The Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Venture Funds

Selected Case Studies


 
Novel software and imaging solutions for medical diagnostics
2010
Founded by Hugh Cormican, over 20 years experience of market
2013
Sourced and executed acquisition of GE LIS Healthcare’s business
2013
Global ‘Blue chip’ customer base
2014
Filed patent for new x-ray imaging technology
2015
£3.5m round led by Kernel with Kainos plc, Co-Fund NI & QUBIS
2015
Export led growth delivers multi-million pound annual turnover
2016
Strategic partnership with Kainos plc & 32 employees
Kernel Capital has a strong track record of investing with high growth export focused innovative companies. Kernel’s strategic and hands-on input is invaluable as we scale the company, increasing our exports and creating further employment in Northern Ireland.
Hugh Cormican, Founder & CEO, Cirdan Imaging
 
Software Collaboration solution for SMART devices
2012
Company founded to address the Audio Visual (AV) sectors
2013
Established partnerships with NEC, BENQ and Sahara
2014
Available in 22 languages, 1 million devices using products
2014
Kernel Investment of £1m alongside syndicated private investment
2014
Strong product road map. Filed patent
2015
New product launched & 2 new patents filed
2016
Secured order book of £2m+. Head count increased to 32.
Having access to the technology and market expertise within Kernel Capital, and the hands on support they bring to DisplayNote is unparalleled as we scale and grow the company.
Paul Brown, CEO, Displaynote Technologies
2005
Kernel Capital invests €100k with Prof. Mark Davies & Dr. Tara Dalton to form UL spinout. Patents filed
2006
Dr. Ed Walsh, Founding President UL appointed Chairman
2007
Technical progress: Prototype Liquid Bridge & parallel set working in unison
2008
LEK Consultants commissioned to review Stokes technology & potential market
2008
Kernel Capital’s total investment reaches €1.9m for 37%
2009
Kernel Capital worked with the founders to secure a License agreement with Monsanto
2009
The company’s Core Liquid Bridge patent granted
2010
Company acquired by Life Technologies for US$44m
Kernel played a hands on role in all aspects of the business, sales, and corporate development, utilising their entire team. They assisted hugely in the corporate presentation of the Company. They introduced the Company to Monsanto and with the promoters attended multiple meetings with Monsanto in Missouri and Limerick, successfully closing a US$10m contract. When the opportunity to sell to Life Technologies arose, Kernel played a key role in the transaction and introduced IBI Corporate Finance to the Company who also played a superb role. Resulting in the Company being sold for US$44m in 2010.
Prof. Mark Davies, Stokes Institute (Co-founder, Stokes Bio)


2004
Key Patent filed by Tim Cummins
2005
Kernel Capital invest €100k and Chip Sensors as a limited company is established
2005
Dr. Daniel McCaughan of Kernel Capital joins the Board
2007
Receipt of Frost & Sullivan Technology Award raises industry profile
2007
Technology validation from Tyndall National Institute on 4” wafers & Cypress Semiconductor on 8” wafers
2009
First public demo of technology at Global Sensors Expo, Kernel Investment at €1.9m
2009
Chip ‘taped out’ and first 100 samples received – they work!
2010
Company acquired by Silicon Laboratories returning 33% IRR
I believe the role of a good VC goes far beyond, providing money and the corporate advice that is available from accountants, banks, and other investors. Kernel Capital certainly brought this, more importantly they brought hands on support and real strategic value to ChipSensors. When the board made the decision to sell, it was clear to Silicon Labs that Kernel was prepared to continue to fund. This really strengthened our hand to get an all cash sale. This is where the VC-as-director brings credibility and professionalism to negotiations that are simply impossible for the founders/promoters. Kernel carried out this role superbly.
Tim Cummins, Founder & CEO, ChipSensors


 
Cloud based mobile app solutions for enterprise
2011
The Kernel Capital Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund invests €500k post spin out of TSSG at Waterford Institute of Technology
2011
VMware andTelefonica become clients
2011
Major contracts secured
2012
VMware invests $1m
2013
Investment by Kernel Growth Fund €2m and Intel Capital €3m
2013
Revenue grows substantially and employment to 60
2014
Company acquired by Red Hat
Kernel Capital have been efficient and responsive to deal with and provide great insight into strategic planning and intellectual property matters.
Cathal McGloin, CEO, Feedhenry


 
Royalty-free high definition video footage and animation
2008
Partner Sales Agreement with Getty Images in USA
2009
Partner Sales Agreement with Corbis Inc. in USA
2010
Kernel Seed Fund invests first tranche of total €650,000 investment
2012
Enhanced Partner Sales Agreement with Getty Images
2012
1,000,000 image sales worldwide through a network of over 60 agents
2013
Revenues €1.2m and one of the world's largest private libraries of video footage
Kernel Capital Partners not only provide finance but also assistance with key growth issues. The relationship is built on a basis of partnership and mutual understating of building a well-structured business that provides value for its shareholders.
Sean Prior, CEO, Wavebreak Media


