ManufacturingFast growth

Flexible electronics firm Pragmatic Semiconductor has doubled its footprint in Cambridge this year and is to open a base in Durham in 2023.

The company has secured £28 million additional investment, taking its Series C round to $125m, to accelerate its alternative to silicon chips.

It uses thin-film semiconductors to create flexible integrated circuits that are thinner than a human hair, and are significantly cheaper and faster to produce than silicon.

With a vision of ‘electronics in everything’, these circuits could enable trillions of smart items in applications that would never be possible with silicon.

The extra funding will be used to accelerate and expand Pragmatic’s growth plans. This includes the company’s second fabrication line (FlexLogic-002), which will increase production capacity by more than five times, and its new 15-acre Pragmatic Park site in Durham. It says it may also double its Cambridge workforce again next year.

New investors include British Patient Capital, a commercial subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the UK government’s economic development bank; and In-Q-Tel, which invests in high-tech companies to advance technology capabilities for the US intelligence community and its allies.

It says this highlights the strategic importance of Pragmatic’s ground-breaking semiconductor technology platform at a time when governments around the world are focused on ensuring secure control of supply chains for critical electronic components.

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Additional new investors include Prosperity7 Ventures (the diversified growth fund under Aramco Ventures), the North East Development Capital Fund and the Finance Durham Fund (both managed by Maven Capital Partners).

“Pragmatic is another great example of a UK company which has developed and commercialised world-leading technology from a UK base,” said Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Patient Capital. 

“We are delighted to be investing in the further growth of this homegrown semiconductor manufacturing business via Future Fund: Breakthrough, our dedicated deeptech fund which is investing in some of the country’s most innovative and dynamic businesses.”

Scott White, CEO of Pragmatic, said: “This oversubscribed investment round, in spite of the challenging macroeconomic conditions, is a huge vote of confidence in Pragmatic’s unique technology and business traction. 

“Our signature ultra low cost, flexible form factor, fast production cycle time and minimal carbon footprint address key challenges across the industry, allowing rapid time-to-market for novel electronics applications as well as enabling localisation of semiconductor manufacturing and driving towards net-zero product lifecycles.”

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