Thursday, June 17, 2004
Investment from Tech Capital Partners, BDC Venture Capital and Trellis Capital Corporation accelerates haptics and telehaptics product developments
KITCHENER, CANADA, June 17, 2004 – HANDSHAKE VR Inc., a provider of software that simulates the sense of touch in a virtual environment, today announced the company has secured $3 million in equity financing from Tech Capital Partners Inc., BDC Venture Capital and Trellis Capital Corporation. The funding will further strengthen HANDSHAKE’s technology leadership and accelerate its product development in order to address the emerging demand for haptic (sense of touch) and telehaptic (sense of touch over a network) systems.
HANDSHAKE has developed a suite of patented technologies that allow users to manipulate and touch virtual objects over broadband network connections. The company’s proprietary time delay compensation technology has been recognized by industry as the only commercially available technology that allows haptic devices to function effectively over a network since it overcomes otherwise fatal network latency. Potential target industries for telehaptics include military, medical, industrial, and consumer markets.
“Haptics and telehaptics technologies are enabling a wide variety of applications that have never before been possible,” said Dieter Hensler, President and CEO, HANDSHAKE. “HANDSHAKE has demonstrated its technology leadership and this capital injection will strengthen our first-to-market position.”
“HANDSHAKE has technical expertise, strong industry knowledge and ability to execute,” said Tim Jackson, Partner, Tech Capital Partners. “That, along with a number of strong partner relationships and proven customer traction leads us to believe that HANDSHAKE has the potential to be a market leader.”
“While the markets for touch-enabled computing are still embryonic, we believe there is a strong need for HANDSHAKE’s enabling technology,” said Dominic Talalla, Director, BDC Venture Capital. “Haptics has the potential to become the next dimension of human-computer interaction.”
“HANDSHAKE’s management team has a combination of in-depth technical knowledge in haptic science as well as strong business and global sales experience,” said Sunil Selby, Managing Director, Trellis Capital Corporation. “We’ve been impressed by the dedication of this seasoned team.”
The research and development for HANDSHAKE’s technology began in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Waterloo in 1994. After seven years, HANDSHAKE was founded in January 2001 by Dr. David Wang, Dr. Kevin Tuer and Tim Ellis.
About HANDSHAKE VR
Founded in 2001, HANDSHAKE VR provides engineers with development tools and technology components that unleash the power of haptics and telehaptics. HANDSHAKE VR works with leading academic and commercial organizations to develop and pioneer world class haptic and telehaptic solutions. Visit http://www.handshakevr.com for further information.
About Tech Capital Partners Inc.
Based in Waterloo, Ontario, Tech Capital Partners manages $35 million in venture capital. Tech Capital provides seed financing, hands-on leadership, market strategy and operational guidance to early-stage technology companies that have the potential to compete at a global level. Since its inception in 2001, Tech Capital has invested in some of the region’s most innovative high-tech companies, including Covarity, HANDSHAKE VR, Sandvine, Sirific Wireless and VideoLocus. An active advocate of innovation and entrepreneurialism, Tech Capital maintains a strong presence in Waterloo’s thriving technology community. More information is available at http://www.techcapital.com.
About BDC Venture Capital
BDC Venture Capital is a major venture capital investor in Canada, active at every stage of the company’s development cycle, from seed through expansion, with a focus on technology-based businesses that have high growth potential and that are positioned to become dominant players in their markets. BDC Venture Capital has been involved in venture capital since 1975 and has to date invested in more than 400 different companies. It currently manages approximately $500 million in venture capital assets invested in the areas of Life Sciences, Telecommunications, Information Technology, Advanced Technologies and Funds Investments.
About Trellis Capital Corporation
Trellis Capital Corporation provides growth capital to proprietary technology companies in the IT Infrastructure, Industrial, Manufacturing and Alternative Energy sectors. This includes companies that have developed unique materials for use in a variety of applications. These companies must derive their competitive advantage through the development, or unique utilization of technology in the products or services they sell. Trellis invests between $0.5-$2M in the form of customized equity capital and works as a partner in enhancing value to the business. Trellis has access to larger amounts if the opportunity so necessitates. To obtain more information on Trellis Capital Corporation access the company’s web site at http://www.trelliscapital.com.