eCAPITAL and Seraphim Capital are backing the embedded analytics company UltraSoC Technologies Ltd in a £5m funding roundeCAPITAL NEWS
The eCAPITAL Cybersecurity Fund has invested alongside eCAPITAL IV Technologies Fund and Seraphim Capital, who join a strong lineup of existing investors including Indaco Venture Partners, Octopus Ventures, Oxford Capital, Techgate, and business angel Guillaume d’Eyssautier. The investment will be used to drive continued deployment of UltraSoC’s technology and realize its vision of embedding analytics capabilities into every chip.
UltraSoC’s semiconductor intellectual property enables chip designers to easily and cost-effectively create complex SoCs (systems on chip) with built-in intelligence that continuously monitors and responds to actual behavior in real-time. Embedded analytics allows the chip to monitor and optimize its own behavior at a hardware level and deal with security threats or safety breaches.
Today, the design complexity of SoCs is continually being pushed higher, as the market demands increased functionality, connectivity and richer feature sets in end-customer devices (from smart phones to high-performance computer servers). This rise in complexity leads to difficulties in designing chips within product release schedules and, in fact, products are often shipped to customers with subtle bugs that impact performance and security. Because of the immense scale of today’s high-performance computing centers, even the smallest fraction of performance gains translates into direct cost savings.
UltraSoC’s analytics and monitoring is executed at the hardware level rather than in software. This leads to two major advantages: First, visibility of essentially every single data movement on a chip is achieved, and second, the performance of the applications themselves is not affected. These advantages equally address both economic and technical challenges associated with security applications. While the integration of security often requires certain trade-offs with typical design objectives, UltraSoC’s technology can detect real-world threats at wire speed directly on the chip while being invisible to the malware itself.
The investment by Seraphim Capital and eCAPITAL among others aims to realize UltraSoC’s potential to offer a scalable, non-intrusive solution against malicious attacks that are constantly moving towards ever more fundamental levels of the computational hierarchy
We are excited to join forces with UltraSoC, which is leading the way in embedded analytics. UltraSoC has developed a novel approach to cybersecurity that places anomaly detection directly into the silicon, enabling hardware-based threat detection. This can identify attacks very quickly – in microseconds rather than milliseconds. It is also more robust than traditional techniques, because it is ‘below the OS’ and is therefore very hard for an attacker to detect, circumvent or subvert.
Managing Partner at eCAPITAL
Willi Mannheims and James Bruegger, Managing Partner at Seraphim Capital, join the UltraSoC board as Investor Director and Observer respectively.
UltraSoC Chairman, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, commented: “Developers are struggling to cope with the need for trusted solutions for cybersecurity and functional safety. UltraSoC is uniquely able to provide such features at the fundamental hardware level. eCAPITAL and Seraphim add sector-specific focus and expertise in cybersecurity and in the aerospace ecosystem, where functional safety and reliability are paramount. I’m delighted to have secured their support alongside our existing major investors who have recommitted in this latest funding round.”
UltraSoC CEO Rupert Baines said: “UltraSoC is already established as the solution of choice for semiconductor companies who need to understand how their system-on-chip (SoC) products are behaving – yielding dramatically reduced development and debug costs and faster time to market. But those same customers – and investors – are now recognizing the strategic potential for our technology in implementing functional safety and cybersecurity features. This funding round will enable us to grasp that opportunity, which I believe we are uniquely equipped to address.”
Seraphim’s James Bruegger added: “Seraphim focuses on the space ecosystem: we are always looking for fundamental technologies that can affect how the industry works, and create value. Anything that affects safety and security is therefore highly relevant and we immediately saw the opportunity for UltraSoC’s capabilities. This will benefit not just space, but automotive, industrial, medical – indeed, almost any area of technology.”
Within the last year, UltraSoC has made significant progress in terms of customer acquisition, technology development and further strengthening its team. Early in 2019, it disclosed that data storage world leader Seagate has licensed UltraSoC’s technology. Other recently announced customers include Alibaba company C-SKY, Esperanto, Kraftway and Microchip.
UltraSoC is a pioneering developer of analytics and monitoring technology at the heart of the systems-on-chip (SoCs) that power today’s electronic products. The company’s embedded analytics technology allows product designers to add advanced cybersecurity, functional safety and performance tuning features; and it helps resolve critical issues such as increasing system complexity and ever-decreasing time-to-market. UltraSoC’s technology is delivered as semiconductor IP and software to customers in the consumer electronics, computing and communications industries. For more information visit www.UltraSoC.com
eCAPITAL is a venture capital firm that provides early to growth stage funding to technology companies in the fields of software & information technology, cybersecurity, industry 4.0, new materials and cleantech. Founded in 1999, eCAPITAL has a history of supporting entrepreneurs determined to build companies with lasting significance. Partnering with eCAPITAL means joining an international network of business leaders, entrepreneurs, technologists and potential partners. eCAPITAL is located in Germany and currently manages funds with over EUR 220 million under management.
UltraSoC Technologies Ltd
Andy Gothard / David Marsden
St John’s Innovation Centre
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 7768 082 044
Tel.: +44 7968 407 739
eCAPITAL ENTREPRENEURIAL PARTNERS AG
48155 Münster, Germany
Tel.: +49 251 70 37 67 0