AdAstra News: AdAstra invests € 3m in ASK S.A., Sophia Antipolis, France
Sophia Antipolis / Munich Oct. 24,2002 ASK S.A., the leading
manufacturer of contactless smart cards for mass transit raised
€ 16.3m in a third round of funding. The round was lead by Apax
with participation from new investors AdAstra and iGlobe Partners.
Existing investors CDC Innovation, Credit Lyonnais Private Equity
and Banque de Vizille joined the round.
ASK which was founded in 1997 and is based in Sophia Antipolis,
France, reported revenues of € 11.6m with break even in 2001.
ASK designs and manufactures a comprehensive product range extending
from the low cost consumable smart papers to the most advanced
multi-application smart cards which combine contact and contactless
technology. ASK's smart cards are used in the fast growing markets
of transportation, access control, payment and entertainment. The
company will use the funds to accelerate international growth and to
"In the current economic slowdown we have enjoyed rapid growth,"
said Georges Kayanakis, president of ASK. "As a result, we enjoy
the continued confidence of our early investors and we attracted
new partners that are well suited to helping us achieve our goals
of international expansion, and our primary objective of being a
major player worldwide in the contactless smart card industry. Apax
Partners are recognized international players and our other new
investors, AdAstra in Germany and iGlobe Partners in Singapore, bring
a significant presence and experience in two regions that are essential
to our growth."
"Due to its best of breed technology solutions, ASK has already achieved
the leading market position in mass transportation. We are confident
that the experienced management team lead by Georges Kayanakis will
continue to outgrow the market after almost doubling sales this year in
a difficult market environment," explained Marc Breitfeld, Investment
Director of AdAstra.
ASK, based in Sophia-Antipolis, France, designs, manufactures and
markets contactless products for mass transportation, access control
and multi-application systems such as loyalty schemes, e-purse or
city / corporate cards. Founded in 1997, ASK developed patented technology
and a unique range of products to address the fast growing contactless
smart card market. ASK has strong worldwide references and partnerships
with the major system integrators.
More information is available on www.ask.fr.