AIM-listed Innovision Research & Technology has announced that it has secured funding of nearly $9 million (£5.4 million) from existing and new institutional investors to take advantage of its position in the growing Near Field Communication (NFC) market. The funding is to be used to further develop and capitalise on opportunities for the company's NFC Intellectual Property (IP) and tags as well as consolidate its position as the foremost NFC IP technology developer.
Three new NFC contracts, a major RFID contract in China and a joint licensing deal with NXP, were all secured in the first half of 2009 and have provided a strong start to the year. In addition, the company has joined the Board of the NFC Forum.
Innovision has licensed its NFC technology to some of the world's largest global semiconductor companies - already leaders in the wireless market - and is now working with them to incorporate its NFC IP into chips aimed at the mobile handset market. Once they reach production, Innovision expects that each deal could generate significant royalty revenue streams over several years, securing the company's NFC IP into NFC handsets shipped from 2012 onwards, and providing a solid foundation on which to market its tags to service the applications.
Ultimately, the company sees its tag technology enabling a multitude of applications and smart objects. In March this year, Innovision announced it is supplying NFC tags for mobile operator mobilkom Austria; and it has also deployed tags in NFC-enabled electronic photo frames and speakers developed by Parrot.
Innovision is also making progress in its planned entry into the Chinese market, winning its first significant RFID contract for supplying analogue technology, which will see two chips launch in 2010 in China for a major smartcard company. The firm has also sub-contracted manufacturing of its chips and complete tags within China - an important step in enhancing its position in the growing tag market in the country.
David Wollen, CEO of Innovision, commented that. "The NFC market is getting very positive headlines, with statements from payment processors, mobile network operators and handset manufacturers. As far as Innovision is concerned, our business model for NFC will continue to focus on propagating our IP with major semiconductor vendors for use in ‘combo' and other chips designed for the mobile handset, laptop and consumer device markets. We believe ‘combo' chips are a major growth area in handsets, combining multiple wireless functions, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, FM and GPS on a single chip."