LONDON – Peraso Technologies Inc., a fabless chip company working on millimeter-wave radio transceiver technology, has raised C$8 million (about $7.9 million) in an equity financing round led by Celtic House Venture Partners.
Peraso (Toronto, Ontario), founded in early 2009 is developing transceivers for 60-GHz wireless multimedia links. In addition to existing investors iNovia Capital and VentureLink Funds, joining the investment syndicate as a new investor is the Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund (OETF). OETF is a C$250 million fund established by the Province of Ontario to invest private Ontario companies.
The company is making use of expertise in millimeter-wave RF design at the University of Toronto and, more recently, with antenna design expertise at the University of Waterloo. Peraso secured CDN$10 million (about $9.5 million) in Series A funding in October 2009.
"Celtic House has built a portfolio of companies in digital multimedia," said Ron Glibbery, CEO of Peraso, in a statement. "The domain knowledge of the Celtic House team and the business advantages derived from being part of their cluster of companies provided the foundation for Peraso to rapidly bring to market the world's first 60-GHz multimedia transceiver."
"Bringing the world's lowest cost, lowest power 60-GHz transceiver to market within a year of receiving initial venture funding is a significant accomplishment," said Celtic House Partner Brian Antonen. "It's a testament to the skills of the Peraso team and an example of our investment strategy, which stresses capital efficiency and risk mitigation. The addition of OETF to the syndicate will allow Peraso to support its accelerating business in the fast growing market for gigabit-class consumer electronics."
VL Advisors Inc., manager of VentureLink Innovation Fund Inc., said that its involvement in the latest round of financing brought Venturelink's investment to approximately $2.9 million.
"We are very encouraged by the technical progress of the company and by the ability of the WiGig organization to establish clear standards for the technology," said Jim Whitaker, managing partner at VL Advisors, in a separate statement.
The Peraso team has worked in the VentureLink offices since the fall of 2009. The latest funds would be used to add employees, relocate to larger office and lab space in Toronto and for continued development of the SiGe and CMOS versions of the Peraso radio transceiver technology.
60 GHz is a promising market as 2.4 Ghz is crowded as @kdboyce mentioned although range at 60 GHz is very limited (few meters?) so application space is limited too...@Rich, $8M is not much for a fabless start-up, but this is a follow-up investement so they get another 2 years or so to prove the technolgy...who are the competitors beyond SiBeam, Broadcom, and Marvel? Kris
The spectrum around 60GHz is license free in many countries (also US and Canada), and the total spectrum so allocated is ~7GHz. This makes it attractive as an alternative to the license free bandwidth (0.5GHz) between 2 and 6GHz which is currently used for WiFi and other purposes.
If Peraso is successful in achieving the lowest cost, lowest power 60GHz transceiver, the market for applications in the 57GHz-64GHz band should explode PROVIDED the very narrow beam (line of sight) and oxygen absorption (distance reduction) characteristics are not limiting factors to the application. These 2 characteristics can also act as a form of security for the communications since a rogue receiver would have to basically be visibly inline with the transmission path.
Definitely I hope they succeed, as the problem of co-existence of multiple 2.4GHz devices is getting worse in spite of signal processing techniques to minimize it.
As we are slowly coming out of the woods, new start-ups are another sign of economic recovery which we all hope to stabilize sooner.
On another note, both University of Toronto and University of Waterloo are the best engineering schools in Canada and it's nice to see connections between academia and business are getting stronger.
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