Steerable antenna specialist Antenova has raised £6m in second-round funding as the company gears up product development with a range of customers. The new funding from a consortium led by Quester and the Cambridge Gateway Fund follows a first round completed in April 2001.
Dr Graham Cooley, CEO of the Cambridge-based company, said: "The first round of £3.4m was designed to last 18 months and it lasted virtually exactly 18 months. We worked incredibly well to our business plan.
The new funding is for the company's "marketing and selling" phase, said Cooley: "We are in lots of different trials with OEMs and network operators."
The company currently employs 35 people and is likely to increase the staffing to 40 to handle work with OEMs.
"We won't spend massively. Expanding for the sake of it is dangerous," said Cooley.
The company is dividing its resources between three main market areas, each getting about one-third of the development spend. The areas are handsets and other portable terminals, wireless lans and Bluetooth, and infrastructure equipment.
The company is working on a design for handsets that deploys more than one antenna to boost datarates.
"The datarate on the device is the key thing: the antenna really makes a difference and can give genuine diversity.
"We have delivered [a design] to one of the largest handset manufacturers in the world," said Cooley.
The move into Bluetooth and wireless lan antennas is a more recent move, driven by concerns among OEMs over the potential interference between 2.4GHz devices.
"We found a great deal of pull from the fixed wireless access market and wireless lan and Bluetooth. It is a compelling proposition: the antennas can offer 40dB of isolation," said Cooley.