SAN MATEO, Calif., July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Phoenix Venture Partners LLC (PVP) announced that the acquisition of one of its portfolio companies, Vixar Inc., by OSRAM was completed on July 2, 2018. Located in Plymouth, MN, Vixar Inc. was founded by Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) industry pioneers Dr. Mary Hibbs-Brenner and Dr. Klein Johnson who first brought VCSELs to the data communication market in the late 1990s and then founded Vixar Inc. in 2005 to develop VCSEL chips and packaging for a plethora of standard and customized sensing applications. With strong adoption in leading-edge applications at industry bellwether customers, Vixar’s revenues have been growing rapidly over the past few years and the company has been profitable both on an operating and net earnings basis. Vixar will leverage OSRAM’s resources as an industry leader to take its business to the next level and expand its offering of high performance VCSELs. Approximately 20 employees of Vixar will join OSRAM as a result of the acquisition.
“PVP was an ideal partner because we believed in their strategic partnership based investment approach. John Chen’sand Frank Levinson’s strong entrepreneurial business and technical experience were essential in transitioning Vixar from a development stage company to a business focused on product sales. While encouraging us to accelerate commercialization, John and Frank also provided sound guidance and patient support during the inevitable challenges a start-up faces. Avinash Kant’s experience and connections as a Wall Street analyst were extremely valuable in developing and executing a successful exit plan,” said Dr. Mary Hibbs-Brenner, CEO and Co-Founder of Vixar.
Commenting on Vixar’s exit Dr. John T. Chen, Managing General Partner of PVP and a Board member of Vixar said, “We invested in Vixar because we believed in their business model and saw the potential of their VCSEL technology to enable entirely new markets. Mary and the team did an outstanding job executing and growing Vixar into an industry leading VCSEL company. We see the successful exit of Vixar, which has resulted in a significant return on investment for the investors of our first fund, to be a strong validation of PVP’s investment strategy.”