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Startup Funding: January 2022

Analog/mixed-signal and wireless designers get funding; China’s startups; 104 companies raise over $3.3B.

popularity

China’s startups are the star of the month once again, with more companies based or co-headquartered in the country receiving funding in January 2022 than the rest of the world combined. Exact investment figures for Chinese startups are frequently not reported, but based on minimum amounts given, they raised more than the rest of the world as well.

The largest round of the month went to a company specializing in display connection chips as it looks towards an IPO. Analog, mixed-signal, and wireless communications companies did well overall, making up a large portion of the semiconductor design startups featured this month. Positioning was important, too, with funding for companies delivering everything from small time-of-flight and ultra-wideband (UWB) ranging sensors for IoT and mobile to lidar and radar systems for automotive.

AI hardware remained as popular as ever, with one company drawing over $100 million for edge computer vision and another emerging from stealth with a new multi-thread processing architecture for HPC. Plus, wafer manufacturers, packaging companies, and EDA startups round out this look at 104 companies that in January 2022 collectively raised over $3.3 billion.

Semi & design

Analogix Semiconductor raised CNY 1500.0M (~$235.8M) pre-IPO round of financing led by Shenzhen Venture Capital joined by numerous other investors. Analogix specializes in display connectors, with a wide range of retimers, display controllers, converters, and timing controllers for different protocols. Some of its products include a low-power, mobile-device-to-HDMI-display connector over USB, zero-power HDMI transmitter, and DisplayPort to Quad MIPI-DSI display controllers for AR/VR. Funds will be used for hiring, R&D, and expanding product lines. Founded in 2002, it is based in Suzhou, China, and Santa Clara, California, USA.

ChemSemi raised over CNY 1000.0M (~$157.8M) in Series A funding led by China Internet Investment Fund and Summitview Capital, joined by Xiaomi Changjiang Industry Fund, CICC Capital, Huaxing Growth Capital, GuoLian Fund, TF Capital, and QUICK. ChemSemi designs and manufactures HBT, pHEMT, and VCSEL devices, with a focus on gallium nitride (GaN) for 5G applications. Funds will be used to expand its production capacity. Founded in 2020 with technology transferred from GCS (Global Communication Semiconductors), it is based in Yangzhou, China.

Eigencomm, also known as Yixin Communications, raised CNY 1000.0M (~$157.8M) in a Series C round led by SoftBank Vision Fund and joined by Cathay Capital, CoStone Venture Capital, GF Qianhe Investment, and Chobe Capital, along with existing shareholders Qiming Venture Partners, Fenghuo Capital, China Fellow Partners, Xingwang Investment, and China Universal Asset Management. Eigencomm develops cellular communications chips for IoT devices and currently offers NB-IoT solutions, with plans to release a CAT1bis chip. The funds will be used for R&D on 5G chips for IoT applications. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2017.

Atmosic drew $72.0M in venture funding led by Sutter Hill Ventures. Atmosic develops Bluetooth SoCs that utilize energy harvesting to improve efficiency and reduce the need to replace batteries in wireless connected devices. It also aims to enable battery-free devices. The company recently released a family of Bluetooth 5.3 SoCs that support on-chip RF energy harvesting, as well as photovoltaic, thermal, motion, and other energy harvesting technologies. “Atmosic’s strong growth is proof of the demand for more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient solutions to reduce the billions of batteries that are disposed of every year,” said David Su, CEO of Atmosic. “With this new funding and the introduction of the ATM33 series, Atmosic is setting a new benchmark for the IoT industry with best-in-class power-efficiency and performance to fulfill our mission of a battery-free IoT.” Founded in 2016, it is based in Campbell, California, USA.

IC Valley Microelectronics, also known as Xingu Microelectronics, raised nearly CNY 400.0M (~$63.1M) in Series C financing that included GF Qianhe Investment and CoStone Venture Capital. The startup develops microwave and millimeter wave ICs. It offers products mostly based on gallium arsenide (GaAs) and gallium nitride (GaN), including amplifiers, multi-function chips, switches, attenuators, phase shifters, and frequency multipliers. Founded in 2014, it is based in Hefei, China.

Tinychip, also known as Taisil Micro, raised nearly CNY 300.0M (~$47.2M) in Series A+ funding led by Summitview Capital and joined by Fengyuan Fund, Xinyuxing Fund, and Oceanpine Capital. The company designs MCUs, including touch sensors for true wireless earbuds, analog front end, and power management devices for applications including consumer electronics, healthcare, automotive, and manufacturing. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2019.

NewRadio Technology raised CNY 200.0M (~$31.4M) in Series A financing. NewRadioTech uses Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology to produce a full-space precise ranging and positioning SoC for next-generation communication infrastructure. It also provides antenna tuners, 5G/B5G transceivers, data converters, and 5G eMTC and NB-IoT SoCs for a range of applications including smartphones, automotive, wearables, and object locating. Funds will be used for productization of UWB chips and developing new product directions. Founded in 2016, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

PanChip Microelectronics raised nearly CNY 200.0M (~$31.4M) in venture investment from Citic Juxin, Shanghai Furong Investment, Zhidao Capital, and others. PanChip develops wireless communications chips for IoT devices and indoor positioning systems. It offers an LPWAN chip, Bluetooth Low Energy chips that incorporate AOA (Angle-of-Arrival) technology, and 2.4 GHz wireless communication SoCs. Founded in 2010, it is based in Shanghai, China.

Bonray, also known as Borui Jixin, raised “hundreds of millions of yuan” (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in Series D funding from Hunan Hi-Tech Venture Capital, Shenzhen Capital Group, Shenzhen Guozhong Venture Capital Management, and others. The company produces RF and microwave chips and GaN power amplifiers for applications including communications, radar, and avionics. It also offers packaging and test services. Funds will be used for R&D, hiring, and constructing a new product line. Founded in 2013, it is based in Xi’an, China.

Aluksen Optoelectronics, also known as Aoke Optoelectronics, raised over CNY 100.0M (~$15.8M) in Series B funding from Walden International, SDIC Venture Capital, and others. Aluksen designs and manufactures analog and mixed-signal integrated optoelectronic chips, with a focus on long-haul core network, data center infrastructure, 5G carrier network, and FTTx optical networking. It offers optical modulator driver chips, TIA chips, CDR chips, and PON products. Founded in 2016, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

FreqChip, also known as Furikun Microelectronics, raised over CNY 100.0M (~$15.8M) in Series B funding. FreqChip develops Bluetooth Low Energy chips with product series for a range of applications including smart home, smart meters, and wearables, as well as a dual-mode BLE EDR audio chip for wearables and TWS earbuds. Funds will be used in developing new generations of products and market promotion. Founded in 2014, it is based in Shanghai, China.

Siliconwave Electronic Technology, also known as Si Lei, raised over CNY 100.0M (~$15.8M) in a Series A+ round. The fabless company designs analog and RF front-end chips, including for mobile, wearables, and IoT, with products such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth audio, UWB communications, and 400MHz antennas. Funds will be used for R&D and to increase the pace of product iterations. Based in Hefei, China, it was founded in 2017.

Soundcore Electronic Technology, also known as Sxsaw, raised CNY 100.0M (~$15.8M) in a Series A+ round from Dynamic Balance Capital, Orient Securities Capital Investment, SR Capital, and others. Soundcore Electronic Technology designs, manufactures, packages, and tests surface acoustic wave (SAW) RF devices. Its products include SAW RF chips and modules, SAW filters, duplexers, and resonators for wireless communications including 4G/5G, IoT, smart home, satellite, and radar applications. Founded in 2019, it is based in Zhangjiagang, China.

