Belgian startup Spectricity nabs €14 million to develop tiny chip-size sensors

Spectricity, a leading provider of hyperspectral sensing solutions for mobile and consumer devices, announced today a €14 million Series B funding round. The fresh funds will be used to further accelerate the development and mass production of hyperspectral sensors and imagers for high-volume, low-cost applications, from wearables to smartphones and IoT devices.

Hyperspectral sensing allows devices to “see” beyond what the naked eye can see. The sensor can tell you your heartbeat, the amount of oxygen in your blood or the hydration of your skin, while hyperspectral imagers can be used to perfectly match your skintone to cosmetics or to determine whether your food is fresh.

Spectricity’s patented, spectral sensing technology one of the only in the world that can make professional grade sensor and imager solutions small and low power enough to fit a smartphone or a wearable device. This unique technology will bring a wide array of health, cosmetic, food and augmented reality applications to the pockets and/or the wrists of the consumers.

Leading global investors including AtlanticBridge, Capricorn Fusion China Fund, and Shanghai Semiconductor Equipment and Material Fund (SSMEF) invested in this Series B round alongside Belgium Series A investors imec.xpand and XTRION. This round brings Spectricity to €20 million in total funding to date.

“This is a major milestone for Spectricity and the deployment of our chip size hyperspectral sensor and imager solutions for mass market mobile devices and applications,” said Vincent Mouret, CEO of Spectricity. “This new round of financing will enable us to significantly accelerate our high-volume manufacturing, hire key talent and continue to expand our partnerships.”

Peter Vanbekbergen, partner at imec.xpand said: “The formation of Spectricity is a prime example of remarkable semiconductor innovation born in Europe, based on unique technology developed at imec. The best companies start with a great technology base, with founders coming together to identify a big problem and line up an expert investment team to help them succeed. As part of that team, we’re focused on providing Spectricity with unique value and networking.”

According the startup, a recent March 2021 paper on the compact spectrometer systems market predicted that emerging chip-size spectrometers are going to fuel growth to more than 300 million chips per year in 2024. New type spectrometers will be as small as semiconductor chips.

“I am pleased to see Spectricity growing and closing their second financing round, three years after its creation as imec spin-off,” said Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of imec. “Spectricity’s products are based on unique imec technology, and we will continue to maintain a strong link between our R&D and Spectricity’s development to enable a lasting competitive edge for Spectricity’s products.”

Following more than 10 years of research at imec, a world-leading R&D and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technologies, Spectricity was founded in 2018 by a team including research engineers of imec. Semiconductor industry veterans, CEO Vincent Mouret who joined the company last April and Chairman of the Board, Pieter Vorenkamp, ex-Senior Vice President of Broadcom, helped to productize the technology and scale the company.