Pragmatic Semiconductor secures £182m investment for Consumer Packaging

Pragmatic Semiconductor secures £182m investment

Largest ever European semiconductor venture funding round supports item level intelligence added to consumer packaging

Pragmatic Semiconductor, the world leader in manufacturing flexible integrated circuits, announced in December that it has completed a first close of its Series D funding round, securing an investment of £162m ($206m). The company is planning a limited second close for key investors, of which £20m ($25m) additional investment is already allocated.

The investment will enable Pragmatic to accelerate its expansion plans in the UK to meet the growing demand for its unique technology from customers worldwide. This includes building its 3rd and 4th fabrication lines at its Pragmatic Park facility in Durham. Over the next 5 years Pragmatic anticipates building at least 8 manufacturing lines in the UK, creating over 500 highly skilled jobs in the North East and Cambridge. Each line is capable of producing billions of chips that enable countless novel, fast-growing applications across multiple sectors including consumer, industrial, healthcare and beyond.

Of particular interest is providing item level intelligence to trillions of fast-moving consumer goods via smart packaging that will improve reuse and recycling, transforming waste management, and enabling a circular economy. Other use cases include wearables, sensors and flexible controllers. The majority of the investment secured (over 70%) is from UK investors who have been attracted by the significant opportunities for Pragmatic’s technology in new applications, as well as the potential of Pragmatic’s flexible integrated circuits to replace mainstream silicon chips in a wide range of use cases.

In addition, the significantly lower carbon footprint of Pragmatic’s semiconductor manufacturing compared to traditional silicon chip fabrication was cited by investors as a key factor. Commenting on the funding, David Moore, Pragmatic’s CEO said: “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.” He added “We also see demand from customers for our unique Fab-as-a Service deployment model. This is a modular semiconductor manufacturing approach that provides customers with access to an efficient, localised and secure supply of chips through a dedicated production facility wherever they need it.

Pragmatic is the world leader in flexible integrated circuit technology. Founded in 2010, the company is revolutionising semiconductor fabrication with ultra-low-cost, flexible integrated circuit (FlexIC) technology that makes it quick and easy to embed intelligence almost anywhere. FlexICs are thinner than a human hair and, invisibly embedded in objects, enable novel solutions that are simply not possible with conventional electronics. With rapid cycle times that substantially accelerate time to market, our foundry provides highvolume fabrication at a fraction of the cost of silicon, with a significantly lower environmental impact. 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.

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