We are delighted to announce that Cambridge-based portfolio company UltraSoc Technologies Ltd has been acquired by Siemens. This is our second profitable deep-tech exit in six months.
UltraSoc provides technology analysing and developing the core hardware of systems-on-chip (SoC). This is the bedrock of chip design through which multiple chips are brought together to make a single chip for a wide range of electronic devices. The ever-growing complexity of functionality and demands placed on chips has led to the rapid growth of SoC technologies.
“I am incredibly proud of what the UltraSoC team has achieved. The fact that Siemens has recognized our value is a testament to their hard work and talent. Becoming part of one of the world’s leading technology brands will allow us to execute the vision we have for UltraSoC, and deliver even greater value to our customers. I would like to thank not only our team, but also our investors for their support and insight over the years.”
Rupert Baines, CEO at UltraSoC
We invested in the business in 2017 and were attracted by its high potential and the broad range of applications for the company’s patented technology. A core investment theme for Oxford Capital is the ‘Future of Mobility’ and we recognised the potential for UltraSoc’s technology to be used in the automotive sector, in particular for developing new technologies for self-driving vehicles. Today, UltraSoc‘s products are used by leading names in the automotive, high-performance computing, storage and semiconductor industries.
David Mott, Founder Partner at Oxford Capital said: “We are delighted to have supported another deep-tech success story, and our second deep-tech exit in the space of 6 months, following the recent sale of Latent Logic, a company developing software for self driving cars, to Waymo, part of the Google group of companies. Despite the Covid-19 crisis, international companies continue their interest in the UK’s innovative tech sector.”
Robin Lincoln, Portfolio Director at Oxford Capital said: “Rupert Baines and the team have built the company’s reputation for excellence in this field and this has been recognised through the acquisition by Siemens.”
UltraSoC was founded in 2006 by academics and spun out from the Universities of Essex and Kent in 2008. The core technology was funded initially to the tune of around £2 million at the research stage by one of the UK’s research councils at the time, EPSRC. This was followed by several ‘proof-of-concept’ awards from various government funded grants which then enabled a technology demonstrator. It then received its first private investment from Octopus Ventures in 2010. Oxford Capital led the Series A round in 2017 alongside angels and existing investors and this was followed by investments from Seraphim Capital and Indaco Venture Partners. The company had raised a total of around US $21 million.
Since Oxford Capital’s investment, the company demonstrated solid growth year on year acquiring new customers around the world. The sale to Siemens now is testament to the team’s steadfast commitment to the business and belief in the sector, all the more against a backdrop of economic uncertainty arising from Covid-19.
Through the acquisition, Siemens will equip its customers with the SoC infrastructure to enhance product quality, safety and cybersecurity, while also improving profitability. It creates the first comprehensive solution to help overcome the key pain points faced by the semiconductor industry today – real world risk factors such as manufacturing defects; software and hardware bugs; safety; and combating malicious attacks.
“Siemens’ acquisition of UltraSoc means that for the first time its customers can access not just design-for-test, but a comprehensive ‘Design for Lifecycle Management’ solution for SoCs, including functional safety, security and optimization,” says Brady Benware, Vice President and General Manager of the expanded Tessent product family, Siemens Digital Industries Software. “By utilizing design augmentation to detect, mitigate and eliminate risks throughout the SoC lifecycle, customers can radically improve time-to-revenue, product quality & safety, and profitability. UltraSoc has a fast-growing business and impressive customer list, and complements Tessent to create a truly unique offering in the market.”
Rupert Baines, CEO, UltraSoc, comments: “This move accelerates UltraSoc’s vision at a much larger scale with the incredible team, assets, industry know-how and footprint of Siemens. Being part of one of the world’s foremost technology companies will allow UltraSoc to serve customers even better by accelerating R&D, leveraging a much larger pool of go-to-market resources, and an enormous global infrastructure. When we met the Tessent team it was clear we shared a vision on how technology businesses can transform their operations end-to-end, from design conception to field deployment.”
Siemens’ acquisition of UltraSoc is due to close in the fourth quarter of Siemens’ fiscal year 2020. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.