pureLiFi, the light communications technology company that leads the market in research and commercialisation of LiFi, has raised £1.5 million in its latest round of investment. Valuing the 2012 University of Edinburgh spin-out at over £14 million, a VC funding round is in process and the company expects to make a related announcement on additional funding during the second half of 2015.
The funding news comes as pureLiFi ships the world’s first full wireless LiFi networking system. LiFi – a term coined by pureLiFi’s Chief Science Officer (CSO), Professor Haas – is a technology based on visible light communication (VLC) that provides full networking capabilities similar to WiFi but with significantly greater spatial reuse of bandwidth.
Investors participating in the latest round were led by London & Scottish Investment Partners (LSIP), a Scottish-based angel group supported by investors from London and Scotland, with additional funding from the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) and Old CollegeCapital, the venture investment arm of the University of Edinburgh, in a process managed by Edinburgh-based corporate finance firm, Quest Corporate. The investment will be used to support the development and roll-out of the product roadmap and for growing the marketing and sales function.
In Q4 of 2014, the pureLiFi team launched and shipped the world’s first LiFi network product – Li-Flame – to industry customers worldwide. The system turns off-the-shelf light fixtures into LiFi access points that can simultaneously communicate to a plurality of users in a bi-directional fashion. It also consists of the world’s first battery powered LiFi mobile unit which is attached to a laptop screen and allows user roaming within a room, or indeed an entire building. Li-Flame continues to see strong demand in Q1 of 2015. The LiFi industry is forecast to grow to over $9 billion by 2020.
Professor Russel Griggs, pureLiFi’s Chairman, said: “I am very pleased that the necessary funding is now in place to allow Harald and his team to push ahead with the product roadmap, positioning pureLiFi for its next phase of growth.”
Harald Haas, CSO and co-founder of pureLiFi, said: “LiFi is increasingly viewed as a transformative technology that can change the way we use the mobile internet as part of future 5G cellular networks and at the same time be an enabler of the emerging Internet of Things.”
Scott Carnegie, Chairman of LSIP, said: “I am delighted that LSIP have been able to lead this investment round from the angel community. It appealed to LSIP’s key goals of helping to accelerate growth and speed of development of a leading Scottish technology company in anticipation of an earlier exit and release of entrepreneurial wealth.”
Kerry Sharp, Head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “Having supported pureLiFi through seed investment we are pleased to further support them as they enter this exciting stage in their development. This new investment will help the company capitalise on the market opportunities this presents and thus achieve its growth ambition.”
Andrea Young, Old College Capital’s Fund Manager, said: “Old College Capital is committed to supporting exciting spin-out and start-up companies like pureLiFi, which are emerging from the University of Edinburgh, to support their growth and development into global market leaders in partnership with other investors.”