DCU spin-out Ambisense nets €3m growth equity investment

27 Aug 2021

From left: Mark Sykes, BGF, and Stephen McNulty, founder and CEO and Ambisense. Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

The IoT sensor start-up aims to capitalise on new market opportunities in the post-Covid environment.

Dublin-headquartered start-up Ambisense has secured €3m in its largest investment round to date.

Founded by Stephen McNulty, Fiachra Collins and Dermot Diamond, Ambisense is an internet of things (IoT) start-up making next-generation sensor technologies for environmental monitoring.

Combining IoT technologies and AI, a continuous flow of data gathered from Ambisense’s autonomous sensors is analysed and used to predict possible environmental hazards. Its technology has been deployed in large infrastructure projects and has potential for use in offices, schools, factories and hospitality venues.

Ambisense’s latest product is a device to monitor indoor air quality, which could see it being used to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19 in enclosed spaces as the economy reopens.

“Both Covid-19 and the existential risks of climate change are catalysts for rapid transformation of the $27bn environmental monitoring markets,” said McNulty, who is CEO of Ambisense.

“Today, Ambisense customers are using our solutions to reduce environmental risks on major infrastructure and construction projects; to prove that workplaces, colleges, schools and healthcare settings are safe places to return to; and to automate a huge variety of labour-intensive, otherwise expensive monitoring and reporting compliance tasks.”

McNulty added that the latest investment will enable the company to further develop its technology and enter new verticals with its products.

Growth capital investor BGF led the latest €3m investment in the business. Existing investors including Sure Valley Ventures (formerly Suir Valley Ventures), Atlantic Bridge and Enterprise Ireland also participated.

BGF investor Mark Sykes will join the board of Ambisense, while Graham Love will take up the role of non-executive chair.

BGF, which is supported by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, takes significant minority positions in scaling companies. Its previous investments include medtech start-ups Vasorum and Croom Precision Medical.

“Ambisense’s technology has already attracted the attention of major infrastructure developers and their pipeline is extremely strong due to its ability to predict ventilation risks before they can cause harm,” said Barry Downes, Sure Valley Ventures managing partner.

A spin-out of Dublin City University, Ambisense was established in 2014. Its first funding round in 2017 scored investment of €1m, followed by €1.1m in 2019.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic