LONDON – Ambiq Micro Inc., a 2010 microcontroller startup, has announced it has received a $2.4 million in venture capital funding from backers that include ARM Holdings plc and Cisco Inc.
The seed funding round was led by DFJ Mercury. Other investors include: ARM, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Cisco, The Frankel Fund, Huron River Ventures and a number of undisclosed private investors.
The money will enable the expansion of engineering, sales and marketing teams, the company said.
Ambiq (Ann Arbor, Michigan) claims to be working on advanced power management techniques to provide the world's most energy efficient microcontrollers. Indeed, the company states that extensive research has produced 32-bit ARM M-class processors that are more energy-efficient than the simplest 8-bit microcontrollers. The company's website says it has already developed the world's most energy efficient "semiconductor solutions" but no parts or datasheets are listed.
Ambiq, founded in January 2010, is likely to find itself in competition with Energy Micro AS (Oslo, Norway) which started down the low-power ARM microcontroller track in 2007.
However, Ambiq has powerful fans. In July 2010 the company was the winner of the second annual global business plan competition for university and business school students, sponsored by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Cisco. Scott Hanson and Phil O'Niel, from the University of Michigan, were the successful presenters and won $250,000 in seed backing from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Cisco. And clearly they have been able to leverage that handsome prize into $2.4 million.
"DFJ Mercury is excited to support Ambiq Micro in its efforts to bring world-class ultra-low power microcontrollers to market," stated Ned Hill, managing director of DFJ Mercury, in a statement issued by Ambiq. "Ambiq provides proven technology that enables new products where the requirements for significant battery life extend far beyond the capabilities available today."
"Ambiq Micro is extremely pleased to be supported by DFJ Mercury, ARM and the other investors on this stellar list," said Scott Hanson, CEO of Ambiq, in the same statement. "This vote of confidence in Ambiq provides the capital needed to accelerate our business and provide product to a much wider range of customers."
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