Look mum, no silicon! UK Semiconductor firm Pragmatic raises $35 million

Cambridge-based semiconductor firm Pragmatic is making flexible integrated circuits, all sans silicon. And has caught the investment eye of the CIA. In part.
Look mum, no silicon! UK Semiconductor firm Pragmatic raises $35 million

Cambridge-based semiconductor firm Pragmatic has raised an additional $35 million in a Series C round extension, now bringing the round total to $125 million. The Series C round began in late 2021 and has already seen at least one extension, however with the additional $35 million, now sees the round oversubscribed by more than 50% of its original target.

The additional capital will serve to accelerate Pragmatic’s growth trajectory, including the opening of a second fabrication line, enabling a 5x production capacity, alongside breaking ground on a new 15-acre production site in Durham. This new facility in the Northeast of England runs in tandem with Pragmatic’s doubling of its footprint in Cambridge, an option the company has in the cards to double again.

The $35 million Series C round extension is backed by new investors including British Patient Capital, Prosperity7 Ventures, the North East Development Capital Fund, the Finance Durham Fund (both managed by Maven Capital Partners), and rather secretive In-Q-Tel, an Arlington, Virginia-based VC firm whose mission is to identify and invest in companies developing technologies that serve United States national security interests and that of its allies.

Pragmatic produces low-cost, ultra-thin, flexible integrated circuits, all sans silicon. The company’s methodology uses thin-film semiconductors to create flexible integrated circuits that are thinner than a human hair, and are significantly cheaper and faster to produce than silicon chips. Not only does this offer an attractive alternative for many mainstream electronics applications, but also unlocks a host of new applications not possible with silicon.

Pragmatic’s chips can be embedded into almost anything, bringing connectivity and intelligence to everyday objects. Example applications include radio frequency identification (RFID) and near field communications (NFC) giving objects unique digital identities as well as enabling objects to interact with their environment. 

On the company’s progress, Pragmatic CEO Scott White commented, “This oversubscribed investment round, in spite of the challenging macroeconomic conditions, is a huge vote of confidence in Pragmatic’s unique technology and business traction. Our signature ultra-low cost, flexible form factor, fast production cycle time, and minimal carbon footprint address key challenges across the industry, allowing rapid time-to-market for novel electronics applications as well as enabling localisation of semiconductor manufacturing and driving towards net-zero product lifecycles.”

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