Tuesday, January 14, 2014

News: Iceotope secures a cool $10m


Iceotope, the hi-tech firm based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, has successfully completed a round of fundraising for $10m to help further commercialise its innovative cooling solutions for the global data centre and High Performance Computing (HPC) markets.

Working with the University of Leeds, the enterprise is developing a new system that reduces the power consumed in data centres by using liquid rather than air to provide cooling, eliminating the need for power-hungry fans.

Iceotope's patented approach sees components encapsulated in 3M Novec, an inert and environmentally sound coolant.

The system uses just 80 watts of power to harvest the heat from up to 20 kilowatts of ICT use where it can also be reused for heating. The server also does away with the need for ancillary data centre facilities such as computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units, humidity control systems and air purification.

In the US alone, a massive $7.4 billion is estimated to be spent on cooling data centres every year. The Iceotope solution typically reduces data centre cooling costs by 97%, ICT power load by 20% and overall ICT infrastructure costs by 50%.

Aster Capital, an international venture capital firm specialising in cleantech led the transaction alongside Ombu Group, a UK investment company committed to backing high growth technology businesses. In addition to the capital raised, the deal also allows Iceotope to establish close cooperation with Aster's strategic sponsors, particularly Schneider Electric.

The funding is also expected to help the company hire more staff, expand into new geographies and add to its current product ecosystem; furthermore, it will enable Iceotope to target larger transactions and more ambitious supercomputing projects.

Peter Hopton, founder and CEO of Iceotope, said: "This really is the deal of the century for us. As a start-up in the north of England, it's fantastic that Iceotope's technology has attracted the investment of an international consortium. We strongly believe that our technology has the potential to revolutionise the HPC and data centre industry and we're thrilled that it's not gone unnoticed.

"The support provided by our new investors, along with a new partnership opportunity with Schneider Electric, will have a big impact on the development of the company and will allow Iceotope to build a global product ecosystem based on Iceotope liquid cooling platform."

Stephen Brooke, CEO of Ombu Group, added: "It is exciting to partner with a disruptive new leader in any industry, but to do so in the data centre cooling space is particularly thrilling given its huge demand for innovation. Iceotope's technology is outstanding and the company has an impressive commitment to quality. We look forward to working closely with Iceotope's strong management team to assist in the continued rapid growth of the business."

In November Iceotope was one of sixteen companies to take part in the week-long Clean and Cool Mission to Colorado, organised by the UK's innovation agency, The Technology Strategy Board, together with The Long Run Venture and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).

The company secured a million pounds of funding in 2009 but ended up entering administration in 2011. Original inventor Peter Hopton led the fund-raising to acquire the technology and the IP of the firm. His consortium included the original engineering team, backed by a seven figure investment sum. The hi-tech firm has an office and a workshop in the AMP Technology Centre.

At the end of last year Iceotope installed its liquid-cooled servers inside the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) in Poland, a 3,200 sq ft colocation facility offering shared HPC services to scientists, universities and researchers from around the world.

Iceotope website

Images: Iceotope


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