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Sweden's AP6 makes venture-capital investment in eye-tracking company

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AP6, the sixth Swedish national buffer fund, has invested SEK100m (€11m) in Tobii Technology, a developer of comprehensive eye-tracking solutions, and eye-tracking components for integration with computers, gaming devices and vehicles.

Eye tracking is a technology that makes it possible for computers to know where users are looking.

One of its main applications is an eye-operated communication system allowing people with disabilities to interact with the outside world.

Tobii has a global presence, and its 2013 turnover was SEK412m.

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Last May, it acquired Dynavox, the US-based provider of augmentative and alternative communication products and speech-generating devices for disabilities.

Tobii said the capital injection provided by AP6 would be used to finance this acquisition and also its own continued expansion, in both its existing markets and new ones.

Henrik Eskilsson, chief executive at Tobii Technology, said: “Funding from AP6 gives us the substance we need to strengthen Tobii’s position in each market while we continue to expand.

“AP6 and Tobii have had a sound relationship for a long time. From our perspective, this is a very healthy next step in terms of Tobii’s ownership structure.”

Other institutional investors include Amadeus Capital, Intel Capital and Northzone Ventures.

Ulf Lindqvist, head of communications at AP6, said: “The investment is totally in line with our strategy to invest in growth-orientated mature companies. We have been following Tobii for some time, and that is why we took the opportunity to invest.”

AP6 is a long-term investor in unlisted companies, both directly and indirectly.

Its portfolio is made up of 84% buyout/mature companies and 16% venture/early phase.

Investments in venture capital are done only indirectly through funds.

AP6 focuses on more mature companies with growth potential, on which it has historically enjoyed a return of 16.3% per year since AP6 was set up in 1996.

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