Cambridge EDA start-up secures $4 million funding


29-05-2003

Azuro Inc, a start-up developing new EDA software tools, announced it has raised $4 million in first round funding.

The investment, led by Benchmark Capital, comes just 14 months after the company was formed, and includes TTP Ventures and private investors from the semiconductor industry.



"We are delighted to have Benchmark as the lead investor for our first major funding round in the company," said Paul Cunningham, President & CEO of Azuro. "Benchmark's global reach and first hand experience of EDA software companies and semiconductor vendors makes them an ideal partner for us as we take the company to the next level."



Azuro was founded in March 2002 by Cambridge University post-doctoral graduates Paul Cunningham and Steev Wilcox. The company attracted initial seed funding of $0.3 million from TTP Ventures and The Cambridge Angels, a group of Cambridge-based angel investors.



Commenting on the investment, Mark Evans, a general partner with Benchmark Capital, said: "Paul and Steev have done an outstanding job in developing a truly disruptive idea into a prototype product and targeting it at a huge market opportunity. We now plan to leverage our network into making Azuro a large and successful global company."



David Gee, of TTP Ventures, added: "Azuro has generated significant customer traction in a very short space of time, and we are delighted to have contributed to this process. This investment emphasises our commitment to active early stage investment."



The company, currently six people, expects to launch its first product in Q4 2003, and is already focused on partnering with early access customers on a global basis.





About Benchmark

Benchmark Capital was founded in 1995 with the mission of helping talented entrepreneurs build major technology enterprises focused on long term growth. Benchmark takes a labour-intensive, team-oriented approach to venture investing in order to deliver a superior level of service to its portfolio companies. Benchmark's portfolio includes EDA companies Synopsys (Nasdaq: SNPS) and Get2Chip; semiconductor vendors, Abrizo, Comcore, and C-Port and franchise companies such as eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR) and Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT).



Managing more than $2 billion in committed venture capital, Benchmark focuses on early-stage investment in markets where the partners have direct, relevant experience. For more information on Benchmark, visit its web site at www.benchmark.com



About TTP Ventures

TTP Ventures is the venture capital investment arm of TTP Group, one of Europe's most successful innovation companies based near Cambridge, UK. It invests in early stage science and technology businesses and specializes in spin-offs from R&D organizations. Investments include Element-14 (acquired by Broadcom), Alphamosaic (multimedia processors) and Cambridge Semiconductor (integrated power semiconductors). Its investors include Boeing and Siemens. For further information visit www.ttpventures.com





About the Cambridge Angels

The Cambridge Angels is a group of high-net worth investors who have proven

experience as successful entrepreneurs in technology and bio-technology.

Members invest in and mentor high-quality technology and bio-technology

companies mostly in the Cambridge (UK) area. Members of Cambridge Angels

have been responsible for a large number of the Cambridge phenomenon success

stories over recent years. For more information see www.cambridgeangels.net



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For more information please contact

PauCunningham

Azuro

+44 (0)1223 421 183

pc@azuro.com



Mark Evans

Benchmark Capital

+44 (0)207 016 6800

mevans@benchmark.com



David Gee

TTP Ventures

+44(0)1763 262626

dlg@ttpventures.com



Sarah Sambles

TKO Marketing Consultants Ltd

+44 (0)1444 473 555

sarah@tko.co.uk