UltraSoC announced plans to substantially grow its worldwide operations to address emerging opportunities in the cybersecurity, high-reliability and safety-critical systems markets. This latest expansion follows the successful closing of a £5m equity funding round, in which cybersecurity-focused venture capital firm eCAPITAL, and Seraphim Capital, a specialist investor in the space ecosystem, joined existing UltraSoC investors Indaco Venture Partners, Octopus Ventures, Oxford Capital, Techgate, and business angel Guillaume d’Eyssautier.
As part of its planned expansion, UltraSoC will be recruiting hardware and software engineers at its headquarters in Cambridge, UK, and design center in Bristol UK. It also plans to open an engineering center in Warsaw, Poland to develop its data science and machine-learning technologies; it will also expand its network of customer support engineers globally, and increase its commercial presence in key markets, including Europe, the USA, Japan and China.
The latest funding round, which was substantially oversubscribed, follows a successful period of growth for UltraSoC with a strong list of new customers and a number of important technology developments. Willi Mannheims, Managing Partner at eCAPITAL, and James Bruegger, Managing Partner and Investment Director, Seraphim Capital join the UltraSoC board as investor director and observer respectively.
UltraSoC Chairman, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, commented: “Developers are struggling to cope with the need for trusted solutions for cybersecurity and functional safety. UltraSoC is uniquely able to provide such features at the fundamental hardware level. eCAPITAL and Seraphim add sector-specific focus and expertise in cybersecurity and in the aerospace ecosystem, where functional safety and reliability are paramount. I’m delighted to have secured their support alongside our existing major investors who have recommitted in this latest funding round.”
UltraSoC CEO Rupert Baines said: “UltraSoC is already established as the solution of choice for semiconductor companies who need to understand how their system-on-chip (SoC) products are behaving – yielding dramatically reduced development and debug costs and faster time to market. But those same customers – and investors – are now recognizing the strategic potential for our technology in implementing functional safety and cybersecurity features. This funding round will enable us to grasp that opportunity, which I believe we are uniquely equipped to address.”
eCAPITAL is one of the leading venture capital investors in Germany and has been actively supporting leading technology innovators since 1999. Speaking on behalf of the company, Willi Mannheims commented: “We are excited to join forces with UltraSoC, which is leading the way in embedded analytics. UltraSoC has developed a novel approach to cybersecurity that places anomaly detection directly into the silicon, enabling hardware-based threat detection. This can identify attacks very quickly – in microseconds rather than milliseconds. It is also more robust than traditional techniques, because it is ‘below the OS’ and is therefore very hard for an attacker to detect, circumvent or subvert.”
Seraphim’s James Bruegger added: “Seraphim focuses on the space ecosystem: we are always looking for fundamental technologies that can affect how the industry works, and create value. Anything that affects safety and security is therefore highly relevant and we immediately saw the opportunity for UltraSoC’s capabilities. This will benefit not just space, but automotive, industrial, medical – indeed, almost any area of technology.”
Within the last year, UltraSoC has made significant progress in terms of customer acquisition, technology development and further strengthening its already impressive team. Early in 2019, it disclosed that data storage world leader Seagate has licensed its technology: and that in the same market sector, it is supporting Western Digital’s SweRV processor architecture. Other recently announced customers include Alibaba company C-SKY, Esperanto, Kraftway and Microchip. It has also substantially developed its core technology, expanding the capabilities of its architecture to address the needs of high-performance computing and exascale systems, announcing a targeted solution automotive lockstep applications, building a stronger ecosystem for heterogeneous designs and the RISC-V open source architecture, and significantly extending its patent portfolio.