AI in the sensor, photonic packaging, freight ADAS funding; 123 startups raise $1.2B.
Funding was broadly spread between sectors in March, with automotive edging ahead thanks to a more than $100 million round for a company manufacturing electric, autonomous heavy commercial trucks for freight logistics. To keep up with the amount of information presented by cars and ADAS, several companies raised funds for head-up displays with increasing levels of detail and expanded fields of view.
In AI hardware, several startups are focusing on embedding AI within the sensor itself as they aim to make edge devices even lower power. Of course, many of these edge devices still need connectivity, and several companies raised rounds for wireless IoT chips. Optics and photonics was another area of activity, with companies working on silicon photonic interconnects for AI/ML workloads and photonic packaging solutions.
Plus, immersion cooling for data centers, resistive RAM, FPGA prototyping, integrated voltage regulators, and cleaning up process water feature in this look at 123 startups that collectively raised over $1.2 billion in March 2023.
Coherent Logix received a $85.0M credit investment from Atlas Credit Partners. Coherent Logix provides software-defined and C-programmable SoCs and microprocessors for the low-power, high-performance embedded systems market. It also offers integrated system development tools, optimized libraries, system reference designs, and a customizable system development platform. It targets a variety of industries, including space, military, wireline and wireless communications, broadcast, IIoT, connected devices, and high-performance computing. “Coherent Logix is setting new standards for performance in the Space 2.0 market by virtualizing SoCs for software-defined satellites, and there is a critical need for our high-performance, low-power SoCs here on Earth as edge computing continues to grow,” said Walt Gall, co-CEO of Coherent Logix. Founded in 2005, it is based in Austin, Texas, USA.
Enfabrica emerged from stealth with funding from Sutter Hill Ventures. Enfabrica designs what it calls Accelerated Compute Fabric (ACF) I/O chips for scalable multi-terabit-per-second data movement between GPUs, CPUs, accelerators, memory, and networking devices in data centers. Its first chip, the Accelerated Compute Fabric Switch (ACF-S), enables switching and bridging between heterogeneous compute and memory resources in a single silicon die using standards-based interfaces including multi-port 800 Gigabit Ethernet networking and high-radix PCIe Gen5 and CXL 2.0+. It combines CXL.mem disaggregation, performance/capacity layering, and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) networking to implement a high-bandwidth, high-capacity, latency bound memory hierarchy for large-scale AI compute, which the startup claims reduces the number of GPUs and CPUs required for a task. Founded in 2020, it is based in Mountain View, California, USA.
Smart Logic Technology closed a Series C+ round from CMG Media Convergence Industry Investment Fund. Smart Logic develops chips based on its MaPU algebraic processor architecture, which it claims offers the programmability and versatility of CPU, the flexibility of FPGA, and the efficiency of ASIC, supplemented by a parallel data supply structure. The startup has used the architecture for several chips, including processors for mobile communications, deep neural networks, and multimedia. Founded in 2016 based on research from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, it is based in Beijing, China.
StarFive Technology received strategic financing from Baidu. The startup develops RISC-V CPU IP, including high-performance 64-bit 12-stage pipeline out-of-order processors with the B (bit-manipulation), V (vector) and H (hypervisor) extensions; 64-bit Linux-capable application processors; and 64-bit and 32-bit embedded processors. StarFive also provides a RISC-V based vision processing SoC with DSP, neural network engine, and video codecs, as well as a single board computer with an integrated GPU. Baidu will work with StarFive to deploy high-performance RISC-V products in data centers. Founded in 2018, it is based in Shanghai, China.
Lambda drew $44.0M in a Series B round led by Mercato Partners, joined by existing investors 1517 Fund, Gradient Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, and Crescent Cove, as well as individual investors Georges Harik, Adam D’Angelo, Jeff Hammerbacher, Greg Brockman, Lukas Biewald, and Garry Tan. Lambda provides a GPU-based cloud service for AI training workloads along with software for easy management of large-scale models. It offers both on-demand and reserved cloud clusters. The company also provides workstations, servers, and laptops optimized for deep learning workloads. Funds will be used to deploy additional GPU capacity with high-speed network interconnects and to develop new features. Founded in 2012, it is based in San Francisco, California, USA.
Mythic raised $13.0M in new funding from existing investors Atreides Management, DCVC, and Lux Capital, along with new investors Catapult Ventures and Hermann Hauser Investment. Mythic designs edge AI chips based on an analog compute-in-memory (CIM) architecture that uses high-density flash memory to store neural networks completely on-chip. The processor is constructed as an array of compute tiles that integrate a flash memory array and ADCs along with a digital subsystem that includes a 32-bit RISC-V nano processor, SIMD vector engine, 64KB of SRAM, and a high-throughput network-on-chip router. The company says its solution is 10X more cost and power-efficient than digital solutions and can process full-resolution video at the edge for real-time detection. Funds will be used to bring its next-generation product to market. “We’re confident that our next-generation processor will be widely adopted in computer vision applications like smart robots, security cameras, drones, and AR headsets,” said Dave Fick, co-founder and CEO at Mythic. Founded in 2012, it is based in Austin, Texas and Redwood City, California, USA, and has raised $178M to date.
SynSense Technology raised $10.0M in pre-Series B+ funding led by Ausvic Capital. A separate strategic financing round drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) led by Maxvision and RunWoo. SynSense develops neuromorphic SoCs and IP blocks for edge AI applications. Its ultra-low power, ultra-low latency chips combine event-driven computing based on sparse communication, synchronous parallel processing, and spatial temporal computing using spiking neural networks. SynSense’s first chip, which focuses on dynamic vision sensing, has begun volume shipping. Its second product, expected to begin shipping later this year, is a chip for low-dimensional signal processing of sensor information such as sound, pressure, inertial measurement, and smell. The startup targets a range of applications such as robots, wearables, smart home, agriculture and animal husbandry, industrial IoT, and automotive. Funds will be used for mass production and R&D. Founded in 2017 based on research from University of Zürich and ETH Zürich, it is based in Chengdu, China.
RiVAI raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in funding from Sichuan Venture Capital. RiVAI designs heterogenous RISC-V based SoCs and IP with customized extended instructions designed for low power consumption in AI IoT applications. Its product lineup includes high-performance RISC-V vector processor DSP IP, video image processing and machine learning accelerator, and 64-bit edge computing processor. Funds will be used to expand its product lines, verification, and mass production. Founded in 2018, it is based in Shenzhen, China.
Oculi received a $0.1M investment from the Luminate NY accelerator program. Oculi has developed a single chip software-defined vision sensor for real-time vision intelligence at the edge. Its technology combines sensing and in-pixel digital processing to lower latency to under a microsecond and reduce bandwidth and external post-processing by only transmitting actionable data rather than the entire scene. Real-time optimization via software allows the same hardware product to be used for multiple markets. Oculi says its neuromorphic sensor mimics the visual system in selectivity, parallel processing, and efficiency. Founded in 2019, it is based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Innatera Nanosystems was awarded grant and equity funding from the EIC Accelerator. The startup develops neuromorphic processors based on an analog-mixed signal computing architecture that mimic the brain’s mechanisms for processing sensory data. Innatera’s processors use spiking neural networks with ultra-low power consumption and short response latency for always-on pattern recognition capabilities in applications at the sensor-edge. Founded in 2018 as a spin off from the Delft University of Technology, it is based in Rijswijk, the Netherlands.
Kunlunxin received strategic investment from automaker BYD. The company develops AI accelerator chips for general-purpose and diversified AI workloads in the data center. It also offers a line of accelerator cards based on its chips. Founded in 2011 as part of Baidu, it is based in Beijing, China.