Senwellen, also known as Shengwei Lun Communication, raised nearly CNY 100.0M (~$15.8M) in its fourth financing round that included China Capital Management and Decent Capital. Senwellen focuses on millimeter wave and terahertz wave communications devices, providing antennas, modules, and passive components. It plans to use the funds to expand its R&D team. It is also looking into a public listing. Founded in 2018, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

Mauna Kea Semiconductors (MKSemi, also known as Hanwei Microelectronics) raised $12.8M in a pre-A+ round led by Lightspeed China Partners with participation by Qiming Venture and Ivy Capital. The startup offers a low power ultra-wideband SoC for high-precision ranging and location sensing in small IoT devices. “Already working closely with tier one smartphone OEMs, MK8000 [MKSemi’s UWB SoC] also has wide-ranging potential to dramatically bolster consumer and industrial IoT applications such as smart homes, cities, automobiles, wearables, and health monitoring devices,” said Yifeng Zhang, co-founder and CEO of MKSemi. Based in Shanghai, China, and San Jose, California, USA, it was founded in 2019.

SENSilicon, also known as Shanhai Semiconductor, raised over $10.0M in angel and pre-Series A funding that included Cowin Capital, SCGC, Bluerun Ventures, and Dalton Venture. The startup is developing mid-to-high-end analog and mixed-signal chips including signal chain chips. Founded in 2020, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

Chengyi Semiconductors raised CNY 10.0M (~$1.6M) from Dongfang Rongshi. Chengyi Semiconductors is a fabless company developing power, analog, and mixed-signal ICs, with products including USB Type-C interfaces, general-purpose step-down DCDCs, general-purpose power switches and current-limiting power switches, as well as general-purpose analog switches and high-speed signal switches. Founded in 2014, it is based in Shanghai, China.

Efabless raised an undisclosed amount in Series A1 financing led by New North Ventures. Efabless provides a marketplace for SoCs and IP, with a focus on analog and mixed signal. It offers design and development of custom ICs with “design-to-prototype” solutions for open-source and proprietary designs through multi-project wafer shuttles. “[Efabless] created an open source and community platform that changes the formula for chip design, reducing the friction to learn, develop, and manufacture chips,” said Jeremy Hitchcock, partner at New North Ventures. “By making the process more affordable and accessible, they can empower more designers in exploding markets like IoT and machine learning where the benefits of purpose-built silicon can be 1000x faster and more power efficient. Designers today include chip experts, software developers and hardware developers from Fortune 100 companies, startups and academia, and they are just getting started.” Founded in 2014, it is based in Palo Alto, California, USA.

IP developer Actt, also known as Ruichengxin Micro, received strategic investment from BYD. The company designs a range of IP, with lines for ultra-low power analog IP including PMU, clock, ADC/DAC/CODEC, and I/O; non-volatile memory IP including MTP, EEPROM, and eFlash; RF IP for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; and interface IP including PCIe, DDR, USB, and MIPI. It also offers design services and manufacturing management services. Founded in 2011, it is based in Chengdu, China.

Chaocai Information raised an undisclosed amount in Series A4 funding. The company offers RF chips, including ­SAW filters and duplexers. Founded in 2017, it is based in Beijing, China.

Norel Systems (Norelsys) raised an undisclosed amount of funding. The company develops high-speed mixed-signal SoCs, including UHD video transport, automotive HUD video transport, and USB controllers. Founded in 2009, it is based in Tianjin, China.

Yunlian Semiconductor, also known as Yunlink Semi, raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Hefei Hi-Tech Venture Capital. The company develops audio and video transmission, interface, and processing chips for low power IoT devices. Its product lines include HDMI, MIPI, Bluetooth Low Energy, and MCUs. It also offers custom design and consulting services. Founded in 2020, it is based in Hefei, China.

AI hardware

Axera drew CNY 800.0M (~$125.9M) in a Series A++ financing round from Qiming Venture Partners, Inno-Chip, Meituan, Dragon Ball Capital, Heju Investment, GGV Capital, Legend Star, and Glory Ventures. The startup is focused on chips for edge computer vision, including applications like facial recognition and object detection, and says it’s also working on a neural network accelerator. Funds will be used for hiring and expansion. Founded in 2019, Axera is based in Beijing, China.

Artosyn raised over CNY 500.0M (~$78.6M) in Series B and B+ rounds from Prosperity Investment, F&G Venture, and Sany Group. Artosyn develops edge AI, intelligent vision, and wireless audio/video transmission SoCs for applications including drones, security, and automotive. Funds will be used for hiring, R&D, and market expansion. Founded in 2011, it is based in Shanghai, China.

AI hardware startup Ceremorphic emerged from stealth with a $50.0M Series A round funded by the company’s founders. Ceremorphic is designing chips and architectures for high-performance computing, including AI training and automotive. The company’s first silicon product, a Hierarchical Learning Processor (HLP), is built on a TSMC 5nm process and utilizes its own ThreadArch multi-thread processing architecture. It includes a custom ML processor, FPU, and video engines. The company says it supports PCIe 6.0 and CXL 3.0. “Having developed many innovations in multi-thread processing, algorithm driven VLSI, reliable performance circuits, low-energy interface circuits, quantum resistant security microarchitecture, and new device architectures beyond CMOS, Ceremorphic is well on its way to accomplish our goals,” said Venkat Mattela, founder and CEO of Ceremorphic. “The challenges this market faces with “reliable performance computing” cannot be solved with existing architectures, but rather needs a completely new architecture built specifically to provide reliability, security, energy efficiency, and scalability.” Founded in 2020, it is based in San Jose, California, USA.

Neuchips raised $32.5M in venture funding. The startup is developing AI inference accelerators and has launched one targeted for deep learning recommendation models running in data centers that it says can perform 500,000 inferences per second. Neuchips is also working on edge neural network accelerator IP as well as a high-efficiency CNN architecture. Based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, the startup was founded in 2019.

WITiNMEM raised CNY 200.0M (~$31.6M) in a Series B1 round led by LH Ventures and joined by Silicon Paradise, Ruixin Investment, iFlyTech Ventures, Puhua Capital, China Merchants Capital, and others. WITiNMEM develops low-power AI chips based on a processing-in-memory architecture using NOR flash. It offers an integrated development tool chain and currently targets intelligent voice and wearable products, with more products planned for ultra-high-definition video, automotive, and smart city applications. Founded in 2017, it is based in Beijing, China.

Moffett AI raised “several hundred million yuan” (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in Series A investment led by CoStone Venture Capital and the Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund, joined by Co-Power Capital Management, Grand China Capital, and Shenzhen Angel Fund of Funds. Moffett AI designs AI inference chips with a focus on sparse neural network models, which have had redundant information pruned to speed up processing. The funds will be put toward mass production of its first chip, which it says can be used for a variety of common AI models with reduced power consumption. It also plans to release two AI accelerator cards using the design in early 2022. Founded in 2018, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

Shencong Semiconductor, also known as ShensiliCon, raised CNY 100.0M (~$15.8M) in Series A funding from Yadea, AISpeech, Oriza Holdings, Zhuhai Da Heng Qin, and Suzhou Industrial Park Science and Technology Innovation Fund. The company designs chips for AI speech recognition in smart home, automotive, wearables, and smart speaker applications. Founded in 2018, it is based in Shanghai, China.

Ccvui, also known as Xinsheng Intelligence, raised “tens of millions of yuan” (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.6M) in a Series A round from Forebright Capital. The startup develops low-power chips and AI algorithms for intelligent speech recognition in consumer electronics and IoT. It is currently collaborating to put its chips in smart helmets. Founded in 2018, it is based in Hangzhou, China.

Nano-Core Chip raised “tens of millions of yuan” (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.6M) in a pre-Series A round from Hubei Xiaomi Changjiang Industrial Investment Fund Management, Liling Fund, Sequoia China, and Beijing Yuanpei Fund. Nano-Core Chip develops chips for AIoT devices utilizing an ultra-low power event-driven chip architecture, closed-loop adaptive near-threshold circuit, ultra-low power high-precision sensing technology, and energy-efficient embedded AI engine technology. Applications for its chips include consumer electronics, wearables, smart home, and household appliances. With the funding, it plans to set up R&D sub-centers in the Netherlands, Beijing, and Shenzhen. It also plans to explore new fields such as new energy vehicles, robots, unmanned vehicles, intelligent manufacturing, and smart cities. Founded in 2021, it is based in Hangzhou, China.

