(PRWEB) February 8, 2002

February 6, 2002, Cambridge, UK—Cyan Technology Ltd, the Cambridge-based developer of low-power flash microcontrollers based on technology from Cambridge Consultants Limited, has secured $ 2.8M in second-round funding. The investment comes from NIF Ventures Co. Ltd (NIF Ventures), Japan’s second largest independent VC firm, and The Cambridge Gateway Fund.

Cyan Technology will use the investment to further develop the eCOG product family, a series of 16-bit microcontrollers dedicated to high-performance, low-power, and cost-effective networked consumer applications, and to grow Cyan’s sales, marketing, and customer support. By providing a superior product line and creating a strong customer service infrastructure, Cyan Technology is extending functions to manage and build on the strong customer interest it is receiving globally.

David Griffiths, CEO of Cyan Technology, commented on the investment: “Cyan has identified a significant need for device connectivity in the consumer application market, and, with prudent financial management, the company has developed in less than two years a connectivity solution that fills that gap. Obtaining funding in today’s investment environment is no mean feat. Our ability to do so demonstrates that the investment community concurs that our solution is viable, matching global market needs. We are excited that these additional funds and our relationship with NIF Ventures as an investor will enable us to take the company forward to its next stage in development.”

Cyan Technology addresses a wide range of new end markets that require Internet, wireless, and high-speed connectivity with a high-performance, low-power, cost-effective solution. Working in partnership with its customers, Cyan has tailored connectivity solutions by significantly enhancing a range of microcontrollers using 16-bit Harvard architecture originally developed by Cambridge Consultants Limited.

NIF Ventures’ investment coincides with Cyan Technology’s launch of eCOG1—a peripheral-rich, low-power, 16-bit flash microcontroller designed specifically to target the high-growth markets of embedded communications and embedded Internet.

From a worldwide market of $ 7.2 billion in 2001 (source: Semico Research), the 16-bit microcontroller market has continued to show significant growth, despite an overall downturn in the technology sector over the past year.

As Mitzuhiko Hashimoto, General Manager of NIF Ventures’ International Investment Department, said: “With the rapid growth of communications applications such as line-powered modems and VoIP, we anticipate that Cyan Technology’s solution will be adopted rapidly by the marketplace. Certainly, Cambridge Consultants has an international reputation for establishing strong spin-off companies. Cyan is no exception. With its current product offering and its excellent business partners, it’s no surprise that customers are already in the process of implementing this microcontroller into next-generation embedded communications devices.”

Alan Barrell, who spearheads The Cambridge Gateway Fund, commented: “Since 2000, when we made our first investment, Cambridge Gateway has held a keen interest in both the development of Cyan Technology and its highly sophisticated microcontroller solution. eCOG1—now a developed product—is a very powerful communications engine, and Cyan has identified a large gap in the microcontroller market, making its product offering an extremely exciting opportunity for volume growth.

“We are delighted to be increasing our stake with new funding in Cyan Technology and look forward to working alongside the team to help deliver the next stage of growth,” concluded Barrell.

The Cambridge Gateway Fund, together with VC fund ET Capital, invested $ 2.1M in Cyan Technology’s first-round funding in July 2000. Earlier in 2001, NIF Ventures injected $ 2.8M into Cambridge Gateway, to boost its fund to $ 50M. The two have previously co-invested in companies, including the Cambridge-based companies Antenova, the antenna specialist, and Advanced Rendering Technology, a world leader in 3D rendering technology.

NIF Ventures Co. Ltd, Japan’s second largest VC firm, uses its expertise to create and promote worldwide business opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs. The company is widely known for investing at an early stage and seeks, in particular, products and services that address large emerging markets. Examples of NIF Ventures’ successful investments include ARM, Element14, and Virata.

The Cambridge Gateway Fund has support from investors globally, including Hong Kong, the US, and continental Europe. It invests in early-stage technology companies and operates a policy of hands-on support and engagement to aid the growth of its investee companies.

About Cyan Technology

Cyan Technology ( was formed in 2000 as a spin-off of Cambridge Consultants Ltd (CCL). The company enjoys competitive advantage through its advanced 16-bit technology, which is the result of ten years of research within CCL, significantly enhanced by Cyan’s highly skilled engineering team to address the needs of the embedded communications market.

Within two years of Cyan’s formation, the company has brought to market a low-power 16-bit flash microcontroller with real-time in-circuit emulation.

Cyan’s multipurpose microcontroller offers significant advantages in ease of use, price, performance, and power consumption. This 16-bit product fills a significant gap in the market, offering the processing power required for embedded communications applications at less cost and lower power requirements than 32-bit processors, thereby reducing system cost and extending battery life. The chip’s unique features make it particularly suited to hand-held battery-powered applications, such as PDAs and web-enabled phones, plus a wide range of embedded communications devices, such as set-top boxes, Internet-enabled appliances, and intelligent sensors.

About NIF Ventures

NIF Ventures Co. Ltd was incorporated in 1982 as the venture capital arm of the Daiwa Securities Group. The company plays a highly active role throughout Asia, establishing joint ventures together with local government-owned development banks, as well as extending support through its offices in Silicon Valley, Singapore, and Taipei. New alliances in the European VC arena are also forged, such as that with The Cambridge Gateway Fund. NIF Ventures takes a hands-on approach to ensure the best service for its portfolio companies, providing active guidance and advice on all elements of building and developing a global brand.

Mitzuhiko Hashimoto is General Manager of NIF Ventures’ International Investment Department. He joined NIF Ventures in 1996 following ten years’ experience in the banking arena at non-Japanese investment/commercial banks. His particular expertise is investments in the semiconductor sector.

About The Cambridge Gateway Fund

The Cambridge Gateway Fund invests predominantly in companies with global reach that are connected with the eastern region of the UK and which are exploiting innovative core technology in Information and Communication Technologies and Life Sciences.

Advised by NW Brown Capital Partners Limited, the Fund is associated with the NW Brown Group, which was founded in Cambridge in 1974 and has grown alongside the city’s thriving economy. NW Brown Group Limited offers a comprehensive range of financial services to private and corporate clients and employs 80 people.

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