Solitorch drew angel funding from ECC Capital. Solitorch is developing sensors with integrated AI compute. Its first product is an intelligent vision sensor with built-in AI acceleration engine, ADC array, analog front-end amplifier, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It uses a spiking neural network with an event-based dynamic reasoning architecture. It is targeting a range of edge applications such as smart home, security, automotive, smart city, and industrial robotics. Funds will support expanding the R&D team, mass production, and market development. Founded in 2022, it is based in Zhuhai, China.
HyperSilicon raised over CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in Series A funding led by EDA company Empyrean Technology, joined by Xin Ding Capital, Qixin Capital, and Mars Venture Capital. HyperSilicon develops FPGA-based prototyping and emulation systems for SoC and ASIC verification. It employs automatic segmentation technology for splitting designs across multiple FPGAs and high-speed parallel compile to reduce the time of synthesis and iteration re-synthesis. Additionally, HyperSilicon offers hybrid emulation, where some parts of the design run in the emulator and other parts run in virtual prototyping. It is also working on electronic system level (ESL) tools and provides design services. Alongside the investment, Empyrean plans to support HyperSilicon’s further development. Founded in 2009, it is based in Wuxi, China.
Lonxun Quantum drew nearly CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in Series A and A+ rounds with investment from Founder H Fund and China Prosperity Capital. The company develops materials modeling and simulation software based on plane-wave density functional theory. Capable of atomic precision, its software targets scientific research as well as semiconductor and new energy industries. Founded in 2015, it is based in Beijing, China.
DeepVerse received tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in seed funding led by Sequoia Capital China, joined by ZhenFund, Chaosheng Capital, and Newlight Partners. DeepVerse has developed a machine learning platform to accelerate materials research and development. The startup offers its consulting and development services to a range of industries, including semiconductors and batteries. Founded in 2021, it is based in Shanghai, China.
X-Epic raised new funding from CITIC Capital’s 5G Fund. X-Epic offers a suite of verification tools, including an FPGA prototyping system, a digital simulator, a high-level language verification system based on the Portable Stimulus Standard (PSS) to automatically generate test cases, a scalable formal verification tool based on word-level modelling, and a debug solution. It also offers verification consulting. Based in Nanjing, China, it was founded in 2020.
Jing Chuang Advanced Electronic Technology (JCA) raised hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.5M) in Series A+ funding led by Qiming Venture Partners, joined by Shenzhen Venture Capital, SIDVC, Changshu Guofa Venture, Soochow Securities, and others. JCA provides semi-automatic and fully automatic wafer dicing saws, laser saws, and other precision cutting, grinding, and polishing equipment supporting 6- to 12-inch wafers. Funds will be used for technology and new product development, capacity expansion for its fully automatic products, and marketing. Founded in 2013, it is based in Suzhou, China.
Evove received £5.7M (~$6.9M) in funding led by At One Ventures, joined by AM Ventures and existing investors. Evove develops fluid filtration membranes made from graphene oxide-based coatings on 3D-printed structures, which the company says helps reduce fouling and allows the membrane to be tuned to specific purposes. One area the startup targets is recycling of process water from semiconductor manufacturing. Other industries include lithium harvesting, desalination, food and beverage, and green hydrogen. Funds will be used to expand manufacturing capacity and scale up its 3D printed membrane process. Founded in 2015 as G2O Water Technologies, it is based in Daresbury, UK.
AiFab drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in Series A funding from Hyperscale Venture, Leading Venture Capital, and Ningbo Jiuyi Fund. AiFab provides an AI-powered yield management system (YMS) for semiconductor fabs. Funds will be used for product iteration and market expansion. Founded in 2020 by fab management and defect detection software provider ALLinABC and enterprise software company JoinFun, it is based in Shanghai, China.
AttoMotion drew CNY 7.0M (~$1.0M) in pre-Series A financing from Yichen Capital. The startup manufactures motion control technology for semiconductor equipment and precision scientific instruments. Founded in 2021, it is based in Rizhao, China.
Capital Semicon drew new financing from Addor Capital and Su Gaoxin Financial Holdings. The company manufactures vacuum components for semiconductor equipment. It also provides precision machining and surface treatment services for other fab equipment parts made of stainless steel, aluminum alloy, engineering plastics, and other materials. Founded in 2017, it is based in Suzhou, China.
Xinertel drew hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.5M) in funding led by China Mobile Investment, joined by Unicom CICC, FiberHome Industrial Fund, and others. The company provides network testing products, including passive intermodulation testers, a network impairment simulation platform, and test platforms for switches, passive optical networks, home routers, high-performance data center switches, and automotive and industrial time-sensitive networking Ethernet. Founded in 2007, it is based in Beijing, China.
Truth Instruments raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in pre-Series A funding led by China Fortune-Tech Capital, joined by Qingdao Innovation Investment and Qingdao Science and Technology Fund of Funds. Truth Instruments makes IC test equipment, with its first product being a magneto-optic Kerr measuring instrument combined with a multifunctional probe station for magnetic chips and sensors, including spin-transfer torque memory. Funds will be used to accelerate development of additional IC test equipment and scientific research equipment. Founded in 2019 based on research from Beihang University, it is based in Qingdao, China.
EUV Tech secured Series A funding led by Intel Capital. EUV Tech develops and manufactures mask metrology equipment using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and soft x-ray techniques. Its range of equipment includes EUV reflectometers, EUV pellicle tools, EUV phase metrology tools, and EUV mask imaging tools. “As high volume manufacturing utilizing EUV lithography grows, demand for mask technologies grows as well,” said Sean Doyle, managing director at Intel Capital. EUV Tech will use the funds to support its installed base of equipment, enhance its existing product line, and deliver several new products that are under development. Founded in 1997, it is based in Martinez, California, USA.
Baoying Gases received hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.5M) in Series B financing from Cathay Capital. The company produces a range of industrial gases, including high purity specialty gases for semiconductor and electronics manufacturing. Founded in 2021, it is based in Nanjing, China.
Overseas Huasheng Electronic Technology received nearly CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in a Series B+ round led by Dinglong Holdings. The company produces electronic metal pastes, including nanoscale copper, nickel, silver, gold, tungsten, and palladium pastes. Its materials are primarily used for multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC), low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) components, 5G ceramic filters, semiconductor packaging and ceramic packaging substrates, and photovoltaics. Funds will be used for hiring and R&D, particularly related to photovoltaics and semiconductors. Founded in 2016, it is based in Dalian, China.
Intelligent Fluids closed a €10.0M (~$10.6M) Series A round with investment from WAVE Equity Partners, IBG Sachsen-Anhalt, and High-Tech Gründerfonds. Intelligent Fluids has developed water-based cleaning agents it says can replace aggressive solvents in microelectronics manufacturing and a wide range of other industries. It can be used for removal of photoresists on wafers and photomasks, metal lift off, equipment cleaning, and adhesive removal. The startup claims its phase fluids are environmentally friendly and safe for sensitive substrates and surfaces while providing a reduction in CO2 emissions during cleaning processes, a reduction in energy costs, and material savings compared to traditional chemical solvents. Funds will be used to expand in volume markets including electronics, international expansion and sales, and expansion of production and laboratories. Founded in 2006, it is based in Leipzig, Germany.
Dehong Carbon Material drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in pre-Series A financing. The startup manufactures a range of carbon fiber composite materials, including carbon/carbon composite thermal insulator material for semiconductor furnace equipment. Other application areas include photovoltaics, braking systems, and batteries. Founded in 2021, it is based in Jiaxing, China.
Spectrum Materials raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in funding from Cross-strait Tsinghua Research Institute. Spectrum Materials provides high purity electronic special gases used in manufacturing semiconductors, LEDs, LCDs, and photovoltaics. Founded in 2009, it is based in Quanzhou, China.
Xuzhou B&C Chemical drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in financing from Qingfeng Capital. The company produces mid-to-high-end ArF and KrF photoresists, I-line and G-line photoresists, and electron beam (e-beam) photoresists. It also offers raw materials including photoresist monomers, resins, and photoacids. Founded in 2010, it is based in Pizhou, China.
