MANHASSET, NY -- Ikon Semiconductor Ltd., a Dublin-based fabless semiconductor company chasing LED lighting opportunities, has received an overall investment of 800,000 euros (about $1.1 million) from the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund.
The syndicated investment includes 400,000 euros (more than half million dollars) by the Bank of Ireland Seed Fund with the remainder of the funds provided by Simple.ie Green BES Fund, Enterprise Ireland and private investors.
Startup Ikon is addressing the LED lighting industry. The company is focused on the residential and commercial LED bulb replacement market which industry watchers expect to grow exponentially from 80 million units in 2011 to 430 million units by 2013. Ikon will use the funds to support the development of its single-chip power converter, which resides within the bulb and powers the light-emitting diode light.
“Ikon Semiconductor Limited is a true example of how an investment of this type can support a home-grown Irish company to strategically grow in the LED lighting market, which is critical for the company and also as part of Ireland’s economic recovery,” Donal Duffy, Head of Enterprise Ireland Relations, Bank of Ireland, in a statement.
“The LED lighting market is a high growth area and this funding will allow us to make significant progress over the coming 12 months and capitalize on this market potential,” said Conor McAuliffe, CEO of Ikon Semiconductor.
The company was founded by semiconductor industry veterans who are applying proprietary digital control techniques to replace traditional analog control methods. Ikon’s first product, which will be available in early 2012, will target the residential and commercial bulb replacement market.
Over 12 billion incandescent light bulbs are sold annually, lighting accounts for almost 19 percent of global energy consumption which equates to the output of approximately 1000 large electric power plants, according to International Energy Agency (IEA).
I agree, $1M/month seems pretty high for a startup in the 80s.
Today, a very small startup -- say around 10 employees, maybe 6 of whom are engineers -- should be able to get by on a burn rate of $100k/month, maybe a little less in Ireland, where salary costs are lower than in the U.S.
But that low burn rate doesn't include much for equipment leases, and certainly doesn't include mask costs for an IC development.
I am surprised by the small amount invested here myself! When I was just a young engineer (ah the good old days 1980s) I was part of a startup company with 25 employees and a capital burn rate of (if memory serves) upwards of 1 million a month. That included saleries, office space, significant numbers of prototypes, outsourced mechanical design, etc.. Still, it did not seem like we had more money than we needed in those days. The founders must be spending a lot of their own money for this startup.
Not sure what the argument is about. Pretty much everyone starts up small, your own funds ,family,angel money etc. Sure,$1M is not much to develop a chip but you can probably get close to a tapeout or do an MPW run. More money might follow if the product looks attractive a year from now. As Peter says there are regional difference in level of funding but the mechanism of getting the company off the ground are pretty much the same everywhere...Kris
That is the standard way VCs and startups work. It just seems that in the U.S. the startups are good at getting twice as much using the argument that it is better to find out if the idea is a good one or a bad one quickly.
Maybe that's a better way to fund start ups: show me what you got, prove it and I'll advance more. In today's economy it makes sense and real ideas will come to fruition in new products soon after. But maybe it is also cautionary moves by Europe's VCs, in general.
You could probably fund a group of 4-8 designers and if they knew what they were doing, they could come up with a design. This would obviously be fabless. This sounds like they're trying to kick off an effort, not completely fund a company.
I would be interested to learn what their proposition is, what can they bring to the party. Mind you I used to think we'd tried all the ways to arrange FETs and inductors untul Cuk came along. That is the fascination of analog design. Anyone know what they offer? The website is a little quiet...
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