US intelligence VC invests in Pragmatic

US intelligence VC invests in Pragmatic

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Flexible chip maker Pragmatic Semiconductor Ltd. (Cambridge, England) has raised an additional US$35 million bringing its Series C round to US$125 million.

The new investors include In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and other US government security agencies, and British Patient Capital, a subsidiary of the UK government’s economic development bank.

The company manufactures circuits on polyimide substrates allowing flexible and low-cost ICs to be embedded in everyday objects. It was founded in 2010 when it acquired the printed electronics business of Nano ePrint Ltd.

Securing strategic security

The company said the extra funding will be used to accelerate and expand growth plans. This includes the company’s second fabrication line, called FlexLogic-002, which is set to increase production capacity by more than a factor of five. In addition, the company has doubled its footprint in Cambridge with an option to double again within a year.

The investment by In-Q-Tel and British Patient Capital highlights the strategic importance of Pragmatic’s semiconductor platform, the company said. Other new investors include: Prosperity7 Ventures owned by oil company Aramco; North East Development Capital Fund and the Finance Durham Fund.

Erik Langaker, chair of Pragmatic, said: “We continue to see growing investor and customer interest in affordable solutions for digitisation and control of supply chains, reinforced by government initiatives such as the recent EU legislation regarding Digital Product Passports. This is the beginning of electronics in everything – supported by great technology developed and scaled in the UK.”

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