Interview: Scaling up to dozens of systems a year, Nearfield eyes IPO

Interview: Scaling up to dozens of systems a year, Nearfield eyes IPO

Nearfield Instruments is determined to build the supply chain that enables the scale-up to ship a total of 50-60 metrology systems in a few years’ time. As if this wasn’t enough, founder and CEO Hamed Sadeghian also wants his company to go public in the near future.

Read the full interview with Nearfield Instruments B.V. President and CEO Hamed Sadeghian by René Raaijmakers at Bits&Chips

Nearfield Instruments received €12 million new investments from EUGENE and Innovation Industries

Nearfield Instruments received €12 million new investments from EUGENE and Innovation Industries

Rotterdam, The Netherlands, [July 29, 2021]

 

Nearfield Instruments (NFI) today announced the completion of a €12 million in equity funding, bringing the total amount raised this round at €48.5 million. The new investments were received from existing shareholders Eugene Investment & Securities, a Korean financial services firm, and Innovation Industries Fund, a Dutch independent venture capital fund.

 

Founded in 2016, Nearfield Instruments, a spin-off of TNO, has emerged as the key player for semiconductor metrology solutions. NFI has introduced revolutionary scanning probe microscopy technologies for in-line, non-destructive on-surface, and sub-surface metrology applications. Since its inception, NFI has developed and delivered its first on-surface metrology product, QUADRA, while growing to more than 100 employees, with offices in Rotterdam, Eindhoven, and Hwaesong, South Korea.

 

“This funding round is the validation of the significant progress we have achieved with QUADRA after shipment to the customer’s fab and the role our technology is set to have in new semiconductor device manufacturing. We are excited to be able to accelerate engagements with more customers, scaling up the organization, and bringing our second product line to the market, being non-destructive subsurface nano-scale metrology. I am extremely happy with the large and complementary contributions by our Korean & Dutch shareholders.”, comments Hamed Sadeghian, CEO of Nearfield Instruments.

 

Kee-Won Ohm, investment director at Eugene Investment & Securities, on the investment: “EUGENE is delighted to support NFI’s goal in becoming the world’s top-class Metrology & Inspection company. We see tremendous growth potential in the company, and since our first investment in 2019 NFI has made significant progress by delivering its first product, QUADRA, to a major semiconductor manufacturer. This has triggered strong industry traction, and we are thrilled to be a part of the exciting journey ahead.”

 

Nard Sintenie (General Partner at Innovation Industries) adds: “Nearfield Instruments has made significant progress since the shipment and installation of QUADRA in December. The increased worldwide customer interest in QUADRA and NFI’s sub-surface metrology solution is reflected by the investment by our fellow shareholder EUGENE. We are happy to further support the company by also joining this round and, together with EUGENE, enabling the further upscaling of Nearfield Instruments.”


Nearfield Instruments and VDL ETG sign Memorandum of Understanding to establish long-term strategic partnership

Nearfield Instruments and VDL ETG sign Memorandum of Understanding to establish long-term strategic partnership

Eindhoven, Netherlands,  June 13th, 2021

 Nearfield Instruments (NFI) and VDL ETG have signed a memorandum of understanding to further strengthen their long-term strategic partnership. The partnership aims to support Nearfield Instruments’ continued development, delivery, and value engineering of several critical modules for NFl’s products, starting with the QUADRA product line.

VDL ETG will develop, industrialize and deliver assigned modules, focusing on performance, production volume increase, lead time reduction, and value engineering – accordingly with NFl’s product roadmap.

In addition, both companies will cooperate to enable a timely and reliable production ramp-up of the product lines developed and manufactured by NFI.

 

NFI has developed and released its first semiconductor metrology product based on the revolutionary mechatronics architecture of HT-SPM. Currently, NFI is preparing for series production.

NFI intends to work with VDL ETG to further industrialize and value engineer some of its product’s sub-systems through the signed memorandum. The intention is that VDL ETG will further grow and expand its role as a qualified mechatronic module/sub-system supplier.

 

Hamed Sadeghian, CEO of Nearfield Instruments, commented:

“After the successful introduction of the QUADRA product line and soon the second product line, being subsurface probe metrology, the next priority and focus are to meet our customers’ demand, with shorter delivery times and higher quality. To achieve this, the role of our solid strategic supply chain is even more essential than before in the success of Nearfield Instruments.

