Ikon Semiconductor receives €800,000 investment led by Bank of Ireland Seed Fund

Bank of Ireland Seed Fund leads syndicated €800,000 investment in Ikon Semiconductor

CORK Ireland, 09 September 2011: The Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund has led an €800k investment in Dublin-based Ikon Semiconductor Limited (“Ikon”), a fabless semiconductor company developing novel solutions for the LED lighting industry.  The syndicated investment comprises of a €400k investment 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.

Pictured L-R are: Orla Rimmington, Operations Director, Kernel Capital, Conor McAuliffe, CEO, Ikon Semiconductor, Greg Treston, Manager of Scaling & HPSU Division, Enterprise Ireland; Donal Duffy, Head of Enterprise Ireland Relations, Bank of Ireland
Pictured L-R are: Orla Rimmington, Operations Director, Kernel Capital, Conor McAuliffe, CEO, Ikon Semiconductor, Greg Treston, Manager of Scaling & HPSU Division, Enterprise Ireland; Donal Duffy, Head of Enterprise Ireland Relations, Bank of Ireland

LED or Light Emitting Diode lighting is the fastest growing and most efficient source of green energy lighting. Ikon will use the funds to support the development of its single-chip power converter, which resides within the bulb and powers the LED light while improving efficiency, cost, power factor, dimmer compatibility and size.  As many governments around the world have passed measures to phase out incandescent light bulbs for general lighting, Ikon is focused on the residential and commercial LED bulb replacement market which is expected to grow exponentially from 80 million units in 2011 to 430 million units by 2013. 

Commenting on the announcement, Orla Rimmington, Operations Director, Kernel Capital, said: “Kernel Capital is very pleased to lead this investment in Ikon Semiconductor, which will enable the company to tackle the growing global market in LED lighting. The Ikon solution is simpler, smaller and less costly than the competition, and so enables its customers to tackle previously unreachable markets, while simultaneously helping our environment by reducing the power consumed through replacing old-style lighting.”

Donal Duffy, Head of Enterprise Ireland Relations, Bank of Ireland said: “We are delighted to add Ikon Semiconductor Limited to the list of cutting edge exporting companies supported by the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund through Kernel Capital.  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.”

Welcoming the announcement Greg Treston, Head of High Potential Start Ups at Enterprise Ireland, said: “It is always exciting and inspiring to see an Irish company develop innovative technology for a rapidly growing global market such as the LED market. We are very happy to have supported Ikon Semiconductor and Conor McAuliffe in getting their business to this important funding milestone, and we look forward to helping the company play a role in reducing the cost of LED lighting for consumers right around the World and in so doing, helping with energy saving and the green agenda.”

Conor McAuliffe, CEO of Ikon Semiconductor, added: “We are delighted to have high calibre investor Kernel Capital on-board at this stage in the company’s development. Kernel Capital has a strong track record of investment in successful Irish semiconductor companies and this investment is a significant endorsement of Ikon Semiconductor’s unique technology. 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 capitalise on this market potential.”


For further information please contact:

Orla Rimmington,
Operations Director,
Kernel Capital.
Tel: +353 21 4928974
Fax: +353 21 4928977

Notes to Editors:

Energy Consumption

  • One kilowatt-hour of electricity will cause 1.34 pounds (610 g) of CO2 emission1. Assuming the average light bulb is on for 10 hours a day, one 40-watt incandescent bulb will cause 196 pounds (89 kg) of CO2 emission per year. The 6-watt LED equivalent will only cause 30 pounds (14 kg) of CO2 over the same time span. Therefore, a building’s carbon footprint from lighting can be reduced by 85% by exchanging all incandescent bulbs for new LEDs.
  • Over 12 billion incandescent light bulbs are sold annually, lighting accounts for almost 19% of global energy consumption which equates to the output of approximately 1000 large electric power plants2.
  • The traditional incandescent light bulb has remained virtually unchanged since it was invented in 1879 by Thomas Edison and is highly inefficient with almost 90% of the energy consumed being given off as heat.
  • Overall lighting gives rise to 1,900 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is roughly 70 percent of the CO2 emitted by all the world’s light duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, motorcycles, etc.).

About Ikon Semiconductor
Ikon Semiconductor Limited is a fabless semiconductor company which is developing innovative LED Driver IC solutions for the offline LED lighting market. The company was founded by 2 semiconductor industry veterns who have a combined experience of almost 40 years in the semiconductor industry. By applying proprietary digital control techniques, where traditionally analog control techniques have been used, Ikon Semiconductor is developing a solution which reduces cost and enhances performance of the power electronics required in LED lighting applications. Ikon’s first product, which will be available in early 2012, will target the residential and commercial bulb replacement market, where volumes of LED replacement lamps are predicted to grow to 430 million units in 2013. Ikon Semiconductor

About Kernel Capital
Kernel Capital and its associate Life Science investment firm Seroba Kernel have in excess of €196m under management in six separate Venture Capital funds, investing in ICT, Life Science and general seed and early stage investments. These funds are supported by Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland, University of Limerick Foundation, NUI, Galway and a range of other financial institutions.  They have invested in Kernel Capital's portfolio of 51 companies which collectively employ in excess of 800 people and have been granted over 150 scientific patents. Kernel Capital and Seroba Kernel are committed to dynamic, innovative, knowledge based companies and led in excess of €96m in syndicated investment in 2010.  Kernel Capital believe that it is an exceptional time for investment. www.kernelcapital.ie

Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund
Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund is a €32m Fund that invests in start-up and early stage companies, with a focus on export orientated high potential start-up companies that operate in the technology (including green technology), food and financial services sectors, in addition to supporting patent and patent pending projects within Irish universities.  It is managed on behalf of Bank of Ireland and the other partners by Kernel Capital.  This fund comprises of an investment by Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, University of Limerick Foundation and NUI Galway.  The €10m Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund is part of this Fund.

About Enterprise Ireland
Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government agency responsible for the development and growth of Irish industry, is actively involved in supporting early stage high potential start-ups.  With over 80 new direct equity investments annually in these businesses, and through its investment in 41 seed and venture capital funds, Enterprise Ireland is now the largest early stage VC investor in Europe in terms of the number of investments made.  In addition, through its network of 31 international offices, Enterprise Ireland actively supports Irish companies to grow their export markets and create valuable jobs in Ireland.

1 "US DOE EIA: Electricity Emission Factors". http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/emission_factors.html. Retrieved 2009-06-03.

2 “Global Efforts to Phase-Out Incandescent Lamps, An update from Paul Waide, International Energy Agency (IEA)”. http://www.iea.org/impagr/cip/pdf/Issue45Lighting.pdf.