23 March 2006

ASI invests in semiconductor maker

TALLINN, March 27, 2006 – Estonian investment firm Ambient Sound Investments (ASI) has announced a $2 million injection in Clifton, an Estonian start-up which plans to mass-produce heat-resistant low-cost semiconductor switches for the electronics industry.

Clifton's technology improves the reliability of electronic devices and helps reduce their weight, as the company uses highly heat-resistant gallium arsenide crystals in its semiconductors, instead of silicone.

The investment takes Clifton into a new stage where its new generation of low-cost semiconductors may soon reach the world market, according to Olev Schults, Chairman of Estonia-based investment bank Cresco and member of the board at Clifton.

"Ambient's investors represent smart money, able to really work their way through an ambitious technology project," Schults said. "In addition to capital, they also bring valuable advice to Clifton."

To market its semiconductors, Clifton has secured preliminary agreements with the British semiconductor producer Semelab. In cooperation with the Tallinn University of Technology, the two companies are also devising joint product-development efforts based on Clifton's technology.

"We aim to finance high-tech projects that have international potential," said ASI Chairman Toivo Annus. "We are seeking technologically intriguing ideas that, when successful, could change the world."

ASI was launched in 2003 by the Estonian co-founders of Skype, the internet communication company.

For more information:

Olev Schults
Chairman, Cresco
Member of the Board, Clifton
Toivo Annus
Chairman, Ambient Sound Investments