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Nanostart AG Invests in Microlight Sensors

German-based technology investment company Nanostart AG is investing an undisclosed amount in homegrown Microlight Sensors. With portfolio companies spanning the globe from Silicon Valley to Singapore, Nanostart AG provides venture capital financing for nanotechnology companies in various growth phases with a focus on innovation-driven industries of the future such as cleantech, life sciences and IT/electronics.

Founded in 2006, Microlight develops and manufactures optical systems and components for sensor technologies. Microlight currently targets the domestic security market in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounted for about 21 percent of the global market in 2007.

The investment will be carried out in tranches by the Nanostart Singapore Early Stage Venture Fund. The Nanostart fund will take an initial stake of 19 percent. Following distribution of the final tranche, the Nanostart fund will own shareholdings of 31 percent in Microlight Sensors.

The company says the investment will be used to develop new products and to finance business expansion. New products in the offing include the development of an ultrasensitive sensor based on nanomaterial technology.

Microlight Sensors' current products enable capturing of extremely low-intensity light and radiation near the wavelength range of infrared and visible light. They are deployed in civil security and monitoring purposes, across all illumination conditions of the 24hrs cycle without sensor damage. The instruments deliver equivalent daylight performance during night operations at conditions of extreme low light.

Microlight Sensors targets the domestic security market in the Asia-Pacific region. By 2014 the market is anticipated to increase by 8.5 percent to 40 billion US dollars. The rapid growth forecast could be partly attributed to growing civil security requirements and the prevalence of antiquated systems to be replaced.

Nanostart Asia is a 100 percent subsidiary of Nanostart AG. It is Nanostart's gateway to the growth markets of Asia. Andreas Kroll, managing director of Nanostart Asia, says: "Microlight Sensors currently possesses cutting-edge technology in an expanding market that is still being developed."

"We see above-average growth opportunities, which is why we decided to make this investment," he added.

It invests in young, up -coming nanotechnology companies which approach the market with highly innovative products or processes. Headquartered in Singapore, Nanostart Asia invests as a partner of the Singapore government. The company is known for comprehensive expertise in optical engineering and design and is also developing an entirely new generation of scanning optical equipment for imagery and spatial regeneration. The roadmap includes ultrasensitive sensor products based on nanomaterial technology.

In Singapore, The Nanostart investment will be directed toward new product developments as well as financing expansion of the company's business, in particular sales and marketing in Asia.

And Victor Teo, founder and CEO of Microlight adds, "We are convinced that we have found the right partner with Nanostart. The company possesses enormous commercialization expertise as well as the ability to facilitate further growth of Microlight through its international network."

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