Pixim gears up for its next product line

New funding spurs product development, entrance into other markets
Friday, July 1, 2005

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Pixim, a developer of digital imaging systems, experienced a busy spring as the company named a new chief executive officer, moved into a new location and completed a round of $12 million in new financing.
The financing, announced in the beginning of June, included existing investors Mohr Davidow Ventures, Mayfield and Newbury Ventures as well as new investors, such as Honda Motor Company and Atrium Venture Partners. Proceeds from the round will be used for new product development based on its Digital Pixel System technology, an imaging solution that provides image capture and image processing designed to work interactively as a single system.
"This round was a growth round," said Joe Montalbo, Pixim's new president and chief executive officer, who joined the company in mid-April after spending 26 years in various roles at National Semiconductor. "We had a flow of revenue going and in order to build our inventory, we had to fund that growth."
Pixim's first product, the D2000, is being used by more than 15 camera manufacturers and the new funding will spur the development of the second generation of this product line. Montalbo said the product will include enhancements determined by customer feedback.
While the company's initial product line focused on the security camera market, the additional capital will also help the company move into new markets, such as the automotive industry. Lee Hirsch, vice president of marketing for Pixim, said moving beyond the security market has been part of the company's overall plan.
"As a small start up, we didn't have the resources to move into new markets," Hirsch said. "Also, we wanted to make sure we had nailed down security first, making sure we did it right."
The company has put the feelers out to a variety of industries, but the automotive market has been the quickest to respond with comments on the company's upcoming second generation product line.
"The automotive guys have a lot of implementations where they need to have wide dynamic range," Montalbo said.
Even as the company investigates other avenues for its products, it is not moving away from its roots.
"We are not letting up at all in security," Hirsch said.