I agree, $1M/month seems pretty high for a startup in the 80s.
Today, a very small startup -- say around 10 employees, maybe 6 of whom are engineers -- should be able to get by on a burn rate of $100k/month, maybe a little less in Ireland, where salary costs are lower than in the U.S.
But that low burn rate doesn't include much for equipment leases, and certainly doesn't include mask costs for an IC development.
I am surprised by the small amount invested here myself! When I was just a young engineer (ah the good old days 1980s) I was part of a startup company with 25 employees and a capital burn rate of (if memory serves) upwards of 1 million a month. That included saleries, office space, significant numbers of prototypes, outsourced mechanical design, etc.. Still, it did not seem like we had more money than we needed in those days. The founders must be spending a lot of their own money for this startup.
Not sure what the argument is about. Pretty much everyone starts up small, your own funds ,family,angel money etc. Sure,$1M is not much to develop a chip but you can probably get close to a tapeout or do an MPW run. More money might follow if the product looks attractive a year from now. As Peter says there are regional difference in level of funding but the mechanism of getting the company off the ground are pretty much the same everywhere...Kris
That is the standard way VCs and startups work. It just seems that in the U.S. the startups are good at getting twice as much using the argument that it is better to find out if the idea is a good one or a bad one quickly.
Maybe that's a better way to fund start ups: show me what you got, prove it and I'll advance more. In today's economy it makes sense and real ideas will come to fruition in new products soon after. But maybe it is also cautionary moves by Europe's VCs, in general.
You could probably fund a group of 4-8 designers and if they knew what they were doing, they could come up with a design. This would obviously be fabless. This sounds like they're trying to kick off an effort, not completely fund a company.
I would be interested to learn what their proposition is, what can they bring to the party. Mind you I used to think we'd tried all the ways to arrange FETs and inductors untul Cuk came along. That is the fascination of analog design. Anyone know what they offer? The website is a little quiet...