Denglin Technology raised an undisclosed amount of strategic financing from Qualcomm Ventures and Everbright Capital. The startup develops cloud AI accelerators based on GPUs. The company’s GPU+ is a software-defined on-chip heterogeneous architecture based on general-purpose GPU and optimized for AI, which it says provides greater energy efficiency compared to traditional GPU. It is compatible with CUDA/OpenCL and available in several PCIe board formats. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2017.

EDA

DSP Concepts raised $28.0M in Series C funding led by individual investor Yuchun Lee, who is now executive chairman, and joined by Sony Innovation Fund, Subaru, Porsche Digital, and others. DSP Concepts offers a graphical design environment for creation of signal processing solutions and prototyping of embedded audio and voice processing in consumer devices and automotive. “These additional funds will provide significant support to our continued expansion,” said Chin Beckmann, CEO and co-founder of DSP Concepts. “We have grown our revenue by more than 100% since 2019 and are seeing our growth accelerate into 2022. The additional funding will help us keep ahead of audio technology trends and continue our effort in solving challenging acoustic and engineering problems for our customers and partners.” Founded in 2015, it is based in Santa Clara, California, USA.

EDA startup X-Epic raised “hundreds of millions” of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in Series B+ financing led by China Development Bank Capital. 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, and a scalable formal verification tool based on word-level modelling. It also offers verification consulting. Based in Nanjing, China, it was founded in 2020.

EDA startup X-Times Design Automation raised “hundreds of millions of yuan” (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in Series A+ financing from Capital Today and Shanghai International Group. X-Times is developing EDA tools and provides IC design consulting services. It aims to offer a full suite of analog and digital implementation tools. The company also provides and supports Synopsys’ Tweaker ECO product in the Chinese market. Founded in 2020, it is based in Nanjing, China.

PCB design inspection startup CADY raised $3.0M in seed funding from Teramips Technologies and individual investor Udi Peless, joined by TAU Ventures, Today Ventures, Aristagora VC, Tal Capital, Atooro, and additional private investors. CADY has developed an automotive PCB design inspection software that parses the datasheets of chips and electrical components in the electrical schematic and cross-checks them against connections in the design to detect errors at early stages. “Now, more than ever, there is an imminent need for an automatic inspection tool, based on AI technology, to inspect electrical schematics,” said Gilad Shapira, CADY’s CEO. “The system we developed is first of its kind, able to fuse both electrical board design theory and machine learning disciplines to read electrical components datasheets and inspect electrical schematics immediately and comprehensively.” Founded in 2020, it is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Inventhub raised pre-seed funding led by Fatima Gobi Ventures, joined by a number of individual investors. Inventhub provides a web-based integrated collaboration tool for rapid PCB design. It aims to bring agile development to electronic product design, using git version control to manage, share, and review design files. It can generate Bill of Materials, get supply chain insights, and create an electronic components database. It connects to a range of ECAD design tools, currently supporting Altium Designer, Autodesk Eagle, and KiCad, with support for Cadence Allegro, OrCAD, and Siemens PADS on the way. Founded in 2019, it is based in San Francisco, California, USA.

Manufacturing

PragmatIC Semiconductor received a $5.0M strategic investment from Amcor as part of its Series C round. PragmatIC manufactures flexible electronics for IoT devices, offering foundry services, deployment of its FlexLogIC fabrication equipment, and a line of ultra-low-cost RFID devices. “We are delighted to partner with PragmatIC Semiconductor to explore ways to leverage and integrate these flexible, integrated circuits into our portfolio of more sustainable packaging solutions,” said Frank Lehmann, Vice President Open Innovation and Corporate Venturing at Amcor. PragmatIC also recently collaborated with Arm to produce a flexible plastic microprocessor. Founded in 2021, it is based in Cambridge, UK.

3D Glass Solutions (3DGS) extended its Series B1 round with an additional $4.0M investment from Menlo Microsystems, Corning Incorporated, and Sun Mountain Capital. The company develops glass-ceramic-based three-dimensional passive radio frequency (RF) devices for use in 5G, autonomous vehicles, military and defense, and big data applications. 3DGS says its process produces low RF material loss to minimize power consumption and provide high-performance integration for advanced electronics systems, resulting in passive components with optimized electrical performance and ultra-low transmission loss. It also touts intermediate coefficient of thermal expansion to minimize in-process and final product warp, precise 3D structuring of Through Glass Vias for input and output signals, and a smooth surface that enables fine-line metallization to achieve high interconnect density. Founded in 2006, it is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

Dream Ink, also known as Mengzhimo Technology, raised “tens of millions of yuan” (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.6M) in Series B2 financing from SMIC and others. The company provides liquid metal additive manufacturing for flexible electronics. It has both a desktop-level electronic circuit rapid production system and an industrial-level flexible electronic printing service platform. The funds will be used for large-scale product line construction, hiring, and R&D. Based in Beijing, China, it was founded in 2014 based on research conducted at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University.

Packaging & test

National Center For Advanced Packaging China (NCAP China) also known as Huajin Semiconductor, raised over CNY 200.0M (~$31.6M) in Series A financing from Shenzhen Capital Group, Turing Ventures, and others. NCAP China is an R&D and commercialization center for advanced packaging, testing, and system integration. Current research directions include 2.5D/3D technology and TSV, high density wafer level packaging, SiP product development capabilities, and advanced materials and equipment technologies for microelectronics packaging. Founded in 2012, it is based in Wuxi, China.

Anmuquan Intelligent Technology (AMQ Intelligent) raised “several hundred million yuan” (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in Series B financing that included SMIC, Shanghai Simai Assets, Shenzhen Venture Capital, and others. The startup provides packaging and testing, including system-in-package, flip-chip, wire bonding, package design and simulation services, and reliability testing. Funds will be used to accelerate the company’s advanced packaging projects as well as capacity expansion, hiring, and R&D. Founded in 2019, it is based in Changsha, China.

Keyang Semiconductor (KYS) raised over CNY 100.0M (~$15.8M) in a strategic investment. The company offers packaging and testing services, with a focus on wafer-level packaging, TSV packages, and fingerprint recognition devices. The funds will be used to upgrade its CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) production line and expand its 5G filter production line. Founded in 2013, it is based in Suzhou, China.

Hefei Sensor Turnkey Service (HSTS) raised nearly CNY 50.0M (~$7.9M) in a Series A round that included Hefei Industry Investment Group. HSTS specializes in CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) packaging and testing services covering 8-inch and 12-inch wafer testing, grinding, cutting, and module and terminal IC testing. It also has an RF test business and offers logic and memory IC test services as well as development of test programs. Funds will be used to purchase equipment and in development of new production lines. Founded in 2020, it is based in Hefei, China.

Wafertest, also known as Weifu Semiconductor, drew “tens of millions of yuan” (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.6M) in a Series A+ round. The company provides wafer test, finished product test, reliability testing, and grinding. Along with SoCs and MCUs, it tests memory, sensor, PMU, and analog devices. Based in Jiaxing, China, it was founded in 2017.

Equipment

Lizhu Intelligent Equipment raised over CNY 100.0M (~$15.8M) in Series B funding from CITIC Capital Holdings, Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment, and others. Lizhu provides semiconductor packaging and testing equipment, including flip-chip packaging, test sorting, visual inspection, laser marking, and RF test equipment. Founded in 2018, it is based in Tianjin, China.

