Dartfish raises SFr3 million and appoints well-known financier to board

Dartfish says it has maintained investor confidence.

Fribourg-based software start-up, Dartfish, announced it just closed a SFr3 million round of investment.

This content was published on July 12, 2002 - 14:53

The three-year-old company that makes sophisticated video imaging used by the sports industry to provide feedback to participants, attracted capital from venture capital investors in a round led by Venture Partners, a Swiss venture capital boutique with offices in Zurich and Geneva.

Other investors included CIMA (Corporate Investment and Management Affentranger Holding SA), Initiative Capital (BCV), Nomura International, and Intel Capital.

"It was a follow on round," Massimo Lattman of Venture Partners told Swiss Venture Update. Such a round indicates a company has met its milestones and investors are coming back to put more money into the firm to take it to its next level.

Dartfish is going to use the money to increase its sales force and distribution networks. The young company was successful in keeping the confidence of its investors despite investors being "extremely cautious at the moment", according to Jean Marie Ayer, Dartfish CEO.

He says that without "good and proven fundamentals it is almost impossible to
raise money these days".

Strong revenue growth

Shareholder confidence in Dartfish stems from the company's strong revenue growth from SFr400,000 in 1999 to SFr4 million in 2001.

Investors seem to have grasped that building a business requires a commitment in time, especially one that is developing a brand new market, such as Dartfish had to do.

"Investors need to understand the time it takes to build a business. The idea of making money is excellent - the idea of making quick money is damaging to a business," Ayer told Swiss Venture Update when asked about the criteria for success of a venture-funded software company.

A new executive chairman has also joined the Dartfish board of directors: Anton Affentranger. He brings 20 years of business and management experience to the board.

He is the former chief financial officer of Roche. Prior to Roche, Affentranger served as CEO and managing partner of Lombard Odier & Cie and as executive vice president of UBS. Anton Affentranger is currently a limited partner of Lombard Odier.

by Valerie Thompson

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