A $5 million round of capital infusion is helping veteran wireless company UIEvolution continue its reinvention as an independent firm.
Veteran wireless company UIEvolution is raising its first round of venture capital — kind of.
The round, at about $5 million, is led by Intel Capital, the global-investment arm of the Silicon Valley chip-maker. Japan’s Itochu corporation is also a participant.
The money will be used to boost the company’s presence in its main markets, U.S. and Japan, said Chief Executive Chris Ruff.
The infusion is part of UIEvolution’s reinvention as an independent firm. The Bellevue company, founded in 2000 by former Microsoft employee Satoshi Nakajima, was propelled by investments from Ignition Partners, among others.
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In 2004 it was bought by one of its investors, Japanese video-game developer Square Enix, for $58 million.
Last December, Ruff, with the help of Nakajima, spun a third incarnation of UIEvolution off its owner.
The separation came as the company, which specializes in designing interfaces for downloading multimedia content into devices including TVs, cellphones and automobiles, continued to expand beyond mobile gaming, Ruff said.
“We were falling further outside of their core business,” he said.
Now the 70-employee company is on its own, with products and producing a “significant amount of cash.”
The recent infusion will help it accelerate its business. Also, securing a “top-tier” investor like Intel gives “great support” to the company’s relaunch, Ruff said.
Ángel González: 206-515-5644 or firstname.lastname@example.org