Attonics Systems received a $2.0M investment from Ability Enterprise. Attonics Systems offers handheld spectrometers using an interferometer chip that allows for high-resolution, real-time spectral sensing. It has applications in a range of industries. For semiconductors, the company says it can be used in plasma process monitoring and wafer inspection, with the ability to measure quality of plasma, detect critical end-points during etching, cleaning, and deposition, and measure surface roughness and thin-film thickness. A spin out from the University of Singapore in 2015, it is based in Singapore.

NUBURU raised an undisclosed amount of venture funding from Anzu Partners, GRAPHA Holdings, and individual investor Thomas Wilson. NUBURU provides high-power, high-performance blue laser systems for welding copper, aluminum, and dissimilar metals. Along with applications including industrial, large-scale welding and additive manufacturing, the company also says it is good for fast void- and spatter-free welding for consumer electronics. Based in Centennial, Colorado, USA, it was founded in 2015.

Materials

Vital Thin Film Materials (VTFM) raised over CNY 1200.0M (~$188.3M) in Series A financing led by CICC Capital and BYD, joined by Sinopec Capital and TBEA. VTFM produces and recycles sputtering targets and evaporation materials for physical vapor deposition. Products include high-purity metals, alloys, and ceramics for applications including display, photovoltaic, semiconductor, LED, data storage, and optics. It plans to use the funds for R&D including further investment in sputtering targets. Started in 2015 as a joint venture between Vital Materials and Unicore, it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Vital Materials in 2017. It is based in Guangzhou, China.

Wafer maker GCL Semiconductor, also known as Xinxin Semiconductor, raised over CNY 1000.0M (~$156.9M) in Series A funding from investors including Yijing Capital, Cindafund Investment, and Stony Creek Capital. GCL Semiconductor manufactures 12-inch silicon wafers for logic and memory ICs. It plans to use the funds for R&D, equipment purchasing, and expanding production, eventually reaching a monthly capacity of 600,000 wafers. Based in Xuzhou, China, it was created in 2017 as a subsidiary of GCL Group.

Lineprinting Materials, also known as Lanpei New Material Technology, raised CNY 410.0M (~$64.5M) in Series A+ financing from V-Capital and Shanghai Baoding Investment Management. The company produces nano-crystalline alloy materials and FPC coils for wireless chargers, as well as supplying complete wireless chargers and solutions for receivers and transmitters. It also develops extra-large touchscreen modules. Founded in 2012, it is based in Wuxi, China.

Wafer company Sicreat, also known as New Micron Nano Technology, raised over CNY 300.0M (~$47.2M) in Series B funding from Dingfeng Asset, Zhidao Capital, and others. Sicreat offers a range of wafers, including SOI, FZ, CZ, double side polished, glass, and custom wafers, along with prime, test, and dummy qualities. It also provides wafer lapping, polishing, thinning, and reclamation services. The funds will be used for expanding its manufacturing capacity with the addition of new factories and clean rooms. Founded in 2013, it is based in Suzhou, China.

Lattice Grand Technology raised CNY 50.0M (~$7.9M) in angel financing from GSR United Capital. The company manufactures thin film ceramic packaging substrates. The company says the ceramic substrate provides high frequency stability, line accuracy, surface flatness, insulation, and thermal conductivity, with applications including 5G front-end discrete devices and modules as well as optoelectronics. Founded in 2020, it is based in Nanchang, China.

Ginet New Material, also known as Jinyi New Material, received an undisclosed amount of strategic investment from China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, SDIC Venture Capital, and Suzhou International Development Venture Capital. The company produces inorganic and non-metallic powders for a range of industries, including electronics where it has a line of micro-powders for copper clad laminate applications. It also has a range of products for thermal conductivity. Formed in 2005, it is based in Suzhou, China.

Memory & storage

Hosin Global Electronics, also known as Hongxinyu Electronics, raised CNY 150.0M (~$23.6M) in strategic financing from Hefei Industry Investment Group, Lianhe Capital, Shenzhen Investment Holdings, and SZHTI Group. Hosin Global offers a range of storage and memory devices, including USB flash drives, eMMC/UFS, DRAM, SPI NAND, SSD, and SD cards. The funding will be used to investigate integrated storage and computing architectures, R&D of encryption and error correction, and expanding its product lines. Founded in 2018, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

Memory startup Innostar Semiconductor raised “hundreds of millions of yuan” (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in Series A financing from Yijing Capital, Atlas Capital, Co-Bridge Capital, and others. Innostar is developing resistive RAM (ReRAM) technology to bridge the gap between flash SSDs and DRAM. The company says it has achieved mass production of ReRAM in 28nm/22nm nodes. Funding will be used in developing in-memory computing products, as well as R&D on medium and high-density storage. Based in Shanghai, China, the company was founded in 2019.

Power devices

Xysemi, also known as Saixin Electronic, raised CNY 215.0M (~$33.8M) in a pre-IPO funding round. The company develops lithium-ion battery protection solutions and power management chips for devices such as headphones, smartphones, and wearables. Founded in 2008, it is based in Suzhou, China.

Senko Microelectronics, also known as Xinggan Semiconductor, raised “tens of millions of yuan” (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.6M) in Series B funding from GT Capital, Ningbo Angel Capital Guiding Fund, and Ningbo Huatong Chuangtou. Senko Micro develops current sensor chips, linear magnetic sensor chips, and magnetic switches for applications such as transformers, series resistance detection, isolators, and battery power monitoring optimization in automotive, industrial, and consumer electronics. The funding will be used for hiring and developing its automotive electronics product line. Founded in 2013, it is based in Shanghai, China.

Jiaen Semiconductor raised an undisclosed amount of pre-Series A financing from Sunshine Venture Capital and others. Jiaen Semiconductor develops power semiconductors including IGBT, MOSFET, FRD, and SBD. Applications include consumer electronics, EVs, power management, industrial, and lighting. Founded in 2015, it is based in Qingdao, China.

X-IPM, also known as ­Xinkansen Technology, received an undisclosed amount in angel investment. The startup develops power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), which are available both as discrete components and modules for a range of applications. Founded in 2020, it is based in Nanjing, China.

Sensors

Gova Technology, also known as Gaohua Technology, raised “hundreds of millions of yuan” (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in venture financing from SDIC Venture Capital and others. The company develops MEMS sensors and inertial measurement units (IMUs) for use in aerospace, high-speed rail, and various heavy industrial fields. Its sensors were used in the Chang’e 4 lunar mission. Funding will be used for new technology and product development. Founded in 2000, it is based in Nanjing, China.

Silicon Integrated raised “several hundred million yuan” (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in Series D financing led by Wuyuan Capital, joined by ByteDance, Juhua Chuanxin Investment, and existing shareholders including Huaye Tiancheng and Source Code Capital. Silicon Integrated has two main product lines, 3D image sensors and smart audio amplifiers. The line of time-of-flight (ToF) 3D CMOS image sensors uses back-side illumination (BSI) technology with applications in face identification, AR/VR, motion capture, 3D modeling, machine vision, and automotive. The company’s audio amplifiers include its proprietary Sound Intelligence algorithms for speaker protection and audio boosting in consumer electronics. It is also investing in color temperature detection for OLED screens, multispectral sensing, and ranging. Funds will be used for further iteration and commercialization of existing product lines, expanding to new products including haptic feedback, and hiring. Founded in 2016, it is based in Wuhan, China.

VisionICs Microelectronics raised “hundreds of millions of yuan” (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in strategic financing from Chendao Capital, GoerTek, BYD, and others. The startup develops single-photon avalanche diode direct time-of-flight (SPAD dToF) sensors, with products including both 1D dToF and 3D dToF chips. Applications include robotic vacuum cleaners, UAVs, and mobile phones, as well as AR/VR, smart home, and automotive lidar. Funding will be used for mass production and developing new products. Founded in 2018, it is based in Nanjing, China.