PiBond was awarded a grant from the EIC Accelerator. The company produces materials used in semiconductor and photonics manufacturing, including lithographic patterning layers, dielectrics, and optical interface materials. Applications include logic chips, NAND/DRAM, sensors, 3D imaging, and microLED displays. Founded in 2014, it is based in Espoo, Finland.
Intrinsic Semiconductor Technologies raised £7.0M (~$8.5M) in a funding round led by Octopus Ventures, joined by existing investors IP Group and the UCL Technology Fund, alongside £1.0M (~$1.2M) in Innovate UK grants. Intrinsic develops non-volatile resistive RAM (RRAM) based on silicon oxide memristors, making it capable of integration with CMOS. The company claims the technology can read data 10x to 100x faster and write it 1000x faster than existing solutions. Along with traditional embedded flash memory applications, Intrinsic says its RRAM could be utilized for analog AI hardware accelerators. “We believe RRAM has the potential to become the backbone for the next generation of edge and IoT computers at a time when data hungry intelligent applications are becoming more and more prevalent,” said Mark Dickinson, CEO of Intrinsic. “Companies want to integrate more intelligence into self-contained applications and devices so that they can operate autonomously but this requires a paradigm shift in how memory is employed in these environments.” The funds will support the expansion of its engineering team to bring its product to market. Founded in 2017 as a spin out from University College London, it is based in London, UK.
Gatesea Microelectronics received over CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in Series B and B+ financing led by Rockchip Investment, joined by Fosun RZ Capital, Oriza Holdings, Koala Fund, and Nantong Science and Technology Venture Capital. Gatesea develops microcontrollers, SoCs, and modules for smart grid IoT devices, including broadband power line carrier and HPLC/HRF dual-mode chips. It particularly targets control, monitoring, fault detection, and rapid shutdown of photovoltaic modules. Founded in 2018, it is based in Suzhou, China.
Purus Microelectronics received over CNY 30.0M (~$4.4M) in angel funding from Huaqin Technology and Cantor Jungle. The startup develops high-performance mixed-signal clock chips. It says its technology can provide multiple outputs with consistent jitter at any frequency, enabling stable clock signals for a wide variety of SoCs. Funds will be used for new product R&D, tape out, increasing production capacity, and hiring. It is expected to start sales in the second quarter of 2023. Founded in 2021, it is based in Shanghai, China.
Xinyi Information Technology raised CNY 300.0M (~$43.4M) in Series C funding led by the China Internet Investment Fund, joined by Peakvest, Haitong Innovation, and others. Xinyi specializes in cellular IoT chips, with products including an ultra-low power 5G narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) SoC with integrated CMOS power amplifier. Its next generation NB-IoT product, which is nearing mass production, adds integrated RF switches and filters. The company also offers Cat.1bis chips for low-to-medium speed scenarios. Additionally, Xinyi is developing SoCs targeted to the needs of specific industries, such as public utilities and asset management. Funds will be used for R&D, production, and marketing. Founded in 2017, it is based in Shanghai, China.
SPARK Microsystems raised CAD$34.0M (~$24.7M) in Series B funding, with an additional CAD$14.0M (~$10.2M) available subject to meeting operational milestones. The round was led by Idealist Capital and joined by existing investors Cycle Capital, Economic Development Canada, Real Ventures, and ND Capital. SPARK Microsystems is a fabless company developing ultra-wideband (UWB) wireless transceiver ICs for short-range wireless connectivity. The startup says its UWB technology provides high data rate and very low latency while reducing energy consumption for a broad range of consumer, industrial, IoT, and automotive products. “SPARK’s UWB technology holds tremendous promise for battery-less, wireless devices powered by energy harvesting technologies,” said Steeve Robitaille, co-managing partner, Idealist Capital. Proceeds will be used to accelerate customer acquisition and partner engagements, as well as product development. Founded in 2016, it is based in Quebec, Quebec, Canada.
Tianji Communication received nearly CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in Series B funding led by Fortune Capital. Tianji Communication develops 5G baseband chips and repeater modules. Its chip includes technology for two-way intelligent forwarding of wireless signals to improve coverage in the immediate area. Founded in 2003, it is based in Xi’an, China.
Shengxin Electronic Technology drew CNY 50.0M (~$7.3M) in Series A++ financing from Orient Securities and others. The company designs, manufactures, packages, and test surface acoustic wave (SAW) RF devices. Its products include SAW RF chips and modules, SAW filters, duplexers, and resonators for mobile, microwave, and satellite communications, as well as IoT and consumer electronics. Funds will be used for production line expansion. Founded in 2019, it is based in Suzhou, China.
CoreHW raised almost €4.0M (~$4.3M) in funding from Panostaja and Business Finland. CoreHW makes Bluetooth indoor positioning solutions, including RF switches and antenna modules optimized for high direction-finding accuracy in Bluetooth Angle of Arrival (AoA) and Angle of Departure (AoD) devices. Its positioning solution targets industries such as healthcare, retail, and logistics. A fabless company, it also offers RF, mmWave, analog, mixed signal, and power management ICs, IC design services, turnkey solutions, and IP for a broad range of markets. Funds will be used to accelerate development and commercialization of its indoor positioning product family. Founded in 2013, it is based in Tampere, Finland.
Cmind Semiconductor drew pre-Series A+ financing led by China Creation Ventures, joined by existing investors Walden International and Legend Capital. The startup designs 4G and 5G advanced wireless chips for IoT, cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X), and smartphones. Funds will be used for mass production of its 4G chip as well as 5G chip development and tape out. Based in Zhuhai, China, it was founded in 2021.
Empower Semiconductor raised $30.0M in equity financing. The company develops integrated voltage regulators, which integrate dozens of components into a single IC. Empower says that by combining discrete components typically used in power management, its technology increases efficiency and provides high power density and transient response while shrinking the overall footprint. It targets data center, AI, mobile, wearables, and communications networks. The company also offers silicon capacitor technology for wearables, mobile, and SoC applications. Funds will be to accelerate development of its next-generation IVR and expand its international sales and engineering team. Founded in 2014, it is based in San Jose, California, USA.
RSPower Tech received hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.5M) in Series A funding led by China Fortune-Tech Capital, joined by Shenzhen Venture Capital and Guosen Capital. The company makes power supplies for industrial equipment, including plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and physical vapor deposition (PVD) systems. It is particularly targeting photovoltaic cell manufacturing. Funds will be used to increase production capacity and for R&D. Founded in 2012, it is based in Shenzhen, China.
Leapers Semiconductor raised over CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in pre-Series B funding led by Hygoal Capital, joined by New Alliance Capital and Shanghai Yijiahui. Leapers Semiconductor develops power devices including silicon carbide (SiC) and IGBT modules for applications such as electric vehicles, smart grid, industrial motors, and medical equipment. The startup has mass produced IGBT modules for charging piles, industrial inverters, and commercial vehicles, as well as SiC modules for electric heavy trucks, hydrogen fuel cell commercial vehicles, and photovoltaics. Funds will be used to expand production capacity, hiring, and supplement reserve cash flow. Founded in 2019, it is based in Wuxi, China.
Zhongheng Micro Semiconductor (ZHM Semi) raised new funding from Addor Capital and Hefei Innovation Investment. The startup makes power device modules, including IGBT, silicon carbide (SiC), and hybrid modules for electric vehicles, motor drives, photovoltaic inverters, industrial frequency conversion, and high frequency power supplies. Founded in 2018, it is based in Hefei, China.
