Cambridge-based image fusion company, SpectralEdge, nets £1.5M led by IQ and Parkwalk
Spectral Edge has announced the successful completion of an oversubscribed £1.5 million second funding round. New lead investors IQ Capital and Parkwalk Advisors, along with angel investors from Cambridge Angels, Wren Capital, Cambridge Capital Group and Martlet, the Marshall of Cambridge Corporate Angel investment fund, join the Rainbow Seed Fund/Midven and Iceni in backing the company.
Spun out of the University of East Anglia (UEA) Colour Lab, Spectral Edge has developed innovative image fusion technology. This combines different types of image, ranging from the visible to invisible (such as infrared and thermal), to enhance detail, aid visual accessibility, and create ever more beautiful pictures.
Spectral Edge’s Phusion technology platform has already been proven in the visual accessibility market, where independent studies have shown that it can transform the TV viewing experience for the estimated 4% of the world’s population that suffers from colour-blindness. It enhances live TV and video, allowing colour-blind viewers to differentiate between colour combinations such as red-green and pink-grey so that otherwise inaccessible content such as sport can be enjoyed.
The new funding will be used to expand Spectral Edge’s team, increase investment in sales and marketing, and underpin development of its product portfolio into IP-licensable products and reference designs. Spectral Edge is mainly targetingcomputational photography, where blending near-infrared and visible images gives higher quality, more beautiful results with greater depth. Other applications include security, where the combination of visible and thermal imaging enhances details to provide easier identification of people filmed on surveillance cameras, as well as visual accessibility through its Eyeteq brand.
“Spectral Edge is a true pioneer in the field of photography. They are set to disrupt and transform the imaging sector, not just within consumer and professional photography, but also across a broad range of business sectors,” said Max Bautin, Managing Partner at IQ Capital. “Backed by a robust catalogue of IP, Spectral Edge’s technology enables individuals and companies to take pictures and record videos with unparalleled detail by taking advantage of non-visible information like near-infra red and heat. We are proud to add Spectral Edge to our portfolio of companies. We back cutting-edge IP-rich technology which pushes the boundaries but also has a proven track record of experiencing stable growth, and Spectral Edge fits that mould perfectly.”
“We are delighted to support Professor Graham Finlayson and his team at Spectral Edge,” said Alastair Kilgour CIO Parkwalk Advisors. “We believe Phusion could prove to be a substantial enhancement to the quality of digital imaging and as such have significant commercial prospects.”
Spectral Edge is led by an experienced team that combines deep technical and business experience. It includes Professor Graham Finlayson, Head of Vision Group and Professor of Computing Science, UEA, Christopher Cytera (managing director) and serial entrepreneur Dr Robert Swann (chairman).
“After having proved the potential of our innovative Phusion technology, this new funding provides Spectral Edge with a springboard for growth,” said Christopher Cytera, Managing Director, Spectral Edge. “The significant investment from IQ Capital, Parkwalk Advisors, Midven, Iceni and Cambridge angel groups demonstrates their faith in our technology, approach and overall strategy. We can now accelerate commercialisation of our intellectual property portfolio and grow by licensing our technology to consumer electronics manufacturers and service providers in our key markets of computational photography, visual accessibility and security.”
About Spectral Edge
Formed in February 2011, Spectral Edge is a spin-out company of the Colour Group of the School of Computing Sciences at the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom). It operates from offices in Cambridge.
Spectral Edge Phusion technology enhances images and video by using information outside the normal visible spectrum or applying transformations to that within it. Applications range from computational photography, security and consumer applications such as enhancing TV pictures to improve content accessibility.
About IQ Capital
IQ Capital is a UK focused venture capital investor, based in Cambridge and London. We invest in B2B software including machine learning & AI, data analytics, cyber security, AdTech, FinTech and e-health, as well as embedded systems and robotics. Recent exits include trade sales to Google, Apple, Becton Dickinson and Huawei.
IQ Capital always invests alongside an experienced, sector-expert entrepreneur who has recently made a significant exit in the same sector and who now has the right skills, mind-set and motivation to support an early stage business. We are currently investing from our 2015 IQ Capital Fund II which is actively looking for new investment opportunities.
About Parkwalk Advisors
Parkwalk is an independent investment firm dedicated to providing clients with access to some of the most exciting deal-flow emanating from British R&D intensive institutions and Universities. Parkwalk invests in, and raises capital for, innovative UK technology companies. The Funds are investment-driven venture capital funds, seeking capital appreciation. Parkwalk portfolio companies all have deeply-embedded IP and commercial potential, and range from early stage seed capital, through development and commercial capital to AIM-listed investments. In the last 12 months Parkwalk has invested over £20m into this investment strategy.
More information can be found at www.parkwalkadvisors.com
About Wren Capital
Wren Capital, whose managing partner is Rajat Malhotra (UK Business Angels Associations Angel Investor of the Year for 2013) specialises in early stage investing across science, engineering and software. Our involvement is tailored to the needs of each business and we aim to be a supportive value-adding investor. We generally follow a co-investment model and have links with a number of universities, business schools, angel networks and a trusted network of high quality investors who share our investment philosophy.
Source: SpectralEdge Press Release