AirTouch Intelligent Technology raised over CNY 100.0M (~$15.8M) in a Series C round from TCL Technology, SDIC Venture Capital, and Fosun RZ Capital. AirTouch develops radar sensors, with a line of radar chips in the 5.8GHz ISM frequency band covering high-performance, low-power, cost-effective, and MCU integrated radar SoC. It also has radar sensor chips working in the 10.525GHz frequency band. Applications include smart lighting, smart home, smart appliances, security, and various other IoT devices. The funds will be used to market the company’s existing chips and develop a full range of 24GHz, 60GHz and 77GHz radar products. AirTouch also plans to expand its product line, including “BLE + radar” dual-mode chips and dedicated MCU chips. Founded in 2017, it is based in Shanghai, China.

V-Sensor Technology, also known as Micro Vision Sensor Technology, raised “tens of millions of yuan” (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.6M) in Series A financing from CLP Group. V-Sensor develops MEMS imaging sensors, including a MEMS micromirror chip, structured light projection module, and 3D depth camera. Applications include industrial inspection, facial recognition, lidar, laser microprojection, and optical communication. Based in Wuxi, China, it was founded in 2019.

GWIC, also known as North GuangWei, raised an undisclosed amount in strategic financing from Fujirui Optoelectronics. GWIC produces uncooled infrared detectors for military, automotive, security, and other night vision applications. Founded in 2006, it is based in Beijing, China.

Security

Secure-IC raised €20.0M (~$22.7M) in venture funding led by Alliance Entreprendre with the support of GO Capital and BNP Paribas Développement. Secure-IC offers a range of security products for embedded systems, including integrated Secure Elements and security IPs such at root of trust, crypto, and memory protection, with evaluation tools for security assurance and certification readiness. It also provides consulting expertise and security assessment services. The company aims to cover the entire security lifecycle of connected objects and embedded systems, from design through the management of fleets of deployed devices up to decommissioning. Founded in 2010, it is based in Cesson-Sévigné, France.

PQShield received $20.0M in Series A funding led by Addition, with participation from existing investors Oxford Science Enterprises and Crane Venture Partners. PQShield offers quantum-ready cryptographic products, including a configurable SoC suitable for secure elements, smart cards, and embedded security chips, a cryptographic SDK for mobile and server, and a toolkit for secure messaging platforms. The company is part of an effort underway at NIST to develop cryptographic standards that can withstand quantum computing attacks. Funds will be used for hiring and global expansion. A spin out from University of Oxford in 2018, it is based in Oxford, UK.

Quantum computing

Atom Computing raised $60.0M in Series B financing led by Third Point Ventures, followed by Prime Movers Lab, Innovation Endeavors, Venrock, and Prelude Ventures. The startup is developing quantum computers based on nuclear-spin qubits formed from neutral atoms. “Atom Computing designed and built our first-generation machine, Phoenix, in less than two years and our team was the fastest to deliver a 100-qubit system,” said Rob Hays, CEO and president, Atom Computing. “We gained valuable learnings from the system and have proven the technology. The investment announced today accelerates the commercialization opportunities and we look forward to bringing this to market.” With the investment, the company will focus on developing larger systems for commercial use cases. Based in Berkeley, California, USA, it was founded in 2018.

Terra Quantum raised $60.0M in Series A funding from Lakestar and other unnamed investors. Terra Quantum offers quantum technology as a service that includes a library of algorithms such as quantum-based optimization and quantum-based neural networks, new algorithm development, cloud access to quantum computers, and quantum secure communication and quantum key distribution (QKD) solutions. “The new funding will help us to strengthen our research capabilities, accelerate our industrial roll-out, and further extend our “Quantum-as-a-Service” product offering,” said Markus Pflitsch, founder and CEO of Terra Quantum. Founded in 2019, it is based in Roschach, Switzerland.

HQS Quantum Simulations raised over €12.0M (~$13.5M) in a Series A round led by Quantonation and joined by existing investors UVC Partners, btov Industrial Technologies, and HTGF. HQS Quantum Simulations develops software for the simulation of quantum-level models of materials and their molecular properties. It works on both classical systems and current quantum computers and aims to provide researchers a bridge for easily switching from one to the other. “The new financing round provides us with the resources we need to continue growing our team, strengthen our base, and find even more efficient ways of meeting the demands of our customers,” said Michael Marthaler, CEO at HQS Quantum Simulations. Founded in 2017 as a spin out from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, it is based in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Aegiq received £1.8M (~$2.4M) in seed funding led by High-Tech Gründerfonds, with participation of Deepbridge Capital and angel investors. Aegiq is building a quantum photonics platform using deterministic single-photon sources. “Building reliable and scalable networking for the quantum era is the linchpin that is needed to truly bring to life the impact of quantum technologies, including quantum computing and also sensing,” said Max Sich, CEO of Aegiq. “Our patented single-photon technology and novel integrated optics approach will allow us to offer next-generation quantum communications, unlocking new opportunities for our customers. The investment led by High-Tech Gründerfonds, alongside the other grants we’ve secured, will support our R&D and continue to elevate our offering.” A spin out from the University of Sheffield in 2019, it is based in Sheffield, UK.

Displays

Summer Sprout, also known as Xiahe Technology, raised CNY 300.0M (~$47.2M) in a Series D round. The company develops manufactures OLED materials, including transport, injection, and light-emitting layer materials for evaporation and solution processes. It also offers OLED optimization services and OLED material patent analysis services. Founded in 2017, it is based in Beijing, China.

HGC Lighting Solution, also known as Huayinxin Technology, drew  CNY 130.0M (~$20.4M) in Series B funding from Shenzhen Guozhong Venture Capital Management and Zhejiang Paradise. The company makes a variety of LED products, including flip-chip LED, vertical LED, high voltage LED, and Mini/Micro LEDs for automotive lighting, special light sources, display backlighting, and display modules. Funds will be used to expand the company’s R&D laboratory. Founded in 2017, it is based in Wuhan, China.

Nanometals Technology, also known as Najin Technology, raised over CNY 100.0M (~15.8M) in Series B financing. The company develops nano-silver wires primarily for flexible touch components. The funding will be used for product line expansion and to increase production capacity. Founded in 2015, it is based in Zhuhai, China.

Xiyu New Material Technology raised CNY 100.0M (~$15.8M) in Series A funding. The company develops nano-silver conductive and transparent films for use in displays and capacitive touchscreens, as well as silver inks and LCD dimming films for smart windows. Funds will be used for the construction of a new R&D and manufacturing base and development of new nano-silver products such as 5G antennas, nano-silver transparent shielding films, and new Mini/Micro-LED display materials. Founded in 2016, it is based in Chongqing, China.

Mesolight, also known as Xingshuo Nanotech, received nearly CNY 100.0M (~$15.8M) in venture financing. Mesolight produces quantum dot materials for flat panel displays, LEDs, and lighting. Its products include a wide range of quantum dot chemistries as well as QLED quantum dot inks. Funding will be used for mass production, R&D, and capacity expansion. Founded in 2012, it is based in Suzhou, China.

Fineset Material Technology raised an undisclosed amount in Series B+. The company produces optical clear adhesives used in backlight modules of liquid crystal displays and touchscreens of phones and tablets. Based in Suzhou, China, it was founded in 2016.

Sitan Technology raised an undisclosed amount in strategic investment from Xiaomi. The startup develops flexible transparent MicroLED displays, MicroLED modules, and a system for measuring MicroLED display characteristics. It currently operates a MicroLED pilot production line. Founded in 2018, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

AR/VR

Smart contact lens startup Mojo Vision raised $45.0M in Series B financing from Amazon Alexa Fund, PTC, Edge Investments, HiJoJo Partners, and others. Existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Liberty Global Ventures, Advantech Capital, AME Cloud Ventures, Dolby Family Ventures, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, and Open Field Capital also participated. Mojo Vision’s contact lens uses a microLED display to overlay images, symbols, and text on users’ field of vision without obstructing their view. The company is currently working on FDA approval. A particular focus for the company is providing performance data and real-time stats to athletes, and it has partnered with several sports apparel and app brands. Founded in 2015, it is based in Saratoga, California, USA.