EFFECT Photonics raised $40.0M in funding led by Invest-NL and Innovation Industries. EFFECT Photonics designs photonic optical systems and pluggable transceiver modules for telecommunications and data communications networks. Its technology uses integrated optical SoCs with digital signal processing and forward error correction technologies combined with ultra-pure, tunable light sources. Funds will be used to accelerate product development and go-to-market initiatives for its integrated coherent optical product portfolio. The company will also be working with Credo on the development of coherent DSP merchant ICs. A spin out from Technical University of Eindhoven founded in 2010, it is based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
AIM Photonics, a research and development center operating as a program of the State University of New York Polytechnic (SUNY Poly), received $27.5M in funding from New York State. AIM Photonics provides integrated photonics fabrication, packaging, and testing facilities and services to industry, academia, and the U.S. government, with a focus on developing new technologies, processes, and materials within the integrated photonics sphere, addressing high-risk/high-reward challenges in photonics integrated circuit manufacturing technology. Funds will be used to support equipment and tool upgrades, education and workforce development efforts, and collaboration with regional universities. Established in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Defense, it is based in Albany, New York, USA.
Ranovus received a CAD $36.0M (~$26.3M) grant from Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund. Ranovus develops monolithic silicon photonic interconnects for AI/ML workloads, high-performance computing, and hyperscale data centers. The startup’s technology uses quantum dot multi-wavelength lasers (QD MWL) that can provide multiple wavelengths simultaneously from a single device, each of which can be selected and used as a light source for data transmission. It is capable of generating up to 96 wavelengths in the C-band. A silicon photonic micro-ring resonator architecture enables high-speed modulation at data rates of up to 100Gbs / lambda. These elements are combined with RF drivers, TIA, and control logic using a wafer scale laser attach packaging process. Its multi-terabit interconnect solution is expected to scale into production this year. Founded in 2012, it is based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Tri-light Electronics Technology drew nearly CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in Series B financing from Join Hands Capital and others. The company produces optical transceiver modules and other optical components for telecommunications and custom applications. Founded in 2012, it is based in Wuhan, China.
Photonect Interconnect Solutions received a $0.1M investment from the Luminate NY accelerator program. Photonect has developed a laser adhesion technique to attach optical fibers to photonic chips. The startup says its method is faster, less expensive, and more efficient than conventional glue methods. It also provides oxide mode converter design services. Founded in 2021, it is based in Rochester, New York, USA.
PlanOpSim received a $0.1M investment from the Luminate NY accelerator program. PlanOpSim develops software for design and simulation of metalenses, nano-structured optics, diffractive optical elements, holograms, and planar optics. Its software applies a multi-scale optical model to simulate both tiny nanostructures and larger components made of millions of nanostructures. Results can be passed to ray tracers to calculate the performance of a metasurface when integrated into an optical system. The startup also offers photonic design services. Founded in 2018, it is based in Melle, Belgium.
Bifrost Communications was awarded grant and equity funding from the EIC Accelerator. The startup has developed a quasi-coherent receiver that provides electrical amplification, chromatic dispersion compensation, and data demodulation for networking and internet service providers. It is available as a receiver optical sub-assembly, a TIA ASIC, and evaluation kit. A spin out from the Technical University of Denmark founded in 2015, it is based in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.
Strangeworks drew $24.0M in a Series A round led by Hitachi Ventures, joined by IBM, Raytheon Technologies, and seed investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Greatpoint Ventures, and Ecliptic Capital. Strangeworks provides a quantum computing resource management platform that includes tools for software developers and researchers as well as systems management and spend controls for IT administrators and CIOs. Funds will be used to expand its offerings beyond quantum computing, including quantum-inspired, high-performance computing, and AI. Founded in 2018, it is based in Austin, Texas, USA.
QBoson received CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in Series A financing led by Tsinghua Holdings Capital and China Mobile Innovation Industry Fund, joined by IPV Capital. The startup is developing an optical quantum computing platform and application-specific algorithms. QBoson says its coherent optical system has over 100 practical optical qubits and is stable at room temperature, with a small footprint. It is currently working with partners to develop applications for the financial, pharmaceutical, transportation, and communications industries. Funds will be used for R&D, productization, and market expansion. Based in Beijing, China, it was founded in 2020.
PsiQuantum received a £9.0M (~$10.8M) grant from the UK government’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) to open an advanced R&D facility at Daresbury Laboratory in the northwest of England, which will focus on developing high-power cryogenic modules for photonic quantum computers and enable chip-to-chip networking and integrated control electronics. With the goal of providing a fault tolerant photonic quantum computer with millions of qubits, PsiQuantum is building an entire quantum computing stack, from the photonic and electronic chips, through packaging and control electronics, cryogenic systems, quantum architecture and fault tolerance, to quantum applications. The approach requires cryogenic cooling to a few degrees above absolute zero to operate extremely sensitive single-photon detectors, which are used to read the state of the photonic qubit. Founded in 2016, it is based in Palo Alto, California, USA.
QuantWare raised €6.0M (~$6.3M) in seed funding led by Forward.One, joined by QDNL Participations and Graduate Entrepreneur. QuantWare designs and fabricates scalable and customizable superconducting processors for quantum computers. It uses a 3D technology that routes the connections vertically, which the startup says makes it possible to scale superconducting quantum processors to thousands of qubits. This technology will feature in its upcoming 64-qubit processor, Tenor. “We believe that one of the key ways to supercharge development of the quantum computing sector is to provide the technology to enable companies to significantly scale their solutions at much lower costs. This is what Tenor enables, and with this funding we will be able to ramp up production and continue development of even more powerful processors,” said Matthijs Rijlaarsdam, CEO of QuantWare. Currently, the company has released 25-qubit and 5-qubit superconducting processors with 99.9% single-qubit gate fidelities targeted at research institutions and universities. Founded in 2021 as a spin out from TU Delft and QuTech, it is based in Delft, the Netherlands.
Horizon Quantum Computing added $5.0M in Series A funding, bringing the round to $18.1M with investment from Sequoia Capital India, Tencent, SGInnovate, Pappas Capital, and Expeditions Fund. Horizon Quantum offers programming tools to simply software creation for quantum computers, aiming to remove the need for prior quantum programming experience or an understanding of the underlying computational model by automatically constructing quantum algorithms from programs written in classical code. The startup is also developing a complete compiler stack that will span the entire chain from algorithm construction down to physical level implementation. Funds will be used for hiring, product development, and to establish a new engineering center in Europe. Founded in 2018, it is based in Singapore and has raised over $21M to date.
QuantrolOx drew €3.5M (~$3.7M) in a seed round led by Voima Ventures, with participation from new investors 2xN Ventures, Serendipity Capital, and Oxford Science Enterprise, as well as existing investors including Nielsen Ventures and Hoxton Ventures. QuantrolOx is building automated, machine learning-based control software to tune, stabilize, and optimize qubits. It says the software brings stable and sustained gate performance to qubits. The company is initially targeting solid-state qubits, but says it is applicable to many types of quantum technologies. Founded in 2021 as a spin off from the University of Oxford, it is based in Espoo, Finland.
SemiQon spun out of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland with investment from Voima Ventures. SemiQon is building a semiconductor quantum processor chip using silicon quantum dots. “Our technology allows us to fabricate quantum processors in a way that supports scaling up manufacturing efficiently while also lowering costs. The chips we manufacture also enable the quantum computer to operate at warmer temperatures – thus requiring only a fraction of the energy needed for alternative solutions,” said Himadri Majumdar, CEO of SemiQon. Founded in 2023, it is based in Espoo, Finland.
Beit was awarded a grant from the EIC Accelerator. The company provides quantum algorithm and software development consulting. It has worked on numerous problems including unstructured search and vehicle routing. Founded in 2016, it is based in Krakow, Poland.
Jue Xin Microelectronics drew hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.5M) in financing from CICC Capital, visual inspection equipment company Luster LightTech, and others. The startup manufactures photodetector chips with a focus on the aerospace industry. Funds will be used for equipment procurement, expansion of manufacturing capacity, R&D of aerospace-specific products, and international marketing. Founded in 2019, it is based in Lishui, China.
