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16 April, 2018 - 09:35 By Tony Quested

ImageTech business raises $5.3m to scale from Cambridge

Spectral Edge, the Cambridge UK image fusion technology business, has raised $5.3 million from existing investors Parkwalk Advisors and IQ Capital. The new money will be used to expand the company's R & D team and support the development of real-world applications for its technology in key areas of focus – notably smartphones, webcams and security applications.

Spectral Edge combines cutting-edge imaging science – with machine learning to improve pictures and videos on mass-market devices. This is done in real time on a pixel-level, embeddable technology that can be implemented purely in software or in silicon. 

The technology behind the process can be used across a range of potential applications that rely on image quality for either function or aesthetics –from mobile to security and from automotive to on-demand video or live broadcast.

Over the past year Spectral Edge has continued to build its management team following the appointment of Rhodri Thomas as CEO in February 2017. Rhodri joined the business from predictive keyboard technology pioneer SwiftKey which was sold to Microsoft in 2016. 

Most recently, Dr Ilya Romanenko has joined as CTO from ARM Holdings, bringing a wealth of experience in applicable technology and deep learning. He heads up the R & D department which currently includes five PHDs, including three image fusion experts who were heavily involved in the creation of the company’s patents.

The new funding will enable expansion of the R & D team to 12 with specialisms in image processing, machine learning and embedded software development. 

It will also support the development of real-world applications in key areas of focus – in particular smartphones, webcams and security applications alongside the existing products for the TV & display industries. 

Rhodri Thomas said: “We are delighted to have the continued support of IQ Capital and Parkwalk Advisors as Spectral Edge moves to the next phase of growth and we see our technology reaching the marketplace.
“The opportunities for market application of our technology are hugely exciting, in particular in smartphones, TV picture processing and in security surveillance devices. This funding will allow us to continue to realise real-world applications as we further strengthen our technical team.”

Alastair Kilgour, CIO at Parkwalk Advisors, stated: “The technological progress at Spectral Edge in developing next-generation image fusion has been substantial since we made our first investment and with this fund raise commercial engagement with companies and industries looking for an edge in image enhancement, such as smartphones and security cameras, will be escalated.”

Spectral Edge works closely with specialist image science departments at a number of universities including the University of East Anglia. Spectral Edge was recently a finalist at the BT Sport Innovation Award, where its technology was applied to an innovative solution for helping colour-blind people watch sports streams on TV.

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