Autonomy & ADAS

Autonomous driving startup Wayve raised $200.0M in a Series B round led by Eclipse Ventures, joined by D1 Capital Partners, Baillie Gifford, Moore Strategic Ventures, Linse Capital, Microsoft, Virgin Group, Compound, and Balderton Capital. Wayve uses a camera-first approach it says provides low unit cost and compatibility with different vehicle fleets. It says its machine learning platform, AV2.0, can adapt to new circumstances, cities, and vehicle types rather than relying on maps. “We believe Wayve’s innovative AV2.0 technology has significant advantages over rules-based AV approaches, which can be limited by edge cases and a lack of modularity. In addition, we believe Wayve’s fleet partnerships enable high quality data collection at scale that serves as a competitive advantage,” said Jeff Lerman of D1 Capital Partners. Funds will be used to develop a Level 4+ AV prototype for passenger vehicles and delivery vans and scale deployments on partner fleets, which include grocery companies Ocado and Asda. Founded in 2017, it is based in London, UK.

Autonomous shuttle startup May Mobility raised $83.0M in Series C financing led by Mirai Creation Fund and joined by new investors Tokio Marine and Toyota Tsusho, along with returning investors Toyota Ventures, Millennium Technology Value Partners, Cyrus Capital Partners, 1843 Capital, BMW i Ventures, and Bay Lake Ventures. May Mobility operates autonomous shuttle services that have been deployed in cities as well as corporate and university campuses. Its system combines lidar, radar, and cameras with its ‘Multi-Policy Decision Making’ technology for simulating the behavior of other road users. “With this initial Series C funding, our latest group of global strategic investment partners will enable us to rapidly deploy our technology on Toyota’s autonomous-ready platforms, including the Sienna Autono-MaaS,” said Edwin Olson, CEO of May Mobility. This is expected in 2023, the same year the company is planning for driverless operations. The funding will also be used for international expansion. Founded in 2017, it is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

ADASTECH, also known as Haomibo, raised “hundreds of millions” of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in Series A+ funding that included JAC Motors and Eastern Bell Capital. The company develops millimeter-wave radar systems for automotive, including blind spot detection, forward collision warning, traffic flow detection, and life detection. Founded in 2016, it is based in Suzhou, China.

Calterah Semiconductor raised “hundreds of millions of yuan” (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in Series C+ funding from China Merchants Capital, Fosun Capital, Gopher Asset Management, Green Harbor Investment, and Shenzhen Juntong Capital Investment Management. Calterah designs CMOS millimeter wave radar chips for automotive multi-mode radar, short-range radar, surround view radar, and in-cabin vital sign detection as well as industrial automation, smart home, and smart city applications. Its SoC lines are fully integrated with radar signal processing, and also offered with antenna-in-package (AiP). It currently has 77/79 GHz and 60 GHz product lines. Founded in 2014, it is based in Shanghai, China.

LiangDao Intelligence drew “hundreds of millions of yuan” (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in Series A+ funding from SDIC Capital Management and ArcSoft Technology. LiangDao Intelligence assists with development of lidar systems for automotive, including providing analysis of sensor functions, algorithm development, testing and validation solution for autonomous driving perception systems, and data processing and analysis tools. It also provides a roadside sensing fusion algorithm for lidar used in traffic monitoring applications. Founded in 2015, it is based in Beijing, China.

Automotive lidar startup Zvision Technologies, also known as Yijing Technology, raised “hundreds of millions of yuan” (CNY 100.0M is ~$15.8M) in pre-Series C funding from Xpeng Motors, Shang Qi Capital, Dongfeng Asset Management, and Intel Capital. The startup develops solid state MEMS lidar systems with long-range and short-range options. Funds will be used for R&D and to move to mass production. Based in Beijing, China, the company was founded in 2017.

Owl Autonomous Imaging drew $15.0M in Series A funding led by State Farm Ventures and joined by Excell Partners, Luminate NY Accelerator, Empire State Development, MHNW Consortium, and others. OwlAI offers a monocular 3D thermal imaging and ranging solutions for automotive active safety systems. The company says the system is particularly good at detecting pedestrians and cyclists more quickly than other sensor types and works in poor lighting and weather conditions. Founded in 2018, it is based in Fairport, New York, USA.

Qingtian Truck Technology raised nearly $10.0M in angel financing from 5Y Capital. The startup is focused on autonomous driving technology for trucking and logistics. The funds will be used for hiring and to road test its automated driving vehicles. Based in Beijing, China, it was founded in 2021.

Radar startup Zendar raised $4.0M as part of a Series B round from Hyundai Mobis. The startup is developing a high-definition software-defined radar for automotive applications, which Zendar says provides long range, all-weather operation with the resolution of lidar. The software fuses raw information from multiple radar front-ends with motion data from inertial measurement units and uses machine learning methods instead of traditional radar signal processing algorithms to detect targets. “Improving automotive radar systems with the conventional approach of adding more and more antenna channels is not very practical because of the high cost and complexity of the additional hardware required. This new investment from Hyundai Mobis strengthens our conviction that Zendar’s distributed aperture approach is the future of automotive radar, offering ten times better ability to detect and recognize objects without additional hardware cost,” said Vinayak Nagpal, co-founder and CEO of Zendar. Founded in 2017, it is based in Berkeley, California, USA.

Autonomous driving chipmaker Black Sesame Technologies received a strategic investment from Bosch’s Boyuan Capital. Black Sesame develops SoCs and software for L3 ADAS and autonomous driving, including image processing and perception algorithms. The startup has already been working with Bosch for several years. “Black Sesame Technologies has always been committed to empowering the implementation of autonomous driving applications with its high-performance autonomous driving chips, for which an open ecosystem and cooperation are essential,” said Wilson Liu, co-founder and COO of Black Sesame Technologies. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2016.

Lidar developer RoboSense received an undisclosed amount in strategic investment from EV company BYD. RoboSense makes systems incorporating lidar sensors, SoC, and AI perception software. It provides an automotive-grade lidar using MEMS-based sensors that covers both near and far sensing. The company also makes a wide range of mechanical lidar systems for a variety of applications including low and mid-speed robotics, blind spot detection, and roadside monitoring. RoboSense is aiming to go public in Hong Kong later this year. Founded in 2014, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

Batteries

Factorial Energy drew $200.0M in Series D funding led by Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis. Factorial develops a solid-state battery for EVs that it says is safer and provides 50% greater driving range than current lithium-ion technologies, while being compatible with current manufacturing methods. “Since we successfully developed the first 40 Amp-hour solid-state battery in 2021 it has been tested extensively,” said Factorial Energy CEO Siyu Huang. “This funding will enable us to not only advance core research and development, but also scale our team and invest in manufacturing facilities to drive commercial production.” Its pilot production facility is slated to begin construction in early 2022. Joint agreements are in place with Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis, and Hyundai for commercialization. It exited stealth in 2021 and is based in Woburn, Massachusetts, USA.

Viridi Parente raised $94.7M in Series C financing led by individual investor B. Thomas Golisano and joined by Ashtead Group, Sunbelt Rentals, and National Grid Partners. Viridi Parente is working to manufacture fail-safe, point-of-use lithium-ion battery technology with a focus on heavy industrial markets and stationary battery systems. “Point-of-use energy storage has the potential to more than double the delivered capacity of our entire energy transmission system without additional investment in new infrastructure. Passenger vehicles currently represent roughly 3% of the world’s total GDP. The majority of the innovation around this technology is focused on battery powered vehicles, however, technology designed for cars does not translate into other sectors of the economy where safety, resilience and cycle life are the leading design requirements. Viridi is developing safe, resilient and cost-effective point-of-use lithium-ion battery systems that will power the other 97% of our economy,” said Jon M. Williams, chairman and CEO of Viridi Parente. Founded in 2012, it is based in Buffalo, New York, USA.