Nearfield Instruments and VDL ETG have been working together closely over an extended period already. I’m glad to see that VDL ETG, as an established and reputable supplier to the semiconductor equipment industry, has the commitment and ambition to be the strategic partner of Nearfield Instruments. This partnership means VDL ETG will help Nearfield Instruments grow, not only in terms of people and production capacity but also in the continued development of the critical modules of our systems. We are determined to continue and elevate our relationship with VDL ETG to this strategic level.”

 

Geert Jakobs, CEO of VDL ETG commented:

 “As  contract manufacturer with development capabilities, VDL ETG strongly believes in in–depth cooperation from early-on in the product development phase up until volume production to get the best overall results. Therefore, working with an innovative young company like Nearfield Instruments on novel technology and state-of-the-art products is exciting for all involved in VDL ETG.

Our experience and industrial setup will support Nearfield Instruments in its Go-to-Market challenge. We like to be the industrial partner to rely on.” 

Nearfield Instruments establishes Korean subsidiary​

Nearfield Instruments establishes Korean subsidiary

Hwaseong, South Korea

Nearfield Instruments (NFI), the leading semiconductor scanning-probe metrology equipment supplier, today announced the establishment of its Korean subsidiary, with its headquarters in Hwaseong.

Nearfield Instruments Korea focuses on  Korean customer service and joint development activities as well as R&D to accelerate NFI’s roadmap. The Korean office will be NFI’s first overseas office and its third location. NFI foresees that the South Korea location will expand rapidly in terms of capacity through the recruitment of highly talented candidates in the new Hwaseong location.

The establishment of the Korean entity confirms the significant customer demand for NFI’s products. NFI has developed two new products and metrology technologies based on SPM (Surface Probe Metrology), “QUADRA,” and SSPM (Sub-Surface Probe Metrology). NFI employees more than 100 staff members

Hamed Sadeghian, President and CEO of Nearfield Instruments, commented: ‘I am delighted that we have opened our Hwaseong offices. NFI Korea enables us to work even closer with our customers to support their innovation cycles, and provide faster service to our customers by narrowing the geographic distance.’

Nearfield Instruments already has two locations based in the Netherlands. The headquarters in Rotterdam is the primary product development and system integration site. The headquarters includes offices, laboratories, and cleanroom facilities.

In 2020, NFI opened its second location in the Netherlands, at the High-Tech Campus (HTC) in Eindhoven, where the main focus lies on mechatronics and advanced motion control.

Nearfield Instruments receives €17.5 million investment from Invest-NL and Innovation Industries

Nearfield Instruments

Nearfield Instruments receives €17.5 million investment from Invest-NL and Innovation Industries

Nearfield Instruments (NFI), the leading semiconductor scanning probe metrology equipment scale-up, today announced that it has raised €17.5 million as part of its Series B funding round. Dutch impact investor Invest-NL contributes € 10,5 million. The other investor is the existing shareholder Innovation Industries, with an investment of € 7 million.

This current funding round supports Nearfield Instruments to intensify the collaboration with its leading customers and take the necessary next steps in scaling up the organization to develop new metrology technologies, attract top tech talents, and expand their infrastructure.

Hamed Sadeghian (CEO of Nearfield Instruments) on the investments of Invest-NL and Innovation Industries: “As a fast-growing company, we are pleased with this addition to the Series B financing round. We will further strengthen our team with top high-tech talent and increase our production capacity. We can rapidly grow Nearfield Instruments, amongst others by bringing our second product for subsurface metrology to the market, being non-destructive subsurface nano-scale metrology”. He adds: “We happily welcome Invest-NL as a new partner. Their support will further strengthen the impact we will make in the semiconductor metrology market”.

Wouter Bos (CEO Invest-NL) is enthusiastic about the investment for various reasons: “The Dutch semiconductor industry is one of the absolute best in the world. With this investment, Invest-NL is committed to Nearfield Instruments for the long term. It underlines our commitment to the mission that, the Netherlands will continue to be a leader in innovation in the future. In addition, I am pleased that this Deep Tech investment was partly realized with the use of the “InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility” that we recently agreed with the European Investment Fund (EIF). It illustrates how we offer innovative Dutch scale-ups better access to European investment funds”.

