Semiconductor and AI technology company, Magics Technologies has announced an investment round totaling €2.4m, led by Invest for Jobs, with supporting investment from Gemma Frisius Fund and KU Leuven. This investment is a significant step towards Magics’ next growth stage and its bold goal of becoming a major global player in the field of reliable and smart semiconductor chips.
Semiconductors have always been an enabling technology for digitalization. Since its conception in 2015, Magics has leveraged its unique radiation hardening chip design competence to build a first series of chips that provides digital control of robotics and manipulators in the world’s most extreme environments. Magics’ technology is becoming a key element in the generation of new energy sources – nuclear fusion, in safeguarding mankind’s waste legacy , and is on its way to enabling an interplanetary world.
The purpose of this capital round is to consolidate commercial opportunities for Magics’ radiation-hardened chipsets for automation platforms in challenging environments (specifically fusion, nuclear and space), while at the same time enabling the launch of its cross-industry scalable intelligent sensing platform for improved machine reliability (PlantScope). The investment will allow the company to accelerate its product launches in existing markets, ramp up marketing and business development activities, and implement its global sales and export strategies.
In parallel with these product launches, continued investment in R&D will fuel the further growth of the company, facilitating the extension of Magics’ existing technologies and the development of “next generation technologies”, such as smart chips with embedded AI for intelligent and reliable machines.
Quote Jens (CEO): “Over time, Magics has evolved into a full-blown semiconductor company serving niche markets. At the same time, we have developed intelligent sensing technologies with much wider market potential. This ‘technology leveraging’ is generating exciting opportunities as we speak, and the new investment round gives us the capacity to fully pursue these opportunities. It is amazing to see how, together with Ying Cao (CTO) and Hagen Marien (COO), we have built a team of world-class specialists, while doubling our revenues almost every year. We are grateful to our seed investors, to our board of directors and employees, and to everyone who has shown so much trust and support for Magics. I would also like to thank our scientific and business advisors, Prof. Michiel Steyaert, Prof. Paul Leroux, Prof. Marian Verhelst, Peter Berben, and Steven Redant for their invaluable guidance and constructive suggestions.”
Nils Nijs, Investment Manager at Invest For Jobs (IFJ): “Invest For Jobs is excited to be able to support MAGICS in their future growth path. MAGICS is a great example of a company with a unique expertise and an excellent team, and we believe this round will allow them to scale their business. The investment fits perfectly within our long-term investment horizon, which will give MAGICS the chance to further establish themselves as a world-renowned Belgian semiconductor company and create significant employment in the sector”.
Quote GFF & KU Leuven: “KU Leuven together with its seed capital fund Gemma Frisius Fund are pleased to support the long-term growth of our spin-off Magics Technologies”, said Rudi Cuyvers, Head of the Spin-off and Innovation unit at KU Leuven Research & Development. “With their clear focus on the future and the topnotch technology they have developed, we are confident Magics will grow into an industry leader in the field of reliable and smart semiconductor chips.”
Quote Vincent Massaut, SCK CEN: MAGICS is a successful SCK CEN spin-off company. Starting with a “good idea” and allying the technical skills of their CTO with the business and managerial skills of their CEO, they have shown a very impressive growth and they have written a sustainable success story during the last 5 years.
With their focus on innovations and new products developments, we are confident this successful track will be continued. We will continue to support their efforts in the rad-hard design and testing, for space exploration and new energies developments.
Peter Grognard, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MAGICS, is excited about this capital increase. “The capital increase by IFJ and existing shareholders, for which I like to express my gratitude, will fuel a new phase in the strong growth of MAGICS. I look forward to working with the new members of the Board and the growing MAGICS team ‘.
MAGICS Technologies NV was founded in 2015 by Dr. Ying Cao and Jens Verbeeck, spinning out of KU Leuven university and renowned Belgian nuclear and astronautics centre, SCK-CEN. The spark for MAGICS was a shared conviction that autonomous machines powered by reliable and smart semiconductor chips are the keys to unlock secure and sustainable energy sources such as fusion for our earth planet and explore other habitable planets for the future of the human species. The company’s headquarter in the Kempen region of Belgium is a home to a world-leading research and development team, bringing together the core disciplines of integrated circuit design, radiation hardening, and machine learning that underpin the next generation of autonomous and reliable machines.
About Magics next generation smart semiconductors for autonomous Machines:
Magics believes that Artificial Intelligence (AI) models go hand-in-hand with hardware. Today’s cloud based sollutions often face bandwidth problems and stability issues in the control systems. Magics has invested heavily in solving this paradigm by bringing AI accelerators to the edge in combination with models they train and optimize. Data generation, training and employing a model will be made available in one flow, significantly reducing engineering costs and system level engineering challenges that are incurred with traditional approaches.
About SCK CEN:
About IFJ: ‘INVEST FOR JOBS (IFJ) is a Belgian private investment fund with a long-term investment strategy established at the end of 2015 by the social partners of the metals and technology sector. The fund has an important social objective, as illustrated by its slogan “a reasonable financial return, a high social profit”. IFJ focuses on unlisted Belgian companies and aims for a positive impact on employment in Belgium.’
About KU Leuven:
As the number one European university for innovation, KU Leuven actively invests in launching innovative technologies in the commercial market by creating spin-off companies, securing and licensing intellectual property, and collaborating with industry. KU Leuven supports researchers and students in transforming their innovative ideas and technologies into commercial products and services that impact people’s lives worldwide. As such, KU Leuven encourages young entrepreneurs to develop a solid business plan, to validate the market and build a coherent team. Since its creation in 1972, KU Leuven Research & Development has supported the creation and growth of 148 spin-off companies, directly employing more than 7,000 people. KU Leuven’s spin-off companies constitute a huge economic leverage for the Leuven region. In the period from 2005 to 2020, KU Leuven invested € 16.5 million in its spin-off companies, and € 1.2 billion of external capital was raised. 120 of KU Leuven’s spin-off companies, of which the first was established in 1979, are still active today. Many have an international leading position. Seven spin-off companies have had an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the stock exchange. Please visit lrd.kuleuven.be/en/spinoff for more information.
About Gemma Frisius Fund:
Gemma Frisius Fund (GFF) is a seed capital fund, established in 1997 as a joint venture between KU Leuven, KBC Private Equity and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity. It combines the research and technology transfer expertise of the university with the financial and investment expertise of the two financial partners. GFF provides seed capital in the early development phases of innovative, research-based spin-off companies originating from all technology domains and provides support in their further growth process. For more information: http://lrd.kuleuven.be/en/spinoff/gemma-frisius-fund.