Nexeon raised $80.0M in venture and strategic funding from a consortium including SKC, SJL Partners, BNW Investment, and Kiwoom Private Equity. Nexeon develops silicon anode materials for lithium-ion batteries in the EV, consumer electronics, wearables, and home power storage markets. The company says its anodes help improve charge speed, energy density, and $/kWh cost. As part of the deal, Nexeon will enter into a volume manufacturing partnership with SKC. “We are very excited that our new partners have recognized the value of our silicon anode materials, and this move will accelerate production ramp up and facilitate access to markets across the globe,” said Scott Brown, CEO of Nexeon. Founded in 2006 based on research from Imperial College London, it is based in Abingdon, UK.

StoreDot had the first close of its Series D funding round, expected to draw up to $80.0M, led by VinFast and joined by bp ventures and Golden Energy Global Investment. StoreDot develops fast charging battery technologies for EVs. The company says the combination of its unique cell materials and AI optimization enables full EV charging in five minutes, while being compatible with standard lithium-ion battery manufacturing processes. It also developed technology to extend battery lifetime and self-repair cells. “We are now properly funded to take our silicon-dominant XFC cells to the end of the R&D phase and into scale-up in readiness for mass production in 2024 for global vehicle manufacturers,” said Doron Myersdorf, StoreDot CEO. Looking ahead, it is working on high energy density solid state cells with planned mass production in 2028. Founded in 2012, it is based in Herzeliya, Israel.

Supercapacitor startup Skeleton Technologies raised €37.6M ($42.6M) in a Series D3 round led by individual investor Taavet Hinrikus, joined by Nidoco, EIT Innoenergy, individual investor Bengt Wahlqvist, and others. The company’s supercapacitors use ‘curved graphene,’ a proprietary material it says provides increased energy density and electrical conductivity compared to activated carbon. Having started with supercapacitors, Skeleton Technologies is now working on what it calls superbatteries that combine the fast charging of supercapacitors with the high energy and long duration of batteries for the high-efficiency, high-power niche of the battery market. “This new funding is one of the milestones allowing us to execute our long-term strategy and not to lose any speed in scaling up our manufacturing to service the rapidly growing customer demand,” said Taavi Madiberk, CEO and co-founder of Skeleton Technologies. “Although our focus is on scaling up, we continue to invest strongly into R&D.” Founded in 2009, it is based in Tallinn, Estonia.

Addionics raised $27.0M in Series A funding led by Deep Insight, Catalyst Fund, Delek Motors, and individual investor Boaz Schwartz, joined by Novelis, Magna International, JX Nippon Mining & Metals, Union Tech Ventures, 8090 Partners, GiTV, Talcar Corporation, Bridges Israel, Doral Energy Tech Ventures, and individual investor David Deak, alongside existing investors NextGear Ventures, Magna Capital Partners, and Vasuki Global Tech Fund. Addionics develops integrated 3D electrodes that can be used in any battery chemistry, which it says provides improved energy density and power, enhanced safety, and longer lifetime without raising costs. The company says the fabrication process utilizes AI optimization and can be dropped into existing manufacturing lines. “We look forward to accelerating our product development and laying the necessary groundwork for commercialization as we remain committed to our mission of revolutionizing the battery industry by building the best battery cell architecture in the market,” said Moshiel Biton, CEO and co-founder, Addonics. Its first focus is EV batteries and is working with auto OEMs and suppliers. Founded in 2018, it is based in London, UK.

Qnovo raised $24.0M in Series C funding led by BorgWarner and joined by OGCI Climate Investments, Constellation Technology Ventures, US Venture Partners, and RockPort Capital. Qnovo provides battery management software that aims to safely increase charging speed and extend battery lifetimes. The startup’s primary focus has been smartphones, but it is currently in qualifications for several passenger and commercial EVs. “This new capital along with our strategic partnerships will accelerate the deployment of our software solutions in the EV market and further expand into green energy storage and sustainability markets,” said Nadim Maluf, CEO of Qnovo. Founded in 2010, it is based in Newark, California, USA.

NAWA Technologies drew €18.3M (~$20.7M) in Series C investment led by Kouros and joined by Bpifrance, Demeter, Supernova Invest, Région Sud Investissement, Eurowatt Capital, Opus Consulting Solutions, and Altya Invest. NAWA Technologies develops ultracapacitors based on the company’s Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotubes (VACNT) electrode technology, which it says provides 12 times more power density compared to activated carbon-based ultracapacitors and three times more compared to graphene-based ultracapacitors. Its first target markets are power tools and IoT sensors, and other markets include electric and fuel cell vehicles. The funds will be used to construct its first factory for manufacturing ultracapacitors, which will be located in France and is expected to be operational in 2023. Founded in 2013, it is based in Aix-en-Provence, France.

ProLogium Technology signed a strategic agreement with Mercedes-Benz that will result in a “high double digit euro” (EUR 10.0M is ~$11.2M) investment from the carmaker. ProLogium develops and manufactures solid-state batteries including with silicon anode, lithium metal anode, and bipolar technology. It makes batteries in a range of form factors, including flexible packages for IoT and wearables, and pouch batteries for automotive, automated guided vehicles, consumer, and industrial applications, and modules. This investment will focus on batteries for EVs. The first Mercedes-Benz test vehicles equipped with solid-state batteries co-developed with ProLogium are expected to be introduced in the coming years. The companies also agreed on milestones that would enable integration of the solid-state battery technology into a range of passenger vehicles in the second half of the decade. ProLogium plans to ramp up a new plant by the end of 2022. Based in Taipei, Taiwan, it was founded in 2006.

Green Li-ion drew $5.2M in Series A funding led by Energy Revolution Ventures, joined by Ilshin Holdings and Envisioning Partners. The startup claims its lithium-ion battery recycling process can produce cathodes of 99.9% purity for use in new batteries at reduced time and cost, and that the process is compatible with different Li-ion battery types. Founded in 2020, it is based in Singapore.

Aceleron raised $5.0M in Series A funding from Toyota’s Mobility 54 Investment, Business Growth Fund, and Mercia Asset Management. Aceleron developed a lithium battery platform that allows replacement of the individual cells in large lithium-ion batteries used for EVs and energy storage. Its first product is a standalone battery for applications such as motor homes and electric ATVs. As part of the deal, Mobility 54 will work with Aceleron in expanding its presence in Africa. “The company began operations in Africa in 2021 and has started assembling repurposed and reconditioned battery packs for use by local communities. With the partnership funding and expansion of the battery, we are contributing to the electrification of the mobility and renewable energy sector in Africa,” said Amrit Chandan, CEO and founder of Aceleron. Founded in 2016, it is based in Birmingham, UK.

EVs

Electric automaker Aiways raised “hundreds of millions” of dollars in venture financing. Aiways offers an electric SUV in China, Europe, and Israel that it says offers over 400km range. The company aims to expand sales beyond its current ten European markets in 2022. It has another SUV planned for introduction and intends to release one new EV model per calendar year in Europe. Founded in 2017, it is based in Shanghai, China.

EVage raised $28.0M in seed funding led by RedBlue Capital. The startup manufactures electric vehicles for the light commercial market, such as delivery fleets. “EVage’s vehicle platform and fabrication approach is something totally new and much needed to accelerate electrification in low-cost markets. The founders took a completely clean-sheet approach to get a truck that meets the needs of delivery fleets across India at a cost basis that beats internal combustion,” said Prescott Watson, General Partner at RedBlue Capital. The funds will be used to complete a production-ready factory outside of Delhi and scale up production. Founded in 2014, it is based in Chandigarh, India.

Table: Selected companies that received funding in January 2022.

