July 20, 2024
Deeptech VC raises €300M in push for 'semiconductor supremacy'



Flemish venture capital firm Imec.xpand has raised €300mn to invest in deeptech startups.   

The VC is a spinoff from Leuven-based Imec, one of the world’s largest microelectronics research institutions. 

The new fund targets  AI, semiconductors, nanotechnology, photonics, and quantum computing. It will also invest in startups working on new ways to diagnose and treat medical conditions.   

To date, Imec.xpand has invested in 23 companies that have so far raised a combined €1.5bn in funding. This includes two unicorns — companies valued at €1bn or more.

Imec.xpand recently opened a new office in the Netherlands, according to Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad. It wants to focus more on the region, particularly in Eindhoven — a city renowned for tech innovation. 

The VC has already supported several startups in the region. These include  Axelera AI, which makes chips for edge computing, and Philips spinoff Scil, which builds chip manufacturing equipment. 

Another Dutch startup in Imec-xpand’s portfolio is Onera. The company develops clinical-grade sleep tests for home use to diagnose disorders such as insomnia.  

Push for semiconductor tech

With this latest fundraising, Imec.xpand focuses in particular on semiconductor development. 

“With this fund, we are dedicated to advancing the semiconductor industry by empowering startups to bring innovative technologies to market faster,” said Tom Vanhoutte, partner at the VC firm.

The combination of our venture capital and international network helps unicorns grow amid the global race for semiconductor supremacy.”

In September, Europe passed the Chips Act, which looks to double the bloc’s global market share in semiconductors from 10% to 20% by 2030. The Netherlands, home to  ASML — the world’s only manufacturer of equipment for the most advanced chips — is sure to play a central role in this push.

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