Alps Electric puts cash into Qualtre

December 18, 2014 // By Peter Clarke
Alps Electric Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan), a maker of electronics components and infotainment systems, has participated in a $9 million funding round for MEMS gyroscope vendor Qualtre Inc. (Marlborough, Mass.) along with established investors Matrix Partners and Pilot House Ventures.

Qualtre said a second strategic investor participated in the round but did not name them.

 

Alps and Qualtre have engaged in joint development of inertial sensors since Qualtre's foundation in 2008. Alps includes Qualtre's bulk acoustic wave (BAW) gyroscopes in its sensor portfolio and provides manufacturing services to the startup. Alps also made a $3 million strategic investment in Qualtre in 2013 (see ALPS strengthens partnership with Qualtre ).

 

Qualtre said it would use the money to expand sales and marketing, scale operations, and extend product development as the company supports new customers and additional applications. Previous funding rounds were used to develop Qualtre's proprietary BAW MEMS sensor designs and its HARPSS process technology.

 

"Qualtre launched two BAW MEMS gyroscopes in 2014 with strong customer acceptance," commented Edgar Masri, CEO of Qualtre, in a statement. "These robust gyros offer higher accuracy with superior shock and vibration immunity at competitive price points."

 

"Alps Electric and Qualtre have forged a strong partnership because our core competencies complement each other so well," said Yasuo Sasao, director of Alps Electric's components business, in the same statement. "Whereas Alps Electric's strong sensor portfolio benefits from Qualtre's superior inertial MEMS technology and performance, Qualtre is able to benefit from Alps Electric's manufacturing efficiencies, to support high production volumes at attractive price points, and ability to access a broad customer base. We've been extremely impressed by the initial response to Qualtre’s best-in-class products and are looking forward to our continued work together to provide outstanding experiences for our new and existing customers."

 

Related links and articles:

 

www.alps.com

 

www.qualtre.com

 

News articles:

 

ALPS strengthens partnership with Qualtre

 

Qualtre launches single-axis BAW MEMS gyro

 

Qualtre demonstrates MEMS BAW gyroscope

 

An introduction to BAW gyroscopes for inertial sensing

 

Ten analog, MEMS and sensor startups to watch in 2014

 

EE Times Silicon 60: Hot Startups to Watch