video games) and B2B (vertical applications) markets.
About The Belgacom Group
Combining its strong background as the national telecoms operator and the multiple talents of its teams, Belgacom Group is the main supplier of integrated telecommunications services in Belgium. As a result of its continuous investments in leading-edge technology and innovation, it is able to offer its clients, private or professional, with telephone, Internet, and television services, at every moment of the day, wherever the place, and whatever type of access device is being used. For the fiscal year ending 31 December 2009, the group posted total revenues of €5.990 billion and an operating profit before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of €1.955 billion.
About SRIW Techno
SRIW Techno is the technology fund of SRIW. The SRIW Group aims to support the development of activities that generate added value in the Walloon region, while at the same time ensuring the profitability of its own resources. SRIW Techno funded Softkinetic Studios in its early stage.
About Hunza Ventures
Hunza Ventures is a venture capital firm incorporated in 1998 in Luxembourg. The firm focuses its investments on early and mid-stage life sciences and IT companies with outstanding growth prospects. Hunza Ventures has built a large and well-balanced portfolio, based on the strong entrepreneurial experience of the fund's shareholders and managers. Since inception, Hunza Ventures has backed 20 companies in Belgium, Israel, U.S., and Singapore.
Go4Venture is an international investment bank, providing innovative companies and their shareholders with independent corporate finance advice to help them develop and execute fast growth strategies. GoVenture is particularly well known among international financial and strategic investors for its international equity private placement business.