Foresight has committed £2.1M ($3M) into Edinburgh based software company, Codeplay, to grow its world-leading team with safety specialist engineers needed for safe and reliable artificial intelligence in automotive systems.
The commitment, of which Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund has already invested £1.05 million, will enable Codeplay to extend its ComputeSuite™ products for integration into advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles. This will support C++ software programmers in developing their latest vision and AI algorithms on state-of-the-art specialised AI processors. Codeplay's solution will accelerate development time and provide a safe and verified platform for faster deployment.
Last year, Codeplay announced a relationship with Renesas, a leading Japanese semiconductor company, to enable their next generation of advanced automotive processors. Codeplay is already demonstrating complex vision processing applications running on their R-Car products H3, V3M and recently announced V3H.
ADAS systems provide surround monitoring around the car features such as adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance, self-parking and driver monitoring. These functions are now common-place and are being adopted into most new cars produced providing extra safety systems and reducing accidents.
Since 2002 Codeplay has developed complex software components for gaming consoles, mobile phones and other complex devices. The ComputeSuite products enable software programmers to develop leading-edge applications using well known and understood techniques. Codeplay has already established a global reputation and worked with most of the largest processor companies.
Building on their proven expertise in precision engineering, systems integration and optimisation, Williams Advanced Engineering is well-placed to provide support with the development of automotive safety certified products. Foresight’s expertise in growing businesses and expanding them globally will be invaluable. Supporting Codeplay with investment preparation in Edinburgh were Stephen Gibbens of Accountech, Chiene & Tait Accountants and MBM Commercial.
“Codeplay is already influencing how AI is enabled with leading processor companies using ComputeSuite” said Andrew Richards, Founder and CEO of Codeplay Software. “With Foresight’s investment and Williams Advanced Engineering support, we will advance our automotive solutions and support the strong growth of ADAS and ultimately the autonomous drive vehicle”.
Chris Wardle, Investment Manager, Foresight said “We are very excited to partner with Codeplay, an established leader in heterogenous processor systems and support their expansion into safety-certified Artificial Intelligence products for Automotive as well as other verticals.”
About Codeplay Software Ltd ("Codeplay")
Codeplay is internationally recognized for expertise in heterogeneous systems, and has many years of experience with OpenCL™, SYCL™, Vulkan™ and specialized tools for complex processor architectures. Codeplay’s ComputeSuite™ is enabling advanced vision processing and machine learning C++ applications using ComputeAorta™, an implementation of OpenCL for heterogeneous processing, and ComputeCpp™, a product based on the SYCL open standard for single-source programming using completely standard C++. Codeplay has earned a reputation as one of the global leaders in compute processing systems.
Codeplay has a strong recruitment program and actively invites the best software engineers to join the Edinburgh team. They are licensed visa sponsors and have many years of experience in welcoming people to work with them from all over the world. Contact the company directly to learn about the great work environment and opportunities.
Codeplay is a real home-grown, Scottish success story. Codeplay was founded by Andrew Richards and Dr Jens-Uwe Dolinsky. Andrew started his career in the 8-bit days writing games for the ZX Spectrum from home, progressing up to writing large console games on the Sega Megadrive and PlayStation. He then decided he was interested in producing new technology for game developers to enable them to do new things. It was becoming possible to do some interesting new things on the graphics hardware that was being introduced. So he started a company with Uwe (who has a PhD in Robotics) to develop technology to let programmers take software they had written for normal computers and run it on new graphics-capable computers. It seemed like an interesting revolution that was about to happen. That was more than a decade ago and to be honest, it took a bit longer than he expected to happen!
Codeplay first operated in 2002 out of a small 2nd floor office in Edinburgh's Hanover St, before rapidly expanding until in 2017 they are proud to announce a staff of 70 in Argyle House, with 2 colleagues working remotely in Toronto and the Isle of Skye. During this period, Codeplay have always tried to maintain their friendly work culture along with the growth in their workforce and market reach. Codeplay is extremely proud of their Silver Accreditation from Investors in People and is actively working towards Gold Accreditation.
About Foresight Group LLP ("Foresight”)
Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.
Foresight has £2.8 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).
Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 22 investment professionals, invests between £100k and £5m in management buy-outs, management buy-ins and growth capital investments in UK SMEs.
Foresight is an appointed equity fund manager for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) which is backed by the British Business Bank. The £100 million of equity funding for the region was introduced as part of the wider £250 million Midlands Engine programme. Foresight will make equity investments of between c.£100k and £2m in growing small and medium sized businesses across the East and South-East Midlands.
Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome and San Francisco.
About Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund
Foresight and Williams announced the unique collaboration represented by the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund in November 2016. It combines the Williams Advanced Engineering team's expertise with Foresight’s successful investment track record.
The Fund enables investors to qualify for relief under the UK Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) for investment into early stage UK SMEs with strong intellectual property in their own specialist fields.
The Fund plans to make investments of up to £2 million into at least ten qualifying UK SMEs, supporting the next generation of engineering technology success stories in the UK.
About Williams Advanced Engineering
Williams Advanced Engineering Limited operates a technology and engineering services business and is part of the Williams Group.
In 2010, Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited began diversifying its operations, leading to the establishment of the Williams Advanced Engineering division, which has now become Williams Advanced Engineering Limited. Combining cutting edge technology and the industry’s best engineers with precision and speed to market derived from four decades of success in the ultra-competitive environment of Formula One, Williams Advanced Engineering provides world class technical innovation, engineering, testing, manufacturing and operational consultancy services to the automotive, motorsport, aerospace, defence, health and energy sectors. Working in close collaboration with its customers, Williams Advanced Engineering helps meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st century and improve performance, with its expertise in aerodynamics and thermodynamics, electrification, advanced lightweight materials and vehicle integration.
For more information see www.williamsf1.com/advanced-engineering, follow us on Twitter @WilliamsAdvEng or on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/williams-advanced-engineering.