Nard Sintenie (General Partner at Innovation Industries) adds: “Nearfield Instruments has developed very well since its inception in 2016 and has reached a significant technical and commercial milestone with the delivery of its first system at the end of 2020. As a proud investor and shareholder from the very beginning, we are once again supporting Nearfield Instruments in this round, enabling further upscaling. We are convinced that Nearfield Instruments will be at the forefront of metrology for the global semiconductor industry, and we welcome Invest-NL as a co-investor.”

About Invest-NL

Invest-NL invests as an impact investor in companies and projects that make the Netherlands more sustainable and innovative. The focus is on the carbon-neutral and circular economy and innovative, fast-growing companies (scale-ups). Invest-NL finances and advises innovative entrepreneurs according to the principle “impact is the goal, return the means”. Invest-NL always works together with other financiers and is the Dutch partner for European investment institutions. Invest-NL employs 60 employees from the Amsterdam office. For more information, go to www.invest-nl.nl

About Nearfield Instruments

Nearfield Instruments is a high-tech scale-up active in the semiconductor industry. The company develops and delivers ground-breaking process control metrology solutions that are able to measure essential 3D nanostructures in a non-destructive manner during the manufacturing process of microchips. Examples of microchips are memory and logic processors for laptops, smartphones, data centers, etc. Measuring these structures is essential to be able to produce good chips.

Nearfield Instruments’ customers are global microchip manufacturers. The technique developed by Nearfield Instruments is based on so-called “Scanning Probe Microscopy” (SPM), which scans the surface in three dimensions with an atomically sharp tip. Nearfield Instruments has improved and refined SPM to achieve significant measurement speeds, and non-destructively measure complex 3D structures, both on surface (product ‘QUADRA’) and below surface (product ‘SONARA’). Other metrology technologies (which often work based on electrons or light (photons)) cannot measure the very smallest 3D nanostructures precisely or quickly enough non-destructively.

Nearfield Instruments is uniquely positioned and has the ambition to grow into a world-leading semiconductor metrology equipment supplier. Nearfield Instruments cooperates closely with the excellently developed high-tech ecosystem in the Netherlands. The company operates from Rotterdam (head office) and Eindhoven (High Tech Campus). Currently, it employs 103 employees.

About Innovation Industries

Innovation Industries is a leading Dutch venture capital company that focuses on high-tech, medical technology, and agrifood technology companies. In addition to financial support, Innovation Industries offers operational and strategic support to position optimally the companies in its portfolio for success. Innovation Industries has more than € 250 million in investments under its management and invests in all phases of growth and development. More information: www.innovationindustries.com

Media contacts

Invest-NL

Paul Hartogsveld, +31 (0) 6 11589127, paul.hartogsveld@invest-nl.nl

Nearfield Instruments

Medhat Othman, +31 (0) 6 13644896, medhat.othman@nearfieldinstruments.com

Innovation Industries

Nard Sintenie, +31 (0) 6 10 01 10 72, ns@innovationindustries.com

Jos Maas steps down as CEO of Nearfield Instruments. Hamed Sadeghian appointed as new CEO

Jos Maas steps down as CEO of Nearfield Instruments, Hamed Sadeghian appointed as new CEO

Nearfield Instruments announces that Jos Maas has decided to step down as CEO. Founder Hamed Sadeghian will assume the role of CEO next to his current role as President and CTO.

‘The intention was, of course, to do this job for a longer period, but as the match was not optimal from both sides, it is better to move on. With Hamed in the position of CEO, I feel the leadership of Nearfield is in good hands though’, says Maas. 
Sadeghian adds: ‘We regret but respect Jos’ decision and want to thank him for his considerable contribution. We wish him all the best’.

Nearfield Instruments celebrates women in Tech​

Nearfield Instruments celebrates women in Tech

On the 11th of February, Nearfield Instruments celebrated The International day for women in science through a social media campaign emphasizing women in tech and the importance of enabling and empowering women in the tech industry. The campaign published several posts telling the stories of the women technical staff at NFI, their inspirations, and their advices for other women in tech. The campaign continued until the 8th of March, The International women’s day.