Company Sector Amount Raised
(M, USD)
Funding Type Headquarters
Analogix Semiconductor AMS $235.8 Pre-IPO China & USA
Wayve Autonomy $200.0 Series B UK
Factorial Energy Batteries $200.0 Series D USA
Vital Thin Film Materials Materials $188.3 Series A China
ChemSemi Wireless $157.8 Series A China
Eigencomm Wireless $157.8 Series C China
GCL Semiconductor Materials $156.9 Series A China
Axera AI HW $125.9 Series A++ China
Aiways EVs $100.0+ Venture China
Viridi Parente Batteries $94.7 Series C USA
May Mobility Autonomy $83.0 Series C USA
Nexeon Batteries $80.0 Venture UK
Artosyn AI HW $78.6 Series B & B+ China
Atmosic Wireless $72.0 Venture USA
Lineprinting Materials Materials $64.5 Series A+ China
IC Valley Microelectronics AMS $63.1 Series C China
Atom Computing Quantum $60.0 Series B USA
Terra Quantum Quantum $60.0 Series A Switzerland
Ceremorphic AI HW $50.0 Series A USA
Tinychip MCU $47.2 Series A+ China
Sicreat Materials $47.2 Series B China
Summer Sprout Display $47.2 Series D China
Mojo Vision AR/VR $45.0 Series B USA
Skeleton Technologies Batteries $42.6 Series D3 Estonia
Xysemi Power Semi $33.8 Pre-IPO China
Neuchips AI HW $32.5 Venture Taiwan
WITiNMEM AI HW $31.6 Series B1 China
NCAP China Packaging $31.6 Series A China
NewRadio Technology Wireless $31.4 Series A China
PanChip Microelectronics Wireless $31.4 Venture China
DSP Concepts Automotive $28.0 Series C USA
EVage EVs $28.0 Seed India
Addionics Batteries $27.0 Series A UK
Qnovo Batteries $24.0 Series C USA
Hosin Global Electronics Storage $23.6 Strategic China
Secure-IC Security $22.7 Venture France
NAWA Technologies Batteries $20.7 Series C France
HGC Lighting Solution Display $20.4 Series B China
PQShield Security $20.0 Series A UK
Bonray AMS $15.8+ Series D China
Moffett AI AI HW $15.8+ Series A China
X-Epic EDA $15.8+ Series B+ China
X-Times Design Automation EDA $15.8+ Series A+ China
Anmuquan Intelligent Technology Packaging $15.8+ Series B China
Innostar Semiconductor Memory $15.8+ Series A China
Calterah Semiconductor Sensor $15.8+ Series C+ China
Gova Technology Sensor $15.8+ Venture China
Silicon Integrated Sensor $15.8+ Series D China
VisionICs Microelectronics Sensor $15.8+ Strategic China
ADASTECH Sensor $15.8+ Series A+ China
LiangDao Intelligence Sensor $15.8+ Series A+ China
Zvision Technologies Sensor $15.8+ Pre-C China
Aluksen Optoelectronics Optoelectronics $15.8 Series B China
FreqChip Wireless $15.8 Series B China
Siliconwave Electronic Technology Wireless $15.8 Series A+ China
Soundcore Electronic Technology AMS $15.8 Series A+ China
Senwellen Wireless $15.8 Venture China
ShensiliCon AI HW $15.8 Series A China
Keyang Semiconductor Packaging $15.8 Strategic China
Lizhu Intelligent Equipment Equipment $15.8 Series B China
AirTouch Intelligent Technology Sensor $15.8 Series C China
Nanometals Technology Display $15.8 Series B China
Xiyu New Material Technology Display $15.8 Series A China
Mesolight Display $15.8 Venture China
Owl Autonomous Imaging Sensor $15.0 Series A USA
HQS Quantum Simulations Quantum $13.5 Series A Germany
Mauna Kea Semiconductors Wireless $12.8 Pre-A+ China & USA
ProLogium Technology Batteries $11.2+ Strategic Taiwan
SENSilicon AMS $10.0 Angel & Pre-A China
Qingtian Truck Technology Autonomy $10.0 Angel China
Hefei Sensor Turnkey Service Packaging $7.9 Series A China
Lattice Grand Technology Materials $7.9 Angel China
Green Li-ion Batteries $5.2 Series A Singapore
PragmatIC Semiconductor Manufacturing $5.0 Strategic UK
Aceleron Batteries $5.0 Series A UK
3D Glass Solutions Manufacturing $4.0 Series B1 USA
Zendar Sensor $4.0 Series B USA
CADY EDA $3.0 Seed Israel
Aegiq Quantum $2.4 Seed UK
Attonics Systems Equipment $2.0 Venture Singapore
Ccvui AI HW $1.6+ Series A China
Nano-Core Chip AI HW $1.6+ Pre-A China
Dream Ink Manufacturing $1.6+ Series B2 China
Wafertest Test $1.6+ Series A+ China
Senko Microelectronics Power Semi $1.6+ Series B China
V-Sensor Technology Sensor $1.6+ Series A China
Chengyi Semiconductors AMS $1.6 Venture China
Efabless IP Market Undisclosed Series A1 USA
Actt AMS IP Undisclosed Strategic China
Chaocai Information AMS Undisclosed Series A4 China
Norel Systems AMS Undisclosed Venture China
Yunlink Semi AMS Undisclosed Angel China
Denglin Technology AI HW Undisclosed Strategic China
Inventhub EDA Undisclosed Pre-Seed USA
NUBURU Equipment Undisclosed Venture USA
Ginet New Material Materials Undisclosed Strategic China
Jiaen Semiconductor Power Semi Undisclosed Pre-A China
X-IPM Power Semi Undisclosed Angel China
GWIC Sensor Undisclosed Strategic China
Fineset Material Technology Display Undisclosed Series B+ China
Sitan Technology Display Undisclosed Strategic China
Black Sesame Technologies Autonomy Undisclosed Strategic China
RoboSense Sensor Undisclosed Strategic China
StoreDot Batteries Undisclosed Series D Israel

Funds and investors

CM-Equity and Quantum Business Network are establishing a new venture fund. The Black Quant Fund will use its initial €100.0M (~$111.5) for pre-seed to Aeries A and later investments in European companies focused on the field of quantum technologies and enabling technologies.

Keppel Capital Holdings closed its Keppel Data Centre Fund II with $1.1B in total commitments. The fund will focus on strategic investments in the data center sector in Asia Pacific and Europe, particularly emerging markets in Asia.

Venture firm pi Ventures reached the first close of its second fund at $40.0M. It expects to invest in around 20-25 early stage (seed and Series A) startups, with a focus on AI, blockchain, space, biotech, and materials science.

ventureLAB and the Regional Municipality of York are expanding Canada’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative, a lab and incubator for hardware and semiconductor companies, with an investment of CA$1.5M (~$1.2M) over five years. It is part of an effort to build a hardware and semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing hub in the region.

AI applications

Many companies are trying to use AI to manage sales, and two of them saw big investment recently. VCs also saw promise in business analytics and gene therapy. Here are some of the largest rounds of last month for companies using AI in products and services.

  • Fractal Analytics raised $360.0M in private equity funding for its suite of business analytics services leveraging big data.
  • Highspot raised $248.0M in Series F for its platform to provide guidance, training, coaching, and analytics capabilities to sales teams.
  • Clari raised $225.0M in Series F for its end-to-end sales analytics and forecasting platform.
  • Smartron raised $200.0M in private equity funding for its range of IoT and smart home devices on a unified platform.
  • Metagenomi raised $175.0M in Series B for its platform for discovering gene editing therapies.
  • Dremio raised $160.0M in Series E for its data lake engine that aims to speed up analytics by offering data lake access through SQL.
  • Iterative Scopes raised $150.0M in Series B for its gastroenterology software that uses AI to improve accuracy and consistency of endoscopy readings for colorectal cancer screening and IBD research.

Related
Find prior startup funding reports here.
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