Wooptix, a company based in Tenerife, Madrid and San Francisco, has announced a €10 million Series B financing round. The round is participated by Bullnet Capital, CDTI (Centre for the Development of Technology and Innovation), Danobatgroup, European Innovation Council Fund (EIC), Fagor Automation, Intel Capital, and Mondragón Promotion.
The company is focused on commercializing semiconductor metrology equipment incorporating wavefront phase imaging. “Phemet®, the system developed by Wooptix, measures the silicon wafer warpage, and its accuracy is a “significant advance in the industry”, affirmed José Manuel Ramos, Founder and CEO of the company.
Wooptix’s patented technology enables blank and patterned wafer-shape measurement in less time and with higher resolution than current systems being used in the industry. “Wooptix´s wavefront sensor and its semiconductor applications are generating interest from key players in the semiconductor industry as evidenced by the Series B financing round,” explained Javier Elizalde, Co-founder and COO.
The company has been recognized as well by the EIC Accelerator Program through a €2.5 million grant in addition to the equity investment. The grant and investment support Wooptix´s product introduction and future technological innovation including the manufacture, delivery, and installation of three semiconductor metrology tools in Japan, the USA, and the Netherlands this year.
“Keeping in mind that each Phemet® is only a metric ton weight, together with the sensitivity of the instrument components that enable measurements at the nanometer scale, Wooptix demonstrates a world-class engineering and operations capability,” added Elizalde.
Founded in 2014, Wooptix has a well-defined roadmap for each product line to meet the needs of lab and fab customers. In the case of the semiconductor metrology business unit, the next step is to automate Phemet®. Enhanced automation will reduce the risk of contamination of wafers under measurement and provide consistent reproducibility to the system. Due to the flexibility of Wooptix’s design, another step is to integrate Phemet® into existing semiconductor equipment from tool vendors.
Phemet® and the Series B financing round demonstrate Wooptix’s growth and maturity as it begins initial tool deliveries to customers. “It is really valuable for us to transition now from an R&D company to become a product and manufacturing company. With this objective in mind, we are building the necessary infrastructure, including procedures and certifications to protocols and management teamwork, to support customers as we enter the market,” explained José Manuel Ramos
According to SEMI (the global semiconductor industry association), the semiconductor equipment sales forecast for 2023 is $87 billion. The wafer fab equipment segment is projected to account for the bulk of the recovery to $100 billion in 2024, generating $87.8 billion in sales, a 14.8% increase.