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Cameras have come a long way, but there are still a lot of innovative avenues to explore. That’s the cue for Spectricity, a Flanders-based spin-off of strategic research center imec. The company from Mechelen has raised EUR 14 million to develop a brand-new and extremely small kind of camera that will enable a range of new applications in healthcare, cosmetics and even AR.

More than meets the eye

The story of Spectricity started in 2018 when it spun off from digital and nanotech research center imec to specialize in a technology called hyperspectral detection. This allows cameras to perceive more than what the naked eye can see. While an ordinary camera detects red, green and blue hues, for example, a hyperspectral camera can spot many more colors or wavelengths.

What’s more, this sensor-based technology has been made so small by Spectricity that it can be integrated into smartphones and smartwatches as well as into vehicles, drones or Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Our patented technology is unique in the world.

Vincent Mouret
CEO of Spectricity

From healthcare and cosmetics to AR

Spectricity’s innovative tour de force has a broad range of applications. For example, their technology can be used to measure medical parameters such as heart rate, blood oxygen levels and skin hydration.

But it doesn’t end there. The hyperspectral imagers can also be used to match cosmetics with skin color or determine the freshness of food. What’s more, in augmented reality (AR), where the physical world is enriched with digital data, objects can be better detected using the technology.

Entering the market

Together with a major smartphone manufacturer, Spectricity is now going all out to bring a concrete product to the market by 2023 based on its cutting-edge technology. At the same time, work is being done in collaboration with various application developers.

You can think of our product as a new kind of camera for smartphones that can measure the properties of objects. You can then, for example, take a picture of a skin spot and determine whether there is skin cancer. We are working with many partners and expect an ecosystem of programmers to develop.

Jonathan Borremans
co-founder of Spectricity

Unicorn in the making

While still a young company, Spectricity sees the future in superlatives. “We want to offer consumers a complete product, from electronic chip to application, and in high volumes,” CEO Vincent Mouret explains. The company already has good contacts in Asia, and an expansion into the US and Europe is on the table. Even a stock launch could be envisioned, according to the CEO. 

In five years, we could be a unicorn company.

Vincent Mouret
CEO of Spectricity

What’s more, Vincent Mouret expects Spectricity to achieve a turnover of several tens of millions of euros in 2023 or 2024, which could grow to hundreds of millions of euros in around five years.

Rooted in imec expertise

While Spectricity’s ambitions are great, so are its credentials. The company was founded in 2018 as a spin-off of micro- and nanotech research institute imec, linking it to world-leading expertise.

Spectricity's products are based on a unique imec technology. The development teams of imec and Spectricity will continue to work together.

Luc Van den hove
President and CEO of imec

Investors lining up

To further support its ambitious plans, Spectricity completed a Series B capital round. This attracted financing from international investors Atlantic Bridge, Capricorn, Fusion China Fund and Shanghai Semiconductor Equipment and Material Fund (SSEMF), alongside Flanders-based Series A investors imec.xpand and XTRION. As a result of the new capital round, Spectricity’s financing now totals EUR 20 million.

This new round of funding allows us to accelerate our production, recruit talent and expand our partnerships.

Vincent Mouret
CEO of Spectricity

Discover more about Flanders’ innovative nanotech and digital scenes.

Reported by
newspaper De Tijd

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