Canadian investors lead funding round in InfiniLED; eight jobs on way

16 May 2012

Innovation Minister Seán Sherlock, TD, Najeeb Khalid, principal at IL Investments; and Joe O'Keeffe, CEO of InfiniLED, at Tyndall National Institute

InfiniLED, a LED-tech spin-out from Tyndall National Institute in Cork, has closed a first-round investment, which may reach €1.6m. IL Investment Group from Quebec in Canada led the round.

Enterprise Ireland will also be supporting the funding round.

InfiniLED said the first-round investment will result in the creation of eight new high-tech positions at the company, effectively from now.

The spin-out is also targeting the hiring of up to 16 staff in all before the end of 2013. All these positions are at a graduate level, said InfiniLED, including a “significant number” of PhD graduates.

InfiniLED itself is an Enterprise Ireland-supported spin-out from Tyndall National Institute and University College Cork. It develops a range of LED light source modules based on its patented µLED (microLED) technology, which it has licensed from Tyndall.

Commercialisation plans

InfiniLED has a number of development contracts with international customers and is aiming to bring the first µLED-based products to the market before the end of 2012.

A team of researchers led by Brian Corbett at Tyndall National Institute invented the micro-LED technology. Under the Enterprise Ireland Business Partner Programme, entrepreneur Joe O’Keeffe, who has already spun out a series of companies, evaluated the commercial potential of the µLED.

InfiniLED was launched in April 2011 and was co-founded by Dr Bill Henry, who had worked on the development of the technology and the commercial opportunities while at Tyndall.

Uses for µLED technology

O’Keeffe, now CEO at InfiniLED, spoke about µLED technology’s scope to reduce power consumption in displays, leading to increased battery life for devices such as mobile phones, laptops or other consumer products.

“It enables new medical devices which are smaller, more efficient and more accurate. The technology can also be used in individually switchable arrays. Essentially, any product that requires controlled or the efficient use of light may benefit from this unique technology,” he said.

Najeeb Khalid, a principal at IL Investment, touched on the investment from the Canadian investment group.

“We believe this investment will enable InfiniLED to grow and deliver on its significant commercial potential. We have been very impressed by the team assembled and the work carried out to date with the µLEDs,” he said.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic