Pharrowtech Raises €15M in Series A Funding to Develop the World’s First Viable Wireless Alternative to Fiber Optics
LEUVEN, Belgium–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pharrowtech, a leader in the design and development of millimeter wave (mmWave) hardware and software for next-generation wireless applications, today announces the closing of its $15 million Series A funding round. euros to continue to develop the next generation of 60 GHz wireless RF transceivers and antenna technology.
This investment round was led by Innovation Industries, a highly regarded Dutch-based high-tech investor, and joined by Seed Round investors imec.xpand, Bloc Ventures and KBC Focus Fund. The funding will enable Pharrowtech to accelerate the deployment of its recently launched PTR1060 60GHz CMOS radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) and PTM1060 radio frequency module (RFM) for license-free 5G fixed wireless access, wireless infrastructure and consumer applications. . The capital raised will also be used to provide best-in-class customer support, expand Pharrowtech’s operations in the United States, and grow its engineering and sales teams to drive the product roadmap and fuel future growth.
In a world driven by digital transformation, high-speed internet connectivity has become a crucial asset. Various economic and geographic factors are driving governments and businesses around the world to seek solutions that can bridge the digital divide and deliver lightning-fast connectivity. Pharrowtech provides a single solution, delivering gigabit per second speeds to wireless consumers and businesses. The company designs subsystems for license-free operations at 60 GHz. This frequency range is becoming increasingly important for applications such as remote work and learning, augmented and virtual reality, entertainment and gaming, thanks to its greater capacity and lower latency. Increasingly, network operators are looking to outdoor fixed wireless access (FWA) solutions as the most efficient and cost-effective way to deliver the required gigabit per second speed link to consumers. In parallel, due to the growing capabilities of 5G radio base stations, mobile operators are deploying mmWave solutions to meet the growing demand for backhaul network architectures for macro and high-density small cell deployments.
Building on imec’s R&D and prototypes, Pharrowtech recently announced the availability of the PTR1060, the first IEEE 802.11ay compliant CMOS RF chip for indoor and outdoor wireless use cases that supports supports the full bandwidth of 57 to 71 GHz. The company has also released PTM1060 Phased Array Antenna Modules (RFM) to provide OEMs/ODMs with a 60 GHz out-of-the-box solution. The levels of integration, performance and capabilities of Pharrowtech’s latest RFIC unlock the full potential of low cost, small form factor and low power FWA deployments, 5G and WiFi infrastructure backhauling, consumer electronics next-generation and IoT devices requiring high-speed links. Programming interfaces and tunable chip and antenna functionality allow for optimal integration by equipment manufacturers.
Both products are currently available to select customers and are already being designed by a leading US equipment supplier. The company is also providing demonstration and evaluation kits to consumers and will ramp up production in Q3 2022.
Wim Van Thillo, CEO and co-founder of Pharrowtech, says: “This year has started on a high note for Pharrowtech and this investment is another milestone in our journey. Despite the challenges posed by a global pandemic, Pharrowtech was able to quickly move from imec R&D prototypes in 2019 to scale-up production of an exceptionally advanced 60 GHz RF solution by 2022. Our agility and capabilities enabled us to stay ahead of the curve, delivering solutions that will shape the future of ubiquitous connectivity. We would like to thank our team, our investors, our partners and above all our customers for their confidence in us. With the next phase of our growth underway, we are committed to delivering RF solutions to multi-GHz links to enable low-cost infrastructure and consumer applications.
Sander Verbrugge, Partner, Innovation Industries, comments: “Pharrowtech is leading the way in enabling the next generation of connectivity with its cutting-edge technology and products. Connectivity and broadband fuel innovation and are essential to modern society. We are proud to be part of this journey and to support this world-class team in achieving their global ambitions.
