UL chip firm raises €2m from Bank of Ireland VC arm

19 Apr 2010

ChipSensors, a University of Limerick campus company, has received a €2m investment from a consortium of investors, led by the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Fund and including Enterprise Ireland and London-based ETV Capital.

ChipSensors Ltd. is a fabless semiconductor company, producing novel silicon sensors measuring temperature, humidity and certain gases.

“The funding will be used to enhance the firm’s sales and marketing channels for its temperature and humidity sensor chips and is being made following positive feedback from a number of the world’s leading industrial and automotive companies after qualification testing of the company’s silicon chips,” said Tim Cummins, CEO of ChipSensors.

“This investment will enable the company to commercialise the technology, and negotiations are already under way with partners for market and distribution channel support in the US, China and Japan,” he said.

Use for sensor chips

These sensor chips find application in industrial and automotive equipment, environmental and food-safety monitoring, building energy saving, green tech, and many other sectors.

“The company’s sensor-chip samples have been tested by global equipment companies for use in such diverse applications as building energy saving, automobile air-conditioners, monitoring of perishable goods-in-transit, and emissions monitoring and control,” said Niall Olden, managing partner of Kernel Capital.

The founders have extensive multi-national experience working in the semiconductor, industrial and sensor sectors, thereby bringing a unique combination of skills to bear on these exciting new market opportunities. ChipSensors was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in the Plassey Technology Park on campus in University College Limerick.

David Bateman, director of ETV Capital, added: “ChipSensors has developed a unique sensor platform technology that has crossover appeal in many market segments – industrial, medical, green tech, automotive.

“The company has demonstrated sound business judgment in patent-protecting the technology and field-trialling it with customers and partners before ramping up to full-scale production,” Bateman added.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Niall Olden, managing partner, Kernel Capital; Hilda Dolan, Bank of Ireland, University of Limerick; Tim
Cummins, CEO, ChipSensors; Michelle O’ Grady, Enterprise Ireland

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