A Bristol-based start-up has launched in the US to accelerate the commercialisation of its technology that seeks to improve the performance of GPS chips in smartphones, wearables and vehicles.
Deep tech firm Focal Point Positioning has also hired experienced Silicon Valley director Scott Pomerantz as its new chief executive to oversee its scale-up.
Mr Pomerantz previously founded the fabless semiconductor company Global Locate, which helped to bring GPS to the consumer smartphone market, supplying chips to companies including Apple and Samsung. The business was acquired in 2007 by another US semiconductor firm Broadcom for $250m.
Founded by Dr Ramsey Faragher in 2015, Focal Point’s software attempts to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of satellite navigation systems by detecting and rejecting false signals.
These can include those reflected off buildings and intelligent forms of interference, known as spoofing signals, giving the company’s product an application for protecting businesses and location-dependent devices from cyber attacks.
The new US arm of the business, FocalPoint Inc, will operate from an office stateside, with Mr Pomerantz joining at a period of intense growth for its UK parent company, which as well as its Bristol office in 30 Queen Square also has a base in Cambridge.
Focal Point has grown its headcount to 29, and is looking to bring this to 33 by the end of the year, and the company has just completed a Series B round of investment led by venture capital firm Draper Esprit.
New Focal Point chief executive Mr Pomerantz said that he was confident the business was in a position to succeed, saying it had “one of the most impressive technical teams that I have ever come across.”
Mr Pomerantz said: “Focal Point’s technology portfolio is truly novel and ground-breaking. I am convinced that this is an inflection point for the positioning and semiconductor industry.
“Their technology solves an industry-wide problem and creates phenomenal opportunities for businesses who depend on the accuracy, reliability and security of location and timing information.”
“Having spoken to the team, customers and investors I am extremely confident that on the three vectors that really matter: technology, customer traction and company culture, Focal Point is in a tremendous position.”
Focal Point founder Dr Faragher will continue to work alongside Mr Pomerantz as the president and chief technology officer, focusing on accelerating the firm’s technology roll-out and R&D activities.
Dr Faragher commented: ““When I established Focal Point, one of my goals was to grow the business and IP portfolio to a point where we could attract one of the industry’s great CEOs to help us to complete our vision of powering the positioning of all GNSS receivers worldwide.
“I am thrilled to have succeeded in that goal and look forward to working with Scott on our next chapter ”
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