2008
Company launch in Beta
2009
Owen Murphy (formerly MD of ACT Venture Capital) appointed as Non Executive Chairman
2009
Secure first revenue in Irish market & completed €500k funding round led by Kernel Capital
2010
Reach 500k members. Achieves milestone revenue deals across three markets, Ireland, UK and Australia
2011
Win Best Start Up at Irish Digital Media Awards & reaches 1million members
2011
Launch iPhone app
2012
Shortlisted in Sport Website of the year category at prestigious UK Sport Industry Awards, alongside Guardian Sport, Talksport and Manchester City FC
2012
Launch a number of new revenue streams during 2012, members reach 1.5m & launch Facebook App
Kernel Capital provided valuable early stage funding to Teamer which contributed greatly to our international growth plan.
Niall McEvoy, CEO, Teamer


2009
Prototype systems installed for Meteor & O2 in Ireland
2010
Secured Investment from Enterprise Ireland & Simple.ie
2010
First HES2 deployments for Meteor, O2, Vodafone, BT, 3 & Tetra
2011
Secured Investment from Kernel Capital & Simple.ie
2011
Opened Dubai office with Business Development Manager
2011
Deployed systems in Italy, Germany, Dubai, Qatar & Guatemala
2012
Signed Channel partner Agreements in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Nigeria & Guatemala
2012
Commenced shipments from new China manufacturing facility
Kernels investment and has enabled us to make an aggressive leap into International markets. It has given us added credibility and provided the essential funding to enable rapid growth in sales and profits.
Nick McGrath, CEO, Hybrid Energy


2009
Founded by Conor McAuliffe and Paul Grogan
2010
Raises seed round of €400K from Simple.ie and Enterprise Ireland
2010
Design team ramps up with addition of 3 new employees
2011
Files first patent
2011
Kernel Capital lead €800K investment
2011
Ray Speer (Silicon Labs) joins the board
2012
Completes “tapeout” of its first product
2012
Receives samples of first product the IKS2053
2012
Files 2nd patent
2012
Kernel Capital Fund II invests €1m


Testimonials

In June 2007 the existing VCs who had invested in Straatum had decided not to invest further, and Straatum faced liquidation. Kernel Capital met with the company and decided to invest and brought significant added value beyond the normal ‘funding, contacts and business administration’ assistance from VCs. Kernel Capital guided the Company through an M&A process and successfully sold the company to Lam Research Corp in January 2009, at a time when most companies were conserving cash during the global financial crisis. As well as providing a profitable return to the investors, it enabled NASDAQ quoted Lam Research, establish an operational base in Ireland adding significantly to the semiconductor eco systems in Ireland. I am now Technical Director at Lam Research Ireland. This is a success story that is directly attributable to Kernel Capital.
Marcus Carbery, Techincal Director, Lam Research (Formerly CTO, Straatum)


I believe that Kernel Capital are skilled, ethical and committed partners that founders need in order to transition great ideas into great companies. Through their network they have brought opportunities to MPSTOR and their presence at multiple customer meetings and proposal review have helped us secure key accounts such as EMC, RACKSPACE, QUANTUM and AIC.
William Oppermann, Founder & Managing Director, MPSTOR


From the start (2006) Kernel's involvement was more than just a money provider. By 2008 we were firefighting in that there was no longer a strong growth market for our service. Kernel were at all times supportive when we had no option but to put the company into Receivership. Kernel at all times stood by the company and took a lead role in dealing with the Receiver and the banks. This lead role involved a considerable time and multiple staff input from Kernel. Without this there would have been considerable stress in this period and the receiver would have had a more difficult time in obtaining a satisfactory conclusion for both the bank and ourselves. While this was not a successful investment for Kernel their commitment and support to the company and myself never wavered. I think this speaks more for them than their many success stories.
Bill Kearney, Managing Director, Mini Storage


Partnering with such an internationally respected and professional VC as Kernel significantly raises the profile of the Radisens Diagnostics value proposition. Kernel's thorough due diligence, guidance and financial experience has made the company significantly more attractive for future investment and accelerates the value creation, innovation and high-tech job creation.
Jerry O'Brien, CEO, Radisens Diagnostics


Kernel takes a highly efficient, process-driven approach to investment. Their execution-oriented team consistently delivers well-considered strategic advice and support. For ResourceKraft, Kernel is far more than just a VC.
Liam Relihan, Founder & CTO, ResourceKraft


As an operator, one looks for investors who can support the company beyond providing capital and instead become an extension of your management and decision making team. Kernel is at the top of practicing this philosophy and I look forward to working with Kernel again in the future.
Raul Martynek, President, MAAS Telecom Corp (Formerly Chief Restructuring Officer, Smart Telecom)


 
Cork
Belfast
 
Rubicon Rubicon Centre, Rossa Avenue,
Bishopstown, Cork

Tel: +353 (0)21 4928974
Belfast Offices Scottish Provident Building,
7 Donegall Square West, Belfast,
Co. Antrim BT1 6JH

Tel: +44 (0)28 90428367

Kernel Management Partners Limited, trading as Kernel Capital, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.