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SEB Alliance Invests in Air-Cleaning Start-Up
Mar 20, 2013
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SEB Alliance, the investment company for French small appliance maker Groupe SEB, is one of the investors in Ethera, a Grenoble-based start-up developing innovative solutions to measure and eliminate indoor air pollutants.

Other investors were Emertec fund and NEC-K. The three partners have invested a total of [euro]3 million.

Ethera uses a unique, nanoporous sensor technology designed to easily and accurately measure the concentrations of chemical air pollutants and purifies the air with a pollutant capture system.

"This capital increase is a tremendous opportunity for Ethera. In addition to the funds provided, we will be able to draw on the experience of our new partners to continue to grow on the professional market and also penetrate the consumer market. In that respect, we are fortunate to have access to the recognized expertise in innovation and international development of Groupe SEB," noted Yves Bigay, Chief Executive Officer of ETHERA.

"In just a few years, consumers have become increasingly concerned about indoor air quality. Ethera is responding with a unique offer that combines diagnostics with purification," said Bertrand Neuschwander, Senior Executive Vice President of Groupe SEB in charge of Strategy and Business Units and President of SEB Alliance.

Groupe SEB sells 200 million products annually, including small home appliances and cookware, in nearly 150 countries. The company has 25,000 employees worldwide. Some of its key brands include Rowenta, Krups, Moulinex, and T-Fal.

The SEB Alliance investment fund was created in May 2011 to prepare for changes in the small domestic equipment market and to extend Groupe SEB's innovation strategy to new technologies and expertise. The fund was initially capitalized with EUR 30 million. SEB Alliance intends to put its priority on minority stake investments in technology companies in products areas such as: smart systems/connectivity and robotics; new forms of energy; aging populations; preserving health, beauty, and wellbeing; ecology; and sustainable development.

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