Taifang Technology raised over CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in strategic financing from Lenovo Capital, video surveillance company Hikvision, and GNSS navigation company BDStar. The startup combines an elastic wave sensor, chip, and algorithms into tactile sensing technology that is capable of recognizing touch force, position, and mode when a variety of hard materials are touched. Taifang says it has low energy consumption and supports glass, iron sheets, wood plate, and other materials, as well as 3D surfaces. Its primary markets are consumer electronics and automotive, with products including force touch sensors for laptops, wearables, and medium and large touch screens, as well as low and medium speed collision sensing for automotive exteriors. Lenovo has used Taifang’s technology in several of its laptops. Funds will be used for R&D and preparation for mass production. Based in Beijing, China, it was founded in 2015.
PxE Holographic Imaging emerged from stealth with $5.4M in seed funding led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Merck’s M Ventures. PxE develops holographic imaging technology that makes it possible to acquire a high-resolution color image combined with an infrared image and a pixel-level depth map in a single snapshot. It uses a passive, white-light holography approach which the startup says enables it to capture depth data at distances ranging from µm to hundreds of meters with 3x the light sensitivity of a standard camera. The camera is based on a single, standard CMOS image sensor combined with a layer of holographic optics. The captured holograms are decoded in real time by a fully deterministic algorithm that has a computational footprint similar to a standard camera image signal processor. Target applications include consumer electronics, wearables, aerospace, and semiconductors. Funds will be used to continue development with the goal of obtaining first qualifications for mass market products in 2025. Founded in 2019, it is based in Yavne, Israel.
Zepsor Technologies joined the Silicon Catalyst accelerator and announced $3.0M in grant and seed equity funding from DARPA, Silicon Catalyst Angels, and others. Zepsor develops infrared sensors capable of activating themselves upon the presence of specific infrared-emitting targets without consuming any power in standby. The sensor uses a passive micromechanical photoswitch that harvests energy from specific infrared radiations to implement abrupt ON/OFF switching without using any electrical power. The startup claims its technology can provide a ten-fold improvement in the time between battery charge or battery replacement. Its sensors support proximity sensing, presence detection, and security applications in smart city, building control, industrial, and medical environments. Zepsor expects to begin sampling its sensors this year. Founded in 2021 at Northeastern University, it is based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Silicon Microgravity raised £1.8M (~$2.2M) in the first close of a new funding round with investment from the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund, the Oxford Innovation EIS Growth Fund, Oxford Innovation Finance’s Angel Network, and the Defence and Security Accelerator. It expects to add another £1.0M (~$1.2M) to the round. Silicon Microgravity develops MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes for tactical and navigation grade motion sensing in a range of markets including automotive, robotics, and aerospace. The startup’s resonant MEMS technology, which it says enables high sensitivity, low frequency measurement of inertial forces, is also being deployed in gravity sensors that can image the subsurface by detecting density anomalies with applications in construction and infrastructure, defense, mineral exploration, and carbon capture. Funds will be used for commercialization. A spin out from the University of Cambridge founded in 2016, it is based in Waterbeach, UK.
CS Microsensor (CSMS) raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in angel financing. The startup develops MEMS-based olfactory gas sensors, along with identification algorithms and a database of odors. It targets smart home, environmental monitoring, industrial emissions monitoring, automotive, food safety, and medical care. Funds will be used for R&D, equipment investment, mass production, and hiring. Founded in 2022, it is based in Ningbo, China.
Haoli Technology drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in angel financing led by Linear Venture. The startup makes microfluidic chips that integrate multiple nano-droplet generators using semiconductor lithography techniques for life sciences applications such as biopharmaceutical purification, drug packaging and delivery, and CAR T cell therapy. Founded in 2022, it is based in Hangzhou, China.
Microparity received tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in strategic financing from Great Wall Motor’s Great Wall Capital. Microparity develops high-performance direct time-of-flight (dToF) single photon detection devices, including single-photon avalanche diodes (SPAD), silicon photomultipliers (SiPM), and SiPM readout ASICs for consumer electronics, lidar, automotive, medical imaging, industrial inspection, and other applications. Funds will be used to accelerate development and mass production of lidar receiver chips. Great Wall Motor and Microparity will also collaborate on high-performance, high-reliability, and cost-controllable lidar solutions. Founded in 2017, it is based in Hangzhou, China.
Realmagic Semiconductor drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in pre-Series A+ funding from Qingsong Fund. Realmagic develops user interface chips, including passive piezoelectric sensing processors, piezoelectric haptic engine drivers, active ultrasonic haptic sensing processors, human body proximity and gesture sensors, and low-power voice wake-up and recognition processors. It targets applications such as TWS earbuds, wearables, smart home appliances, and automotive cockpits. It is also working on the development of brain-computer interface chips for medical treatments. Funds will be used for R&D and verification of new products, hiring, and supply chain development. Based in Shenzhen, China, it was founded in 2020.
Noze received a $1.0M grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The startup has developed a chip with a scent receptor array that can detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be used as biomarkers for health conditions. The platform includes a library of digital odor datasets and a chemically perceptive AI engine. The grant will support building its technology into a portable breathalyzer that can detect biomarkers for rapid screening and diagnostics of infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. While health is the startup’s first primary target, it says the technology can also be applied to non-medical purposes. Founded in 2015, it is based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Norcon Technologies received a $0.1M investment from the Luminate NY accelerator program. The startup is commercializing an advanced optical polymer and lensing technology for depth imaging applications. Norcon says the lens is synthesized from low-cost ingredients, is shaped using thermal compression molding techniques, and provides a wide field of view with enhanced thermal stability for near infrared (NIR) and shortwave infrared (SWIR) sensing. Founded in 2017, it is based in Tucson, Arizona, USA.
Quantune Technologies received a $0.1M investment from the Luminate NY accelerator program. Quantune Technologies is developing a low-cost miniaturized quantum cascade laser spectrometer for biomedical consumer devices and industrial applications. It targets the mid-infrared spectral range for continuous, non-invasive monitoring of molecular biomarkers such as glucose on the wrist. Founded in 2019, it is based in Berlin, Germany.
208 Advanced Technology drew new financing from Cloud Capital and others. The startup makes laser gyroscopes, high-precision accelerometers, and hemispherical resonant gyroscopes for inertial navigation systems. Founded in 2019, it is based in Changsha, China.
Fatri Technology raised new funding. The company manufactures a range of MEMS sensor chips and modules, including pressure, thermopile infrared, and fingerprint recognition sensors. It also offers analog and power devices. Founded in 2017, it is based in Xiamen, China.
Hybrid Lidar Systems was awarded grant and equity financing from the EIC Accelerator. The startup develops solid state lidar sensors for automotive, industrial, and smart city applications. It is working on a version for consumer electronics such as AR glasses, smartphones, and tablets. Founded in 2018, it is based in Bad Salzdethfurth, Germany.
Neural Propulsion Systems (NPS) received Series B strategic investment from Raytheon’s RTX Ventures. NPS develops digital imaging radar technology based on a radar algorithm system running on GPUs, which it claims provides higher resolution, precision, and reliability. “Leveraging our recent breakthroughs in algorithms based on a new mathematical framework, our AtomicSense radar platform dramatically transforms how sensor data is processed and understood, enabling a revolution in radar performance,” said Behrooz Rezvani, founder and CEO at NPS. It targets the automotive, aerospace, and defense markets. Funds will be used to develop next-generation radar technology. Founded in 2017, it is based in Pleasanton, California, USA.
Chip Wealth Technology raised CNY 168.0M (~$24.4M) in new funding from Hui Capital, Bondshine Capital, Jade Stone Venture, and others. The startup designs and manufactures display driver chips with a focus on AMOLED and PMOLED for a wide range of applications from smartphones and wearables to industrial equipment. Spun out of Zhongying Electronics’ display driver division in 2016, it is based in Shanghai, China.