David Leftley, CTO, Bloc Ventures, adds: “The global network infrastructure is rapidly evolving from expensive and cumbersome technology to an agile and easy to deploy ecosystem. Pharrowtech is at the forefront of this revolution, improving bandwidth connectivity for all stakeholders. The team’s latest innovations are a testament to their expertise, execution and commitment, and we’re excited to support them in their future endeavours.
Peter Vanbekbergen, Partner, imec.xpand, says: “Pharrowtech is a prime example of how a product-focused imec spin-off can accelerate the introduction of cutting-edge technologies to market. This investment supports this accelerated market introduction and will further strengthen Pharrowtech’s strategic positioning in the wireless ecosystem. We are proud to help Pharrowtech become a world-class player in this ecosystem.
Rudi Severijns, Investment Director, KBC Focus Fund, adds: “As a leading investor in DeepTech with a clear focus on semiconductors and leveraging the KBC Group network across its businesses in Belgium and neighboring countries, KBC Focus Fund is committed to actively supporting the ecosystem , working closely with like-minded investors like imec.xpand , Bloc Ventures and Innovation Industries. Pharrowtech’s cutting-edge technology will change the current trajectory of the wireless ecosystem and we are proud to have partnered with them from the start and continue to support their growth journey.
Pharrowtech designs and develops millimeter-wave radio frequency (RF) technology for next-generation wireless applications, with products including RFIC semiconductors, phased antenna arrays, and software solutions. Pharrowtech’s flagship products serve fast-growing markets including broadband 5G fixed wireless access (FWA), consumer electronics (CE) products such as virtual reality (VR) headsets and televisions, as well as as IoT applications for smart cities.
About Innovation Industries
Innovation Industries is a leading deep technology venture capital fund investing in deep technology, medical technology and agribusiness technology. Its team lives and breathes technology, with diverse and complementary backgrounds in (bio)physics, physiology, chemistry, engineering, etc., combined with extensive industry experience. Industrial Industries has a hands-on approach, actively supporting its portfolio companies.
Imec.xpand is a seed and growth venture capital fund with a breakthrough approach to transforming hardware-driven nanotechnology innovation into successful global companies. The fund is independently managed by a team of entrepreneurs, seasoned venture capitalists and business experts and targets ambitious technology start-ups that meet all the criteria to become a successful and scalable company with the potential to change the world.
About Bloc Ventures
Bloc Ventures, founded by industry veterans from ARM and Vodafone, is an investment firm that targets early-stage “deep” technology companies, working closely with them to build global leaders. Structured to identify and exploit attractive investment opportunities, Bloc’s collaborative approach creates long-term value and mitigates risk for investors.
About KBC Focus Fund
The KBC Focus Fund is a 50 million euro venture capital fund that focuses on deeptech. We have the ambition to boost the nanotechnology, microelectronics and IoT sector. We mainly focus on Belgium and neighboring countries where there are renowned centers of expertise in this technological field.
The KBC Focus Fund relies on the network and expertise of the KBC Group and is managed by KBC Securities. KBC Securities has a solid knowledge of the technology ecosystem in Belgium and beyond with experienced teams in the M&A, Corporate Finance and Research & Sales departments. As a member of KBC Group, the KBC Focus Fund aims to be a long-term partner for entrepreneurs.
Imec is a world-leading research and innovation center in the field of nanoelectronics and digital technologies. Imec relies on its state-of-the-art R&D infrastructure and its team of more than 5,000 top-level employees and researchers, for R&D in advanced semiconductors and system scaling, silicon photonics , artificial intelligence, beyond 5G communication and sensing technologies, and in application areas such as health and life sciences, mobility, industry 4.0, agri-food, cities smart, sustainable energy, education, … Imec brings together global industry leaders across the semiconductor value chain, Flanders-based and international technology, pharmaceutical, medical and ICT companies, start-ups , and academic and knowledge centers. Imec is headquartered in Leuven (Belgium) and has research sites in Belgium, the Netherlands and the United States, as well as offices in China, India, Taiwan and Japan. In 2020, imec’s turnover (P&L) amounted to 680 million euros.