Tuesday 24 October 2017

Movidius to look at raise in 18 months

Movidius founders Sean Mitchell and David Moloney (centre) with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Employment Richard Bruton
Movidius founders Sean Mitchell and David Moloney (centre) with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Employment Richard Bruton

Paul O'Donoghue

Irish mobile technology company Movidius, which recently received €38m in one of Europe's biggest venture capital funding rounds so far this year, could look at raising funds again in 18 months, highlighting the fast growing nature of the company.

Movidius, set up by Sean Mitchell and David Moloney, won the funding on the back of its ground-breaking technology, which makes phone and camera sensors less expensive and more efficient to run.

The company is already being tipped as a potential Irish 'unicorn' tech firm, meaning a startup that rises above $1bn in value based on its funding.

Chris Horn, the co-founder of former Irish software giant Iona Technologies, informally works with the technology investment team at Atlantic Bridge, which helped to close Movidius' recent funding round. He said that Movidius, which is currently designing semiconductor chips, may look at fundraising again towards the end of next year.

Speaking to the Irish Independent he said that companies in a funding arrangement such as Movidius' would usually take "about 18 months" before looking at taking on additional funding.

"It will depend on how revenue builds up. Sometimes you will be doing very nicely but you still need additional funding to put the foot flat to the floor and grow the business so even if the business goes very well you would never preclude the possibility of a further funding round to expand," he said.

The former Iona boss added: "It's fairly capital intensive what they do. It would depend on what happens in the business. If they have a lot of revenue coming in then they may not need as much finance.

"Obviously in the months ahead if the company did need further investment because of an even greater opportunity, I'm sure all of its current investors would strongly consider it."

The new investment round brought the company's funding haul to over €83m in total.

It is also the largest funding round for a 'fabless' (non-manufacturing) semiconductor company in the past two years, anywhere in the world.

Movidius currently employs 70 people, divided between a Dublin office and a Silicon Valley office.

The firm aims to use some of the €38m to hire 100 people in Dublin over the next three years.

To date, the most valuable Irish technology firm by funding measurement is Stripe, which is valued at over €3bn and was founded by Limerick's Patrick and John Collison.

The €38m raise by Movidius is one of the largest VC investments ever in Ireland for a technology company.

In numbers

The value of Movidius' most recent cash injection


Number of staff employed at the firm's Dublin office


New jobs to be created as a result of the investment


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