OQmented raised $20.0M in Series A funding from electronics manufacturer Sharp, Salvia GmbH, Vsquared Ventures, and others. OQmented develops MEMS-based laser beam scanning (LBS) systems for lightweight, power efficient consumer AR/MR glasses and 3D sensing products. The startup says its technology provides brightness and contrast sufficient for outdoor use. The startup’s 2D MEMS mirrors incorporate two resonant axes, both operating at high frequencies, which it says creates a Lissajous scan pattern that provides an energy efficient way of scanning a big field of view (FOV) with a high sampling rate and reduced artifacts. The MEMS mirrors are vacuum packaged at the wafer level to reduce the dampening of the mirror oscillation and improve reliability. Sharp and OQmented will cooperate to offer the technology as a plug-and-play light engine with integrated MEMS, electronics, and laser. Funds will accelerate bringing the product to market. Founded in 2018 as a spin-out from the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology ISIT, it is based in Itzehoe, Germany.
Rayboch Technology raised hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.5M) in Series A funding led by Walden International, joined by Chang’an Capital, CDHT Investment, and others. The company manufactures OLED, microLED/miniLED, and automotive display optical films and phase difference compensation films. Funds will be used for construction of a mass production line, R&D, and hiring. Founded in 2020, it is based in Beijing, China.
Cowin Laser Technology drew over CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in a Series B round from Jiuzhao Kangqian Investment and Yisheng Capital. Cowin Laser provides precision laser repair and cutting equipment for LCD and OLED manufacturing, including for micro-OLED and mini-LED. The company is also expanding to new display, PCB, semiconductor, and photovoltaic markets. Founded in 2018, it is based in Suzhou, China.
DPVR received over CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in new financing led by Qingdao Microelectronics Innovation Capital, joined by Qingdao Cultural Investment Capital and others. The company designs and manufactures standalone and PC tethered VR systems in three and six degrees of freedom (3DoF and 6DoF) models. It targets both consumer gaming as well as commercial and industrial applications such as training and simulation. Funds will be used for R&D, launching new products, and hiring. Founded in 2015, it is based in Qingdao, China.
RayNeo raised over CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in Series A funding led by Fosun Capital and Winreal Investment, joined by 37 Interactive Entertainment, Weed Ventures, Doctor Glasses, and others. The startup develops AR glasses for the consumer market. It currently offers models using birdbath optics. An upcoming model will use diffractive optical waveguides with microLED light engines to increase the light efficiency and brightness. It will also use Qualcomm’s 5G XR chip and incorporate SLAM for navigation. Funds will be used for R&D, mass production, marketing, and hiring. Founded in 2021 and incubated by TCL Electronics, it is based in Shenzhen, China.
INWTTEC drew CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in financing from Triniti Capital and others. The startup supplies core materials for OLED panel manufacturing. Funds will be used for new material R&D and production capacity improvement. Founded in 2020, it is based in Haining, China.
VueReal received a CAD $10.5M (~$7.7M) grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada and Invest Ontario. VueReal has developed a micro printing platform for microLED display and sensor products. The company says its environmentally friendly platform increases manufacturing scalability and yield while enabling high performance and resolution. Funds will support scaling its manufacturing capability. Founded in 2016, it is based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Aoxue Ruishi received tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in pre-Series A financing. The company makes consumer VR headsets it says are thin, light, and portable using pancake optics and reflective linear polarization imaging. Funds will be used for new product development, marketing, and hiring. Founded in 2020, it is based in Hangzhou, China.
Micro Win Display drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in pre-Series A financing from Winreal Investment. The startup is developing microLED display technology. Founded in 2021, it is based in Kunshan, China.
Zhijing Nanotech received tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in funding from Skyworth Investment. Zhijing Nanotech develops perovskite quantum dot materials for displays, primarily high-color gamut LCD TVs. The company uses an in-situ preparation process to produce its quantum dot films and diffusion plates, which it says avoids certain problems associated with the quantum dot synthesis and cleaning process. Funds will be used for mass production and new product R&D. Founded in 2016 based on research from Beijing Institute of Technology, it is based in Beijing, China.
Eyedaptic drew $0.7M in equity crowdfunding. The startup makes AR glasses for improving the vision of people with age-related macular degeneration and other retinal eye diseases. Founded in 2016, it is based in Laguna Beach, California, USA.
NanoPattern Technologies received a $0.1M investment from the Luminate NY accelerator program. The startup develops photopatternable ink formulations based on ligand chemistry that enable patterning of high resolution quantum dot downconverter layers using UV light, without the need for photoacid generators or resins. The parallel patterning process is fully compatible with conventional photolithography and enables creation of tri-color microLED displays without damaging the integrity of the underlayers. NanoPattern Technologies says its process provides high conversion efficiencies and low manufacturing costs. It targets a range of microLED displays, including TVs, smartphones, wearables, and AR/VR. The technology is also capable of patterning oxide nanoparticles for optics applications and near infrared quantum dots for multispectral sensor applications. Founded in 2019, it is based in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Swave Photonics received a $0.1M investment from the Luminate NY accelerator program. Swave develops Holographic eXtended Reality (HXR) technology it says can provide lifelike, high-resolution 3D images without requiring viewers to wear AR/VR headsets or prescription glasses. Based on diffractive optics and manufactured using a standard CMOS process, it is planning to release chips in a large 2 cm x 2 cm version for ultra-high-end holographic displays and a small 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm version for ultra-light wearable devices. Founded in 2022 as a spin-off of Imec and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, it is based in Leuven, Belgium.
Quantum Science received a grant from the Innovate UK Launchpad program. The startup manufactures lead-free short-wave infrared (SWIR) quantum dot inks. The inks enable fabrication of optoelectronic devices on various form factors and flexible substrates using a single-step deposition process. The technology can be used for infrared sensing and imaging, including 3D sensing and long-range sensing, in consumer, automotive, and healthcare applications. “Thanks to this funding from Innovate UK, we will be able to kick our development of lead-free QDs into high gear. After expanding into our new laboratory earlier this year, we have increased our production capacity and are now able to take the next step in our journey to produce this world-changing technology at scale,” said Hao Pang, CEO and founder of Quantum Science. Founded in 2018, it is based in Daresbury, UK.
DeepWay raised CNY 770.0M (~$111.9M) in Series A+ financing led by Shandong Weiqiao Pioneering Group and SB China Venture Capital, with participation from several existing investors including Qiming Venture Partners. DeepWay develops and manufactures autonomous battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell heavy commercial vehicles. Its model enables autonomous driving, currently with a safety driver, on high-speed freight logistics routes between designated hubs, at which point a human driver takes control. The company says designing its trucks from scratch enables better-integrated self-driving technology in a lightweight aerodynamic design and reduces production costs. Funds will be used for manufacturing and R&D. Founded by Baidu and logistics service provider Lionbridge Financing Leasing in 2020, it is based in Beijing, China.
Envisics received over $50.0M as part of a Series C strategic funding round led by Hyundai Mobis, joined by new investors Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures and Stellantis Ventures. Envisics develops dynamic holographic technology for automotive augmented reality head-up displays (AR-HUD). Its technology enables images to be displayed at multiple distances simultaneously and adapt to ambient light changes. Envisics says it combines algorithms, fewer but more robust optics, and high magnification designs to reduce waste heat and energy by directing light where it’s needed. Founded in 2018 as a spin out from AR wearables company DAQRI, it is based in Milton Keynes, UK.
Venti Technologies raised $28.8M in Series A financing led by LG Technology Ventures, with participation from Safar Partners, UOB Venture Management, and existing investors Alpha JWC and LDV Partners. Venti provides autonomous driving solutions for vehicles used in supply chain and industrial hubs such as ports, airports, factories, warehouses, and depots. The company says its solutions require no change to existing infrastructure and work with any vehicle, providing the ability to navigate complex environments and heavy traffic with precision and park 45-foot tractor-trailers accurately down to one inch. “With this new round of funding, we are well-positioned to broadly deploy our autonomous logistics solutions to power safer and more efficient global supply chains and industrial yards,” said Heidi Wyle, Venti founder and CEO. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and Singapore, it was founded in 2018.
