Cambridge-based Pragmatic Semiconductor, a manufacturer of flexible integrated circuits, announced on Wednesday, December 6, that it has completed the first close of its Series D funding round, at £162M (approximately €189M).
The company is planning a limited second close for key investors, of which an additional investment of £20M (approximately €23M) is already allocated.
M&G’s Catalyst and UK Infrastructure Bank co-led the funding round with participation from new investors, including Northern Gritstone, Latitude, and MVolution Partners, and existing investors such as British Patient Capital, Cambridge Innovation Capital, and Prosperity7 Ventures (the diversified growth fund under Aramco Ventures).
The latest capital infusion will enable the company to accelerate its expansion plans in the UK, including building 3rd and 4th fabrication lines at its Pragmatic Park facility in Durham.
Over the next five years, the company expects to build at least eight manufacturing lines in the UK, creating over 500 highly skilled jobs in the North East and Cambridge.
According to the company, each line can produce billions of chips that enable countless novel, fast-growing applications across multiple sectors, including consumer, industrial, healthcare, and beyond.
David Moore, Pragmatic’s CEO, says, “This successful Series D round is a clear testament to the massive opportunity for our innovative technology to enable item-level intelligence in virtually any object on the planet. Our global customers value our ultra-thin and flexible form factor, our breakthrough low cost of customisation and rapid production cycles, as well as the lower environmental footprint compared to silicon. Scaling our manufacturing capacity on the UK’s first ever 300mm wafer production lines at our site in Durham will enable us to deliver hundreds of billions of chips to customers worldwide over the coming decade.”
Pragmatic Semiconductor: Transforming semiconductor manufacturing
Founded in 2010, Pragmatic is transforming semiconductor manufacturing with its ultra-low-cost, flexible integrated circuit (FlexIC) technology, allowing for easy intelligence integration in various applications.
FlexICs are thinner than human hair and, invisibly embedded in objects, enable novel solutions that are impossible with conventional electronics.
The company has built a large-scale manufacturing facility, Pragmatic Park, in Durham.
Housing the UK’s first state-of-the-art 300mm fab, it sets the standard for smart, sustainable semiconductor manufacturing.
When fully operational, it will be the highest-volume semiconductor manufacturing facility in the UK. Pragmatic is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with manufacturing operations in the North East.
M&G has a rich heritage of investing in private markets. Through a range of strategies in its £74B private markets business, it invests in real estate, infrastructure, and private companies.
Niranjan Sirdeshpande, Global Head of Investments, M&G Catalyst Strategy, says, “The UK is blessed with a rich seam of enterprising and disruptive tech firms, but significant amounts of patient capital are needed to help companies like Pragmatic to expand and hone their operations – this is where M&G can help. We developed Catalyst to play a leading role in enabling businesses to scale their operations, provide expertise, and partner with them to success. Long-term capital put to work in this way not only supports economic growth but can capture value for people’s pensions and savings as we transition to a more sustainable economy.”
The UK Infrastructure Bank was announced as part of the Government’s National Infrastructure Strategy in 2020 and launched in June 2021. The objective is to help tackle climate change and to support regional and local economic growth.
The Bank is operationally independent from the Government, and projects are assessed by the Bank and approved through an Investment Committee.
John Flint, CEO of UK Infrastructure Bank, says, “The Bank has an important role in unlocking finance to scale up domestic supply chains, like semiconductors, which are critical to the UK’s transition to net zero. Our investment in Pragmatic backs a British business to accelerate the development of a first-of-a-kind technology which not only cuts the carbon emissions of semiconductor production but which will drive growth in the local economy in the North East.”