Oxford Capital exits investment in UltraSoc in sale to Siemens

Oxford Capital's portfolio company UltraSoc Technologies Ltd is to be acquired by Siemens. 

Cambridge-based UltraSoc is a provider of instrumentation and analytics solutions that puts intelligent monitoring, cybersecurity and functional safety capabilities into the core hardware of systems-on-chip (SoC). Siemens will integrate UltraSoc’s technology into the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio as part of Mentor’s Tessent product suite.

David Mott, Founder Partner at Oxford Capital, says: “We are delighted to have supported another deep-tech success story, and our second deep-tech exit in the space of 6 months, following the recent sale of Latent Logic to Waymo. Despite the Covid-19 crisis, international companies continue their interest in the UK’s innovative tech sector.”
Robin Lincoln, Portfolio Director at Oxford Capital, says: “Rupert Baines and the team have built the company’s reputation for excellence in this field and this has been recognised through the acquisition by Siemens.”
UltraSoC was founded in 2006 by academics and spun out from the Universities of Essex and Kent in 2008. The core technology was funded initially to the tune of around £2 million at the research stage by one of the UK’s research councils at the time, EPSRC. This was followed by several ‘proof-of-concept’ awards from various government funded grants which then enabled a technology demonstrator. It then received its first private investment, a series A round of GBP2 million, from Octopus Ventures in 2010. Oxford Capital invested in 2017 and this was followed by investments from Seraphim Capital and Indaco Venture Partners. The company had raised a total of around US USD21 million.
The agreement will equip customers with a unified data-driven infrastructure that enhances product quality, safety and cybersecurity, while also improving time-to-revenue and profitability. It creates the first comprehensive solution to help overcome the key pain points faced by the semiconductor industry today – real world risk factors such as manufacturing defects; software and hardware bugs; device early-failure and wear-out; functional safety; and combating malicious attacks.
“Siemens’ acquisition of UltraSoc means that for the first time its customers can access not just design-for-test, but a comprehensive ‘Design for Lifecycle Management’ solution for SoCs, including functional safety, security and optimisation,” says Brady Benware, Vice President and General Manager of the expanded Tessent product family, Siemens Digital Industries Software. “By utilising design augmentation to detect, mitigate and eliminate risks throughout the SoC lifecycle, customers can radically improve time-to-revenue, product quality & safety, and profitability. UltraSoc has a fast-growing business and impressive customer list, and complements Tessent to create a truly unique offering in the market.”
Rupert Baines, CEO, UltraSoc, says: “This move accelerates UltraSoc's vision at a much larger scale with the incredible team, assets, industry know-how and footprint of Siemens. Being part of one of the world’s foremost technology companies will allow UltraSoc to serve customers even better by accelerating R&D, leveraging a much larger pool of go-to-market resources, and an enormous global infrastructure. When we met the Tessent team it was clear we shared a vision on how technology businesses can transform their operations end-to-end, from design conception to field deployment.”
The combination of Mentor and UltraSoc technology spans the entire semiconductor product lifecycle, including structural, electrical, and functional capabilities of SoCs. It reinforces the comprehensive Digital Twin strategy of Siemens Digital Industries Software, with UltraSoc monitoring of the real device.
UltraSoc has pioneered the idea of embedding monitoring hardware into complex SoCs to enable “fab-to-field” analytics capabilities that accelerate silicon bring-up, optimise product performance, and confirm that devices are operating “as designed” for functional safety and cybersecurity purposes. Tessent is the market leader in SoC design-for-test (DFT) solutions, and has established strengths in the field of automotive functional safety via its Tessent Safety Ecosystem. These two highly complementary offerings are the foundation of a complete package of solutions, encompassing semiconductor design and production, functional safety, cybersecurity, and functional optimisation of products in the field.
UltraSoc‘s products are used by leading names in the automotive, high-performance computing, storage and semiconductor industries. The company was recently selected as a participant in the DARPA AISS (Automatic Implementation of Secure Silicon) program; and is a member of the Secure-CAV consortium, an ambitious collaborative project that aims to improve the safety and security of tomorrow’s connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
Siemens’ acquisition of UltraSoc is due to close in the fourth quarter of Siemens’ fiscal year 2020. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Siemens Digital Industries Software is driving transformation to enable a digital enterprise where engineering, manufacturing and electronics design meet tomorrow. The Xcelerator portfolio helps companies of all sizes create and leverage digital twins that provide organisations with new insights, opportunities and levels of automation to drive innovation.