Genesys Microelectronics raised hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.5M) in a pre-Series A round led by Hefei Industry Investment Group and Hefei Hi-tech VC, joined by VeriSilicon. Genesys Microelectronics is developing chips for automotive smart cockpits and ADAS. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded as a spin off from Fosun International in January 2022.
UISEE raised hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.5M) in Series C financing from Dongfeng Motor’s Dongfeng Asset Management and Chongqing High-tech Holdings. UISEE is developing L3 and L4 autonomous driving systems designed to be used by unmanned vehicles in geofenced situations like airports, industrial parks, and agriculture. The solution includes autonomous driving algorithms, a cloud-based operations management platform, and intelligent driving controller module. It currently has autonomous electric baggage tractors deployed at several airports. The funding will be used to set up a headquarters for its passenger car business, which will provide self-driving technology to OEMs of robobuses, robotaxis, unmanned delivery vehicles, and unmanned patrol cars. Founded in 2016, it is based in Beijing, China.
Yanding Information Technology drew over CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in Series A1 financing from CICC Capital, Xyuan Capital, and others. Yanding provides imaging system testing equipment for cameras used in automotive and ADAS. Founded in 2006, it is based in Shanghai, China.
KKChips Automotive Electronics received nearly CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in pre-Series A funding led by Xiaomi and Highlight Capital, joined by Long Capital. The startup makes automotive power semiconductors including BCD (Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS) chips, power management ICs, and high-side, low-side, and half-bridge driver ICs. It targets electronic control units, regional controllers, body control modules, and climate control systems. Funds will be used for hiring and to expand product lines. Founded in 2021, it is based in Guangzhou, China.
Rsemi Technology raised over CNY 50.0M (~$7.3M) in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital China, Winreal Investment, Oceanpine Capital, and others. Rsemi develops automotive SerDes chips for transmission of high-speed video signals from automotive sensors to domain controllers, and from domain controllers to display screens. It expects to enter mass production this year. Funds will be used for business expansion, R&D, marketing, and hiring. Founded in 2022, it is based in Nanjing, China.
E-tronic raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in Series A+ financing from Sinovation Ventures. E-tronic focuses on automotive power devices, with products including SiC motor controllers, SiC power modules, battery management systems, DC/DC converters, on-board chargers, and vehicle control units. The funds will be used for construction of advanced packaging production lines for power semiconductors. Based in Guangzhou, China, it was founded in 2021.
FervCloud received tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in strategic financing from auto component supplier Desay SV. The startup develops optical technology, hardware, and software for automotive head-up displays (HUD). The two companies plan to carry out joint R&D related to next-generation AR-HUD. Founded in 2015, it is based in Hangzhou, China.
In One Technology drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in a Series B round led by industrial manufacturing equipment company HGTECH. In One provides integrated electronic control assemblies and power management systems for electric vehicles, including electric vehicle motor controller units, on-board chargers, DC converters, and vehicle control units. Founded in 2017, it is based in Hefei, China.
Tsingsens Technology drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in pre-Series A funding led by BAIC Capital, joined by SEE Fund and others. The startup offers high-precision positioning systems and modules as well as real-time 3D mapping for unmanned vehicles in areas such as open mines. Founded in 2018, it is based in Beijing, China.
Bifrost received seed funding from Sequoia India’s Surge accelerator, along with co-investor Wavemaker Group. Bifrost offers software that generates synthetic data using realistic 3D environments for training machine learning models. It supports generation of pre-labeled data based on customized sensor specifications (including RGB, MWIR, SWIR, LIDAR, SAR, and depth camera) to account for rare scenarios that are underrepresented in real data. The startup says it can create a wide range of environments for applications such as automotive, space, geospatial, robotics, defense, and gaming. Founded in 2019, it is based in Singapore.
Corage received investment from Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia Limited, Ventech China, Estar Capital, and PKSHA SPARX Algorithm Fund. The startup is developing technology for L4 autonomous commercial and long-distance logistics vehicles driving dedicated freight routes. Funds will be used for R&D and business expansion. Based in Shenzhen, China, it was founded in December 2021.
Elonroad was awarded grant and equity funding from the EIC Accelerator. The company designs on-road charging technology for electric vehicles, including cars, taxis, buses, and trucks regardless of manufacturer. It uses a conductive rail laid on top of the road to provide wireless power while vehicles are moving, parked in lots, and in situations like logistics yards and warehouses. Founded in 2014, it is based in Lund, Sweden.
ExceedData announced closing a Series A2 round in December 2022, with investment from AI software company SenseTime’s Sense Capital. ExceedData develops automotive middleware and database solutions for orchestration of the high-concurrency, millisecond-level time-series data generated by smart cars. Its edge computing engine can identify, extract, and trigger mechanisms for specific events, and then return selected lossless data fragments to the cloud. Funds will be used for R&D and marketing. Founded in 2021, it is based in Shanghai, China.
Fran Optics received new investment led by Industrial Securities Capital. Fran Optics manufactures curved optical surfaces and free-form surfaces. A key market for the company is automotive, where it provides curved mirrors for head-up displays (HUD) and lidar windows. It also makes components for security cameras, consumer electronics, and medical equipment. Funds will be used to expand its automotive component manufacturing capacity. Founded in 2004, it is based in Fuzhou, China.
WeView Energy Storage raised CNY 600.0M (~$87.1M) in Series A financing led by SDIC and Zhuhai Da Heng Qin Group. WeView develops zinc-iron flow batteries for large-scale energy storage systems. Funds will be used for construction of multiple factories with gigawatt-level production capacity. It expects its first gigawatt-level production site to begin operation in mid-2023. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2018.
Green Li-ion raised $20.5M in pre-Series B funding led by TRIREC, joined by energy companies Banpu NEXT and Equinor Ventures, along with EDP Renewables, Envisioning Partners, Energy Revolution Ventures, SOSV, TES, LINICO Corporation, Entrepreneur First, DPI Energy Ventures, the Decarbonisation Consortium, ISDonseo, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, and GS Holdings. The startup has developed a lithium-ion battery recycling process it claims can recover 100% of all used battery materials and directly re-manufacture battery-grade precursor cathode active material (pCAM), graphite, and lithium carbonate. Its recycling units are the size of a small house and can be shipped in modules on a flatbed truck. Once installed, they can process 4-6 metric tons of end-of-life batteries per day (up to 20 EV batteries or 70,000 iPhone batteries) for localized production of pCAM. The first commercial operation is slated to start production in H1 2023 at a plant operated by Aleon in Oklahoma. Founded in 2020, it is based in Singapore and has raised $36M to date.
Jiecheng New Energy drew hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.5M) in Series B financing led by Shenzhen Venture Capital and Alibaba Capital, joined by Ant Group, ChiFortune Venture Capital, Homwon Capital Management, Longgang Financial Holdings, and others. The company provides a range of recycling services for used lithium-ion batteries. It first reuses batteries that have reduced capacity in applications where it is less important, such as stationary energy storage and low-speed electric vehicles. For batteries that can’t be reused, the company disassembles and recovers useful metals using hydrometallurgy. Additionally, it is working on battery material repair research. The funds will be used for R&D and capacity expansion. Founded in 2012, it is based in Shenzhen, China.
Nayi New Energy drew over CNY 100.0M (~$14.5M) in angel financing from Ye Sheng Real Estate. The startup manufactures sodium-ion batteries. Funds will be used for R&D and construction of a pilot production line. Founded in 2023, it is based in Foshan, China.
