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Founded Year

1997

Stage

Series C | Alive

Total Raised

$30M

Last Raised

$30M | 19 yrs ago

About Optiva

Optiva is a Electronics/Electronic Components company based in South San Francisco, California. Optiva's investors include NGEN Partners, Harris & Harris Group, DSM Venturing, Noval S.A., Fidulex Management, Daehong Technew, ESN Group, Merifin Capital, Shore Capital, AltoTech Ventures, Discus Investments, JP Morgan Chase & Co and Eastman Ventures.

Optiva Headquarter Location

377 Oyster Point Boulevard Unit 13

South San Francisco, California, 94080,

United States

650-616-7600

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Research containing Optiva

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CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Optiva in 1 CB Insights research brief, most recently on Apr 19, 2022.

Expert Collections containing Optiva

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Optiva is included in 1 Expert Collection, including Semiconductors, Chips, and Advanced Electronics.

S

Semiconductors, Chips, and Advanced Electronics

6,008 items

Companies in this collection develop everything from microprocessors to flash memory, integrated circuits specifically for quantum computing and artificial intelligence to OLED for displays, massive production fabs to circuit design firms, and everything in between.

Latest Optiva News

David Giuliani, Former CEO And Co-Founder of Sonicare And Clarisonic, Dies At 75

Mar 11, 2022

David Giuliani, Former CEO And Co-Founder of Sonicare And Clarisonic, Dies At 75 Share this article David Giuliani, an engineer and entrepreneur who led Sonicare and Clarisonic to successful exits, died last week from lung cancer. He was 75. A perhaps unlikely beauty and personal care industry game-changer, Giuliani received a graduate degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and went on to work at Hewlett Packard for a dozen years. Akin to many company founders in the industry, a problem he had—periodontal disease—that he didn’t think the market was solving well instigated his entrance into beauty and personal care. In the 1980s, Giuliani joined forces with University of Washington periodontics professor David Engel and bioengineering professor Roy Martin to devise Sonicare, an electric toothbrush harnessing the power of sonic waves to blast plaque. According to a 1997 article in the magazine Inc., “A colleague of Martin’s had come up with the idea while getting his teeth cleaned with a sound-wave-based device common in dental offices.” About 25 companies passed on the idea and, persistent in the face of rejection, Giuliani formed Sonicare startup GEMTech, which would later be called Optiva, in 1988. Instead of hauling in money from prominent institutional investors to fund Optiva, Giuliani gathered $500,000 from 25 individual investors to manufacture Sonicare and launch it in 1992. Optiva distributed the toothbrush to dentists’ offices in advance of broadening its reach at retail to help it gain credibility, a model that was employed at Clarisonic, too, but with dermatologists rather than dentists. In a 2019 TEDx Talks talk , Giuliani touches on the difficulty of convincing people to buy a $150 toothbrush when they were receiving toothbrushes for free from their dentists. He emphasized it was crucial to “shift thinking about cost to thinking about value.” The same philosophy applied to Clarisonic, where the mission was to convince people to trade up from washing their face with their hands for free to cleansing their face with a device priced at $149 to $225. It wasn’t a simple task, but that didn’t deter Giuliani. In his TEDx talk, he said, “As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that one of the best things to do is start with a big, hairy, audacious goal.” David Giuliani co-founded Clarisonic parent company Pacific Bioscience Laboratories in 2001 and was its CEO. In 2011, L’Oréal acquired Clarisonic before shutting it down nine years later. Ginni Read, CEO of dermaplaning device specialist Dermaflash , describes Giuliani, ex-CEO of both Clarisonic and Sonicare, as a “methodical” executive not afraid to turn to experts in fields he wasn’t an expert in. “He may have always known instinctively what the right business decision was, but he didn’t jump to conclusions. He wasn’t quick to fire, if you will. He was very thoughtful about business decisions and what the right way was to go about executing on that decision,” she says. “What I took away from him was to pause, really think it through and make sure you looked at it from a variety of angles before you pull the trigger.” Heather Dazell, VP of marketing at intimate wellness product company Joylux , and former director of marketing at Clarisonic and marketing manager at Sonicare, paints a similar picture of Giuliani. “David was one of the most cerebral people I have ever met. He was beyond intelligent, yet somehow could translate his thoughts to those of us who weren’t at his level, which was most of us, and was so relatable,” she says. She adds that he “wouldn’t let anything stop him, and the team that he put in place felt the same way. We had a very clear vision. If we were getting off track, he never hesitated to say, and we remained very focused through it all.” Philips Electronics acquired Sonicare in 2000. Leading up to the acquisition, Sonicare was reported to be the fastest-growing privately held company in the United States and generated some $175 million in sales. A quintet involved in Sonicare—Giuliani and fellow electrical engineer Ken Pilcher, immunologist Robb Akridge, mechanical engineer Steve Meginniss and chemist Ward Harris—followed Sonicare with the establishment of Clarisonic parent company Pacific Bioscience Laboratories in 2001 to bring sonic vibrations to the facial care segment. Adhering to the Optiva playbook, it was funded by a multiplicity of angel investors. Clarisonic and Sonicare revolutionized the bathroom counter as a place for buzzy electronics that delivered strong results. “That opened the door for home-use devices in a very different way than they ever existed before those two products,” says Dazell. In fiscal year 2010, Clarisonic achieved $105 million in sales. L’Oréal  purchased it in 2011. Giuliani left the brand in 2012. Beleaguered by copycats and lack of innovation, L’Oréal shuttered Clarisonic in 2020. Although it’s no longer available, products analogous to Clarisonic’s original facial cleansing device are common today. “As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that one of the best things to do is start with a big, hairy, audacious goal.” In addition to Read and Dazell, several members of the team at Clarisonic that Giuliani helmed remain active in the beauty and personal care industry. Akridge departed Clarisonic in 2018 and developed Opulus , a skincare concept with a Keurig-style appliance whipping up fresh skincare. Karissa Bodnar, now CEO and founder of Thrive Causemetics, began in the beauty industry by landing a job at Clarisonic out of college. Read says Giuliani “was unusually effective at creating a very smart team. I think that’s where the magic came there was the team that he put together to create the brand. He recognized something in the executive team at Clarisonic, and we all learned a lot. We created a new category, and it wasn’t easy, so we really experienced a roller coaster, and I think, through that experience, you learn so many different dimensions of what you need for future opportunities.” In his post-Clarisonic years, Giuliani evolved from concentrating on his personal entrepreneurial pursuits to supporting the greater business ecosystem and environment in the state of Washington. With former Starbucks president Howard Behar, he founded Washington Business Alliance and the associated think tank Low Carbon Prosperity Institute. Giuliani was influential in pushing for Washington’s Climate Commitment Act, a bill The Seattle Times writes is “designed to drive down Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.” Giuliani adamantly believed that business and environmental protection are synergistic. “Why is it we’re always talking about are you for this or are you for that, the environment or the economy? Why can’t we have both?” he asked in his TEDx talk. “Because carbon is part of a vast waste stream that wastes a whole bunch of money and, if you can find the common cause and pinch it off, we can save money as well as reduce carbon.” Share this article

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