European Dev Fund to Foment Global Semiconductor, Nanotech Innovation

May 8, 2024
The "imec.xpand" 300 million Euro fund was launched to address the global race for semiconductor dominance.

What you'll learn:

  • The pupose of a new EUR 300 million fund in a collaborative effort with imec.
  • The areas of interest the fund will address..
  • Information about Imec.xpand.


Created to accelerate the growth of transformative semiconductor and nanotechnology innovations, imec.xpand, an independent global venture capital fund, recently launched a new EUR 300 million fund in a collaborative effort with imec, an R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics.

The fund plans to invest in startups that have the potential to be disruptive within their target markets, driving semiconductor innovation to develop next-generation technologies for advanced applications. The imec.xpand fund will leverage the knowledge, expertise, and infrastructure of imec, and will present an outspoken international mindset intended to foment disruptive technologies.

Hardware-Driven Semiconductor Innovation

Based on a belief that sufficient funding from the start is key to future success, the fund team's ability to assess technology risk in the earliest stages of development is the basis of imec.xpand's approach toward hardware-driven semiconductor innovation. Characterized by a high level of technological expertise along with a hands-on approach, the fund’s deep connections to imec gives them perspective to assess technology risk in early-stage deep-tech companies.

Imec.xpand will invest globally across all stages to migrate semiconductor and nanotechnology innovations into market-ready solutions, targeting disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), and advanced photonics. In the area of life sciences, imec.xpand looks to advance cell therapy, sequencing, neuromodulation, and other areas in next-generation medical diagnostics and treatments.

"Imec.xpand is not just about funding startups, it's about building companies that can lead the next wave of technological transformation," said Tom Vanhoutte, a partner at imec.xpand. "With this fund, we are dedicated to advancing the semiconductor industry by empowering startups to bring innovative technologies to market faster. The combination of our venture capital and international network helps unicorns grow amid the global race for semiconductor supremacy."

Previous imec.xpand Investments

The first imec.xpand fund was launched in 2017 with the strong support of imec, and over the years has built a strong track record of investing in game-changing companies. To date, imec.xpand has invested in 23 companies, raising nearly EUR 1.5 billion in financing. 

Noteworthy imec.xpand portfolio companies include Celestial AI, a Silicon Valley company that recently raised $175 million USD for its optical compute and memory fabric solution for AI infrastructure; PsiQuantum, working on developing a practical quantum computer; and Swave Photonics, with its holographic extended reality chip technology addressing 3D holographic imaging and spatial computing.

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