American Lithium Energy (ALE) was awarded two grants totaling $13.2M from the California Energy Commission. The company develops high energy density silicon-based lithium-ion batteries in 18650, pouch, and prismatic form factors. The batteries use a shutdown electrode and fire-retardant electrolyte to prevent fires and can maintain continuous performance at temperatures down to -40°C. Target markets include defense, aerospace, automotive, and energy storage systems. It also develops batteries for medical devices. The grants will be used to scale production of Si 18650 cells and fully automate its manufacturing process via a low-rate initial production (LRIP) pilot line. They will also support hiring and increasing use of U.S. and California-based raw materials and equipment. Founded in 2006, it is based in Carlsbad, California, USA.
AmaZinc drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in pre-Series A financing led by Vista Fund, joined by K2VC. The startup develops zinc-ion batteries for energy storage and uninterruptible power supplies. The battery uses water and inorganic salts as an electrolyte, which the company claims makes it safer in large-scale deployments compared to lithium-ion. Funds will be used for hiring, production line improvements, and construction of demonstration projects. Founded in 2020, it is based in Dongguan, China.
Rongna New Energy received tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in angel funding from FountainBridge Capital. The startup manufactures hard carbon anode materials for sodium-ion batteries. It uses plant-based biomass as raw materials. Rongna expects its mass production line to begin operation later this year. Founded in 2022, it is based in Guangzhou, China.
Tanovus received tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.5M) in a pre-Series A round from IDG Capital. Tanovus makes micro-/nano-structured low-expansion rate silicon-carbon and fast-charging hard carbon materials for lithium-ion battery anodes. It plans to expand to sodium-ion battery anodes and materials for other battery types. Funds will be used in construction of a pilot production line. Founded in 2019, it is based in Beijing, China.
Chenyu Fuji New Energy Technology received Series B financing. The company produces graphite and silicon-carbon composite anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. Founded in 2019, it is based in Changsha, China.
Colibri Energy received an investment from Emerald Technology Ventures, Nabtesco Technology Ventures, and ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund. The company manufactures modular, low-maintenance lithium-ion traction battery packs for material handling and ground support equipment used in airports, ports, and industrial logistics. Its batteries can operate at extreme temperatures of up to 55°C and 100% humidity. Founded in 2015, it is based in Berlin, Germany.
Metastable Materials received seed investment from Sequoia India’s Surge accelerator program, with co-investment from Speciale Invest, Theia Ventures, and angel investors. Metastable Materials recycles end-of-life lithium-ion batteries, extracting useful elements including copper, aluminum, cobalt, nickel, and lithium using an integrated carbothermal reduction process it says is chemical-free and eco-friendly. Founded in 2021, it is based in Bengaluru, India.
The Energy Company received pre-seed funding led by LetsVenture, joined by Sia Angels and We Founder Circle. The startup provides a full-stack battery solution for electric vehicles and mobility that combines a fast-charging battery with management system and digital twin. Founded in 2021, it is based in Bengaluru, India.
Viezo received investment from Rockstart, CoInvest Capital, and individual investors from the Lithuanian Business Angel Network. Viezo develops a vibration energy harvesting technology based on a piezoelectric PVDF polymer material that can power IoT sensors placed on vibrating machinery indefinitely without batteries. Its initial device provides a monitoring solution for railways that combines a vibration energy harvester with advanced sensors and data analytic algorithms to identify wheel and bearing problems in rolling stock. Founded in 2018, it is based in Vilnius, Lithuania.
BlueOcean Technology received a strategic investment from cloud real-time graphics rendering provider Well-Link. BlueOcean offers single-phase immersion liquid cooling technology for servers and data center GPUs as well as PCs, 5G base stations, and aerospace applications. Founded in 2019, it is based in Ningbo, China.
LiquidStack raised Series B financing from HVAC company Trane Technologies. The company develops 2-phase immersion cooling systems for data centers, which it says has lower energy use, costs, and space requirements compared to air cooling. Heat from the system can be repurposed for hot water supply, district heating or even high-tech agriculture applications. Funds will be used to ramp up manufacturing and for R&D, particularly in the field of advanced dielectric fluids. Founded in 2012, it is based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA.
Wilderness Labs raised $3.3M in seed funding led by Apertu Capital, joined by individual investors including Miguel de Icaza and Scott Hanselman. The startup offers hardware development kits for IoT devices. The platform uses an embedded micro Real-Time Operating System (µRTOS) that can run full .NET applications on low-energy microcontrollers at native speed with defense-grade security. Founded in 2016, it is based in Portland, Oregon, USA.
Xiaomi, software company Kingsoft, memory maker GigaDevice, and Chinese government-backed investors are setting up a CNY 10.0B (~$1.5B) fund to invest in China’s semiconductor companies. The fund will also target related technologies such as AI, new materials, smart manufacturing, displays, and automotive electronics.
SAIC Motor’s Shang Qi Capital held the first close, at CNY 3.4B (~$488.1M), of a new fund that will invest in the automotive ecosystem. Along with SAIC Motor, investors in the fund included other automotive companies and government-backed funds. Autonomous driving, smart cockpit solutions, low-carbon transport, auto chips, and security are particular focus areas for the fund, which intends to raise CNY 4.0B (~$574.2M).
Triniti Capital is raising CNY 2.0B (~$290.5M) for a new fund that will focus on investing in startups in the semiconductor, display technologies, electronic information technologies, new energy, and energy storage industries.
TCL Technology and Ningbo Jia’an Venture Capital Partnership set up a CNY 1.56B (~$227.0M) fund to invest in display, photovoltaic, semiconductor, AI, and intelligent manufacturing companies.
Xinruida Technology and Ruicheng Private Equity Fund Management plan to establish a CNY 1.0B (~$145.3M) fund to invest in the automotive ecosystem, including startups building electric vehicles, connected cars, in-vehicle displays, automotive chips, smart cockpit, and autonomous driving technologies.
Matterwave Ventures made the first close of its Industrial Technologies II fund at €75.0M (~$80.0M). It is targeting a total fund volume of €130.0M (~$138.7M). The fund will invest in 20 to 25 early-stage companies across Europe focused on industrial automation, digitalization, and improving resource efficiency for a range of industries, including semiconductors, photonics, and automotive. It will make initial investments of between €1-4M (~$1.1-4.3M) with up to €10M (~$10.7M) available in further investment rounds.
CICC Capital and memory company GigaDevice established a new CNY 500.0M (~$72.6M) fund to invest in companies developing ICs and emerging technologies.
Rethink Ventures launched with a €50.0M (~$53.7M) fund focused on the mobility, automotive and logistics sectors. The fund, backed by several auto and logistics companies, will invest in European countries in seed to Series A rounds. Focus areas include next-generation vehicle technologies, such as software defined, connected, autonomously operated, and new powertrains. Energy infrastructure, sustainable logistics operations, and personal mobility are other areas of interest.
Quantum Delta NL launched QDNL Participations, a €15.0M (~$15.9M) fund to help Dutch quantum technology researchers turn their technology into venture-capital investable startups. It will invest up to €1.5M (~$1.6M) in early-stage companies across the quantum technology industry, including hardware, communications, and sensing technologies, as well as companies that supply components essential to the growth of the sector. The fund will also offer €50,000 to pre-incorporation teams developing promising quantum technologies. Additionally, Quantum Delta NL will offer a support program for navigating the university spin-out process.
Samsung Electronics expanded its C-Lab startup incubation program, opening C-Lab Outside Gwangju to provide startups in Gwangju, South Korea, with up to 100.0M won ($76,400) in grants, consulting services, and opportunities to cooperate with Samsung. It is open to startups in many industries, with the initial selected companies in AI, healthcare, and materials. Samsung plans to open a C-Lab branch in Gyeongbuk, South Korea, next.
AI generated content and language processing were the big winners in March as investors followed up numerous large investments in the chatbot space over the last several months. According to reports, Spark Capital led or co-led both of the two largest rounds.
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Wireless technology is getting faster and more reliable, but it’s also becoming more challenging to support all of the necessary protocols.
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