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Oxford University spin-out Opsydia carves £3.5M funding for its unique diamond ID technology

Opsydia funding
Image credits: Opsydia

UK-based Opsydia, producing sub-surface gemstone laser inscription technology, has snapped £3.5 million in funding. The investment came from Foresight Group (which recently invested in Hexarad) alongside existing investors Parkwalk Advisors and Oxford Science Enterprise, and has been made through the Foresight Williams Technology EIS and VCT funds.

Capitalises polished diamonds market

Opsydia plans to capitalise on the large addressable market of polished diamonds, including the several millions of smaller-size stones. These stones are processed annually across both natural diamond and lab-grown diamond sectors.

The investment will also enable Opsydia to expand its research and development arm, which is working on the emerging fields of diamond-based electronics and diamond-based quantum solutions. It will also hire staff across engineering, software development, and production teams.

Commenting on the investment, Christopher Wiles, Investment Director at Foresight said: “Opsydia’s technology has the potential to become the de facto marking standard in the diamond industry for the next 20 years. We look forward to supporting Opsydia’s experienced Management team as they deliver on this ambition.”

Andrew Rimmer, CEO at Opsydia, added: “The Foresight Williams team bring a deep understanding of advanced technology and hardware systems, which along with this funding, will enable us to embark on the next phase of growth with this unique technology.”

Matthew Burke, Head of Technology Ventures, WAE, commented: “In addition to the investment from FTW, we look forward to supporting Opsydia’s growth plans with access to WAE’s engineering, production and manufacturing capabilities.”

Secures integrity of diamonds

Current methods for identifying diamonds do not fully prevent fraudulent practices. With consumers giving greater emphasis on the traceability of gemstones and the growing market for lab-grown diamonds, there is an increasing need for stakeholders to ensure their gemstones are accurately identifiable.

Using next-gen surface and sub-surface laser techniques, Opsydia places unique IDs that are not visible to the naked eye under a diamond’s surface so that they can be accurately identified, therefore reducing fraudulent gemstone sales. Permanent and inimitable serial numbers, images or cryptographic data can be laser-written without compromising the integrity of the material or modifying its surface.

Founded by Martin Booth and Patrick Salter in 2017, Oxfordshire-based Opsydia disrupts industries by creating practically invisible structures inside transparent materials. The University of Oxford spinout has developed a laser-based technology that rapidly and accurately performs sub-surface marking of diamonds and other gemstones. It places immutable and microscopic ‘identifiers’ beneath the surface of diamonds and coloured gemstones to securely identify stones.

Opsydia’s technology can be deployed across the globe for use by jewellers, miners, manufacturers and grading laboratories. It has sold its systems into diamond companies operating in both the synthetic and natural stone markets, and its customers include some of the largest diamond companies in the world.

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