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Zensys

Zensys

Invested
February 2001

Exited
December 2008

Return
undisclosed

Sector:
Business services

Headquarters:
Denmark

Business:
Consumer electronics  - the internet of things

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Business at time of investment

Zensys, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, was a provider of fundamental enabling technology for home control networks.  Zensys’ proprietary technology, Z‑Wave™, enables low-cost wireless communication between controllable devices such as power outlets, light switches, sensors, alarms, thermostats and AV equipment.

Investment rationale

Zensys’ proprietary technology enabled low-cost wireless communication between controllable devices such as power outlets, light switches, sensors, alarms, thermostats and AV equipment. Palamon could see the potential for the business to become the de-facto standard for ultra low-cost home networking and for the company’s technology to be widely incorporated into household appliances by a broad spectrum of manufacturers.

Value creation

  • Repositioned business: from producing an end product to global commercialisation of unique ASIC technology through OEMs
  • Strong focus on R&D objective of driving hardware cost below $1.00 and enabling transmission on 2.4 GHz band to facilitate mass market adoption
  • Recruited new management team, including CEO, CFO, US and European Sales Directors
  • Concluded partnerships with Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel, Cisco and Panasonic to fund development

Company at Exit

Zensys was one of the forerunners in the “internet of things”.  Whilst it had met all commercialisation objectives trading was significantly impacted by the downturn in the US housing market in 2008 following the global financial crisis.

Result

In November 2008, Zensys was sold Sigma Designs, Inc, a NASDAQ listed semiconductor business.