• Cirtek Holdings invests in Silicon Valley start-up


    SEEING opportunity in the rapid growth of Wi-Fi as the default content access medium, local electronic manufacturing firm Cirtek Holdings Philippines Corp. announced that it has invested in CloudMondo, a Silicon Valley-based Wi-Fi enabler start-up company.

    In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday, Cirtek, which trades as TECH on the stock exchange, said it will manufacture and supply millimeter wave radios in the 60-80 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum to Cloudmondo.

    “We are pleased with the opportunity to be a strategic co-investor in CloudMondo. Our involvement puts Cirtek in an excellent position to jumpstart and expand our business from manufacturing to connectivity and content,” Cirtek chairman Jerry Liu said.

    “TECH is a cornerstone investor in CloudMondo,” Anthony Buyawe, Cirtek chief financial officer, said in a text message.

    “The investment structure is via preferred shares convertible to common shares upon listing in an exchange, at which time the equity value will be determined,” Buyawe said.

    Global IT companies and e-commerce businesses such as Apple, Paypal, Google and Facebook recently announced their respective moves toward using 60-80 GHz broadband wireless technology for connectivity as the world enters the era of Internet of things.

    “In much of the developing world, Wi-Fi access is too expensive and characterized by slow, unreliable connectivity. At the same time, you see the continuing growth of over-the-top (OTT) value-added services to address the growth in e-business. The vision of CloudMondo is to establish a global, high-bandwidth Wi-Fi network and create a global marketplace for a broad portfolio of OTT services,” CloudMondo chief executive officer Ihab Abu-Hakima said.

    The pilot deployment of the CloudMondo network is scheduled early this year, with Manila among the pilot areas. Thereafter, operations will be scaled up and expanded, initially in Southeast Asia, the company said.

    Cirtek earlier said its net income grew 43 percent to $8.2 million in the nine months to September 2015 on increased sales of higher-margin products, while revenues grew 23 percent to $45.5 million on sustained growth from its semiconductor and radio frequency and millimeter wave businesses.

    The company said it can sustain such level of growth as the global semiconductor industry is seen to grow between 3 percent and 5 percent next year.

    Cirtek was incorporated on February 10, 2011 as an independent full service solution provider for subcontract manufacturing of semiconductor devices.

    It has two subsidiaries — Cirtek Electronics Corporation (CEC), an independent subcontractor for semiconductor assembly, test and packaging services; and Cirtek Electronics International Corp., which sells integrated circuits in the US and subcontracts the production of the same to CEC.

    Katrina Mennen A. Valdez and Maria Laura Angeles


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