Amsterdam Scientific Instruments, ASI in short, has raised a seed investment from a group of investors led by Nascent Ventures. Other investors in the startup include the hightech micro fund TechNano Fund in Bilthoven. The investment is not disclosed, but based on our assumptions of both VC firms ticket size our estimate is that it’s a seed investment between half a million and one million euro.
ASI is a spin-off of the world-renowned physics research institutes AMOLF and Nikhef. It delivers camera systems for X-ray imaging and electron microscopy. These camera’s are based on Medipix technology, which is developed by the Medipix-consortium of world-calls research institutes under the leadership of the CERN, the European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. The main advantage of the technology is that it offers advanced signal to noise ratios and higher spectral resolutions.
The cameras are deployed in experimental physics labs around the globe, including CERN and Nikhef. ASI’s products are increasingly used in the next generation of electron microscopes, x-ray imaging systems and mass spectrometers.
“This investment will help us to accelerate our business and enable the company to further develop its unique technology”, says Hans Brouwer, the CEO of ASI in an announcement about the investment.
ASI will use the capital raised to expand its development team, product portfolio and increase its business development activities in upcoming industrial markets.
Steven Tan, director of Nascent Ventures, who also operates as the CFO of ASI, says thatt Nascent Ventures is excited about helping ASI to expand globally. Tan: “We share the vision of ASI and value the warm relations of ASI with Nikhef and CERN.”
“We are excited by the prospect of the ability of ASI to compete with its technology in many optical application areas. ASI is an interesting addition to our high-tech portfolio. We look forward to the cooperation with ASI, Nascent and Nikhef“, says Willem van den Berg, managing partner of TechNano Fund.
The founding of ASI is not a big surprise. Besides 3D printing Dutch startups seem to be doing ground-breaking work on image recognition as well. Testimony to this is the acquisition of the AI startup Scyfer by Qualcomm earlier this year and the acquisition of University of Amsterdam spin-off Euvision in 2014. Both companies used advanced image recognition and data crunching capabilities to advance our understanding of the world around us. ASI fits the same profile. An acquisition in a couple of years might not be that crazy of an idea.
For Nascent Ventures the investment in ASI is its first one. Founded earlier this year Nascent Ventures is a seed fund that invest in high-tech startups based on ground-breaking technologies from Dutch research institutes and universities. The fund not only provides capital but also an experienced management team of industry professionals, acting as the management team of the startup in the first period. The thinking is that not only funding, but also founding the startup increases the chances of the startup dramatically. The managing partners of Nascent Ventures, Hans Brouwer and Steven Tan are accordingly also the CEO and CFO of ASI.
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