LED player Ikon Semiconductor receives €800k in funding

9 Sep 2011

Fabless semiconductor company Ikon Semiconductor – which is developing a single-chip power converter for the burgeoning LED industry – has received an €800,000 investment in a round led by Kernel Capital and the Bank of Ireland Seed Fund.

The remainder of the funds were provided by Simple.ie Green BES Fund, Enterprise Ireland and private investors.

LED, or light emitting diode lighting, is the fastest-growing and most efficient source of green energy lighting. Ikon will use the funds to support the development of its single-chip power converter, which resides within the bulb and powers the LED light while improving efficiency, cost, power factor, dimmer compatibility and size.

“The LED lighting market is a high-growth area and this funding will allow us to make significant progress over the coming 12 months and capitalise on this market potential,” explained Ikon Semiconductor chief executive Conor McAuliffe.

As many governments around the world have passed measures to phase out incandescent light bulbs for general lighting, Ikon is focused on the residential and commercial LED bulb replacement market, which is expected to grow exponentially from 80m units in 2011 to 430m units by 2013.

“The Ikon solution is simpler, smaller and less costly than the competition, and so enables its customers to tackle previously unreachable markets, while simultaneously helping our environment by reducing the power consumed through replacing old-style lighting,” explained Orla Rimmington, operations director, Kernel Capital

Strategic growth potential for a home-grown company

Donal Duffy, head of Enterprise Ireland Relations, Bank of Ireland, described  Ikon Semiconductor Limited as “a true example of how an investment of this type can support a home-grown Irish company to strategically grow in the LED lighting market, which is critical for the company and also as part of Ireland’s economic recovery.”

Welcoming the investment, Greg Treston, head of High Potential Start Ups at Enterprise Ireland, said: “It is always exciting and inspiring to see an Irish company develop innovative technology for a rapidly growing global market, such as the LED market.

“We are very happy to have supported Ikon Semiconductor and Conor McAuliffe in getting their business to this important funding milestone, and we look forward to helping the company play a role in reducing the cost of LED lighting for consumers right around the world and in so doing, helping with energy saving and the green agenda,” Treston said.

Photo: From left, Greg Treston, manager of Scaling & HPSU division, Enterprise Ireland; Conor McAuliffe, CEO, Ikon Semiconductor; Orla Rimmington, operations director, Kernel Capital; and Donal Duffy, head of Enterprise Ireland Relations, Bank of Ireland

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years