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26 April 2013

CMOS PA firm Javelin sold by Silverton Partners and Sevin Rosen Funds to Avago

Investors Silverton Partners and Sevin Rosen Funds have sold their stakes in Javelin Semiconductor Inc of Austin, TX, USA, which was one of the first firms to develop 3G wireless communications power amplifiers (PAs) based on industry-standard CMOS silicon, to Avago Technologies Ltd of San Jose, CA, USA and Singapore (a designer and supplier of III-V-based analog components for communications, industrial and consumer applications).

Founded in 2007, in less than five years of operation Javelin had raised over $21m in venture capital funding led by Austin-based Silverton Partners and Dallas-based Sevin Rosen Funds, including a $6.3m Series A round of funding, followed by a $6.2m Series B round involving 14 investors in February 2010, a $4m Series C round involving 17 investors in May 2011, and a $5m Series D round involving 16 investors in February 2012. Since then, Javelin has shipped several power amplifiers developed for cellphones made by Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

According to the Austin American-Statesman publication, CEO Brad Fluke (formerly of Austin-based cell-phone PA developer Silicon Laboratories Inc) said last fall that Javelin had grown to 29 staff and was shipping about 1 million chips per month. However, Sevin Rosen Fund’s Jon Bayless told the Wall Street Journal that the firm had grown to where it would either have to expand its sales, marketing and administration spending or find a buyer.

Morgan Flager of Silverton Partners says that other firms (in addition to Avago) took an interest in Javelin late last year, after Qualcomm Inc (the world’s largest cell-phone IC maker) announced its plans to develop a CMOS silicon-based power amplifier.

Avago began as part of Hewlett-Packard Co in 1961, and in 1999 became the semiconductor products group of spin-off Agilent Technologies Inc. In 2005 it was acquired for $2.66bn in a leveraged buy-out by private-equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co (KKR) and Silver Lake Partners, becoming Avago. In 2008, the firm raised $400m in an initial public offering of stock on NASDAQ. With staffing of about 3600, revenue in 2012 was $2.4bn.

The acquisition of Javelin follows Avago’s purchase earlier in April of CyOptics Inc of Lehigh Valley, PA, USA, which makes indium phosphide (InP)-based optical chips and components, for about $400m in cash.

See related items:

Avago to acquire CyOptics for $400m

Javelin first fully qualified CMOS PA supplier shipping in 3G smartphones

Tags: Avago Javelin CMOS PAs



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