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Terahertz systems pioneer TeraView nets $5.5m from YFM, LCIF

30 Jan 2012

Cambridge, UK-based terahertz systems pioneer TeraView has secured $5.5m of financing from a consortium led by New Hill Management and Full Circle Investments in the US, together with YFM Equity Partners and Turquoise International in the UK and other investors.

Turquoise International invested on behalf of the UK Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF), based at the University of East Anglia.

Terahertz waves sit in the spectrum between infra red and microwave and as such have unique properties. TeraView is the world’s first company devoted to the application of terahertz light for imaging and spectroscopy.

Its proprietary platform uses the terahertz spectrum between light and radio waves and offers the advantage of being non-invasive and non-destructive. A key application of the technology is the detection of faults and quality variations in semiconductor integrated circuits.

The investment will allow the company to accelerate the growth of its semiconductor, industrial and analytical business in Asia, the US and the EU. Key areas for focus include sales and marketing in Asia, as well as further product development in its semiconductor inspection market.

Funding will also be used to enhance support and collaborations with existing customers in these markets, it said.

Richard Harvey, chairman of the LCIF Investment Committee, said, “We are delighted to support this patented technology which offers carbon saving technology to high growth markets, which will bring jobs and growth to the region.’

David Livesley, an investment director at YFM Equity Partners, added, “We have been following TeraView’s progress for a number of years. As one of Britain’s most innovative technology businesses we are delighted that the opportunity has arisen for YFM Equity Partners’ funds to help accelerate its growth. We look forward to building our relationship with the Company and management team as they continue their international expansion working with major multinational clients.”

UK regional growth investor YFM Equity Partners is looking to raise a new fund this year with a target size of more than double that of its predecessor, making it the firm’s largest investment vehicle raised to date.

The new fund, which will seek commitments of around £100m, will provide expansion capital, MBOs or MBIs as well as partial sales and equity release situations for British SMEs with an enterprise value of £5m to £25m.

Recent investments include a £4.5m financing round in December for Poweroasis, a business that supplies energy-efficient power to companies operating in the mobile phone sector, and the management buy-in in August of Bagel Nash, the North England-based gourmet bagel company.

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