Friday 24 November 2017

UL deal shows good return on investment

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Austin Texas based Silicon Laboratories has acquired Irish tech start-up ChipSensors in a multi million euro deal that generates a significant return for early backers Kernal Capital and Enterprise Ireland.

Tim Cummins, CEO and founder of ChipSensors, said he is delighted by the deal. He said it generates a real return for his early backers and matches his UL-based company with a bigger investor with complimentary technologies and expertise.

ChipSensors develops highly innovative silicon chips for use in industry. It was first set up in 2005 with backing from Bank of Ireland's Kernel Capital, Enterprise Ireland and private investors.

Kernal has invested €1.95m in all in the company over that period, including subscribing to a €2m investment earlier this year.

The new deal generates a return for all of ChipSensors early investors.

Unlike many start-up tech firms, ChipSenors has been able to generate some income from non-core activity since it was founded.

But the new backing means it is now better able to focus on its innovative engineering and design projects.

Kernal has announced three more successful exits from campus investments in recent years. They include Farran Technologies in Cork and Straatum Processware and Merrion Pharmaceuticals.

The university-supported sector was also well represented when Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) met 30 Irish companies yesterday at a day-long event to identify new investment opportunities in the high tech biotech and pharmaceutical sector.

Yesterday's event was part of a world wide search by MSD for licensing and partnership agreements with start up and early stage companies seeking outside funding and expertise.

MSD targeted biotechnology, research, life sciences and academic organisations.

Executives held 30 half-hour meetings with Irish entrepreneurs and scientists identified in partnership with Enterprise Ireland.

The university sector was well represented with ULs Crescent Diagnostics, ImmuPatch Technology from UCC, and Trinity backed CodeX Discovery and Solvotrin among the companies pitching for investment.

Irish Independent

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