Kernel Capital Follows On At AltraTech

04 Oct 2016 | 09.45 am

Kernel Capital Follows On At AltraTech

VC fund into Shannon firm for €2 million

04 Oct 2016 | 09.45 am

Shannon-based food diagnostics firm AltraTech has secured €1.35 million equity investment from the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund. The VC previously invested €650,000 in April 2014.

AltraTech is developing a single-use test kit that can identify the DNA content of a food sample in a matter of minutes. Founded in 2013, startup losses to the end of December 2015 amounted to €643,000.

The taxpayer is involved through Enterprise Ireland, which paid €150,000 for redeemable preference shares in April 2014 and another payment of €100,000 in November 2015. The company employed seven people in 2015, the same as in 2014, according to filed accounts.

AltraTech was founded by Tim Cummins and Brian O’Farrell, following the former’s participation in Kernel Capital’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Programme. The company has been developing a single-use portable semiconductor test kit for use in the food and agri sector, for high-sensitivity, species-specific identification of food content and contaminants.

AltraTech aims to be first to market with an on-site, in-line disposable DNA diagnostics kit which will reduce the wait time for DNA testing to 30 minutes. Currently, the wait can be anywhere from two to five days.

According to chief executive Tim Cummins: “Our BeadCAP technology will enable food producers to do real-time testing and make instant production and dispositioning decisions.”

Cummins previously founded Kernel Capital portfolio company ChipSensors in 2006, which was acquired by Silicon Labs in 2010.

 

Photo: Kernel Capital’s Dawn Walsh (left) with Tim Cummins, Roberta Corrigan of Bank of Ireland and EI’s Margot Marsden (right)

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