Welcome to the Touch revolution. Ahead of the impending news about the iTablet/iPad from Apple today, comes news that a French maker of touch input technology has been acquired by Tyco Electronics for $62 million upfront. Motorola’s venture arm also has an interest in the technology. Will we see the mobile maker create new touch devices? Could be.
The news wraps up a good day for key European venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners, which has exited its stake in its portfolio company Sensitive Object. At the same the VC has announced the closure its sixth fund, Sofinnova Capital VI, raising €260 million.
Sensitive Object has created a touch input technology based on acoustic waves processing (more here). Oh yes, you read that right. Instead of making the screen itself touch sensitive, it analyzes the sound waves that pass through object when somone touches it. Star Trek huh.
Sofinnova seeded the company in 2004 and was joined in the last financing round by Motorola Ventures. The company was a spin off from the French Public Center of Research.
Meanwhile, Tyco Electronics itself just posted a larger-than-expected jump in quarterly profit first-quarter net earnings of $269 million.
As for Sofinnova, the closing of this fund follows the most successful year in the firm’s history, which included three landmark exits (CoreValve, Fovea and Novexel), one IPO (Movetis) and eight new investments. Investors in Sofinnova Capital VI include LPs such as CDC Entreprises, within the France Investment program, Industrial & Financial Investments Co., JP Morgan Asset Management, funds advised by Partners Group and Skandia Life Insurance Company.