Morse Micro funded for Wi-Fi chip production
A funding grant of $23.8 million has been provided for IoT start-up Morse Micro.
Under the Series A funding, the company will be able to take its ultra-low power Wi-Fi HaLow chip to mass production.
Morse Micro’s chip uses a 900 MHz radio band, which boasts extended range and lower power consumption compared to the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands used by conventional Wi-Fi. This is because lower frequencies allow the signals to reach further and pass through objects better, all while using less power.
Morse Micro’s chip also supports high bandwidths and very large networks: over 8000 devices can be connected to a single access point, with data rates of many megabits per second.
This enables its use in a wide range of applications beyond the traditional IoT use cases of smart homes and sensor networks, including industrial controls, asset management, video, retail signs and displays.
The funding round was led by Ray Stata and Main Sequence Ventures, CSIRO Innovation Fund, with participation from Skip Capital, Blackbird Ventures, Right Click Capital, Uniseed and the Clean Energy Innovation Fund.
Ray Stata, founder and Chairman of semiconductor multinational Analog Devices, was appointed to the board, joining Andrew Terry and Michael De Nil (Morse Micro co-founders) and Mike Nicholls (Main Sequence Ventures partner).
Further to funding mass production, the cash injection will also be used to double Morse Micro’s team size across multiple local and overseas markets, and move its headquarters from Eveleigh to Sydney’s CBD to accommodate its ambitious growth plans for 2019 and beyond.
According to Ray Stata, Sydney is an ideal location for the company to headquarter its operations.
“Given its historic roots in Wi-Fi, it’s unsurprising that Sydney has such a large pool of engineers with Wi-Fi experience to support Micro Morse’s ambition to be the leader in Wi-Fi HaLow chips — this certainly gives the company a head start,” Stata said.
“Morse Micro founders Andrew Terry and Michael De Nil are two of the industry’s most talented and experienced Wi-Fi chip designers.”
Main Sequence Ventures co-led Morse Micro’s seed round and were keen to co-lead again, with partner Mike Nicholls stating: “Since funding their seed round in 2017, the team has outperformed on both product delivery and customer business development. This, combined with the fact that the new chip fills a gap in a number of fast-growing segments, gave us the confidence to invest further.”
According to Morse Micro co-founder Andrew Terry, this over-performance resulted from a tailored approach to product development and market fit.
“Designing for the IoT is challenging as the requirements are very different to other markets,” Terry said.
“So we started from scratch and designed an architecture specifically suited to the demands of the IoT and to the various markets where its many applications were most suited.”
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