What a momentous day this is. After five years in the role of CEO at UltraSoC, I am proud that we have agreed to become a part of Siemens, in a move that we knew made perfect sense from the time of our first meetings. It is striking just how clearly aligned our visions are.
The pieces of the jigsaw fit together so nicely: UltraSoC’s technology and history with its customers; where Tessent is coming from and its market-leading design-for-test offering; and the broader vision of Siemens Digital Industries. The combination takes us to another level: product lifecycle management is such a significant big-picture opportunity, as is cybersecurity and the concept of the Digital Twin. Tessent and UltraSoC bring the core semiconductor element to that broader story, making it perfectly balanced. Tessent brings IP into the chip to improve test and manufacturability; UltraSoC enhances the validation process and extends that into field deployment. Overall, the combination enables a truly complete design for product lifecycle offering.
I am so immensely proud of everyone involved: the strong management team: the finest tech minds led by Gadge (“every start-up needs a scary looking CTO and we win that competition”); a sales organisation across many countries with that rare combination of sales passion and technical insight; strategic business brains led by Aileen; professional and committed finance, legal, administration and marketing teams. It has taken time to build our team, but I am honoured to work with such a great bunch of people and take pride in the culture we have built.
Our people are spread around the world: in Cambridge and Bristol in the UK; in the US, Poland, China and Japan. Our geographical diversity means that we’ve actually never all been in the same place at the same time!
The fact that Siemens has recognized our value is testament to the talent, hard work and the success of the entire organization.
Over five years, we’ve announced some incredible customer wins that have demonstrated the traction for our technology across security applications, automotive, enterprise IT, artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML). We’ve put significant effort into developing strong industry presence through strategic partnerships.
As is the nature of the industry and the technology companies we sell into, we are under NDA with many customers and will never be able to publicly declare many of the major names in the technology industry who trusted us and decided to use our technology in the last few years. But our thanks to all of those customers and partners who have believed in us so strongly. You know who you are!
We’ve also been fortunate to be guided by a Board with significant experience, especially our Chairman, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli. He joined us in 2017, and his insights have been invaluable.
He asked me to share his thoughts, which as always are both motivational and insightful:
“Rupert and the whole UltraSoC team have done an amazing job of turning an idea into a successful business, with significant revenue, and the endorsement of many of the industry’s leading names. More than this, they have created a new category in the industry. The combination with Tessent is transformative; not only does it solve key customer pain points, it turns those problems into opportunities to innovate and improve.”
A few weeks ago we announced SimpleMachines as a customer. At the time, their CEO, Karu Sankaralingam, described UltraSoC as “the only company that can provide intimate visibility of the operation of our chips”. That sums up what we’ve been building and what the team has created: a truly unique technology proposition to the market, with benefits to a chip designer that span its lifetime. In joining Siemens, we will be an integral part of one of the world’s leading technology brands, and able to take this vision even further; to deliver even greater value to our customers and to embed this kind of intelligence into all products.
Last but not least amongst the organizations and individuals I need to recognize are, of course, our investors. The path for any VC-funded company is never completely smooth – you go through highs and lows. Committed investors who really ‘get’ the essence of the company are (literally) like gold dust. I am very aware of how fortunate I have been. Returning value to them is particularly gratifying for the whole UltraSoC team.
It’s a strange time to be going through this process. I value the team so much, and it’s incredibly frustrating that we can’t all get together now to celebrate what is at the same time an end, and a new beginning, in person. We have stayed remarkably close as a team throughout the lockdown – we have had virtual pub nights, virtual coffee mornings and oh-so-many Zoom meetings. Those will continue as we carry on working while becoming part of Siemens: our new parent. It’s been an exciting journey, and the second part of our big adventure is about to begin!
We can’t get together in a Cambridge pub to toast what we have achieved together, so let’s raise a virtual glass of bubbly.
Thank you to all for being part of our success.
Rupert Baines, CEO