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In tough VC market, start-up raises $12M

Posted: 25 Nov 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:series B funding  fabless semiconductor  RF transmit  3G wireless 

Bucking industry and economic trends, fabless semiconductor start-up Quantance Inc. has announced that it has raised Rs.60.04 crore ($12 million) in series B funding from new and existing investors.

New investors participating the funding round included TD Fund, which led the round, and Docomo Capital Inc., Quantance said. Series A investors Granite Ventures and InterWest Partners also participated in this round, the company said.

The funding will be used to commercialise Quantance's RF transmit technology for 3G wireless devices, the company's first target market, Quantance (San Mateo, Calif.) said.

The deal is noteworthy because the semiconductor industry has had trouble attracting venture capital as of late, especially in light of the global financial crisis and chip industry downturn.

On Tuesday, Ambric Inc. said it would close and sell its assets after failing to secure a Rs.75.05 crore ($15 million) series C round of funding. Ambric CEO Howard Bubb said venture capitalists are saying they don't want to do any new deals because they want to reserve their cash to fund the companies they previously invested in.

Quantance said it was able to secure series B funding in today's difficult venture capital environment on the strength of its technology and its execution under series A funding.

As the result of the funding, Jim Pastoriza, managing partner at TD Fund, will join the Quantance board of directors, the company said.

"Wireless carriers are investing heavily in high speed data, creating a multi-billion dollar opportunity," said Pastoriza. "We see great potential in the breakthrough benefits Quantance technology brings to the wireless market."

Quantance said it has already performed carrier-audited tests on major wireless networks in the United States and Europe. Quantance claims the technology proved that while maintaining stringent battery life requirements it enabled better coverage and faster data speeds on live high-speed downlink packet access and high-speed uplink packet access networks.

Quantance said it developed its first chip—the Q1000—which began sampling in the second quarter of 2008 and will be available in production volumes in the second quarter of next year. With the Q1000, Quantance said it plans to supply components for 3G wireless phones, smart phones and data cards, The company also plans to address other areas, such as long term evolution (LTE) and WiMAX devices.

-Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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