Monday, September 25, 2023

Morse Micro Chips in Huge $140 Million Series B

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Local manufacturer-less semiconductor company Morse Micro has raised $140 million in a Series B funding round.

The bulk of that investment comes from Japanese chipmaker MegaChips, which raised $100 million for the Australian Wi-Fi innovator.

Morse Micro co-founder and CEO Michael De Nil said the partnership with MegaChips was a serendipity, met with the company’s executives to discuss production and came out with the beginning of a serious business. cash injection.

Morse Micro designs chips using the HaLow Wi-Fi standard – an energy-efficient, long-range form of Wi-Fi ideal for internet-of-things (IoT) devices.

Where the Wi-Fi in your home or office runs at 2.4 or 5 gigahertz (GHz) frequencies, HaLow is sub-1 GHz, meaning it has a longer range and can penetrate walls.

The low-frequency Wi-Fi offered by HaLow also requires less power, so chips from the likes of Morse Micro could potentially run on small batteries for years to come.

MegaChips already bought Morse products and as a well-known manufacturer of high-quality chips, the investment seemed like a perfect match.

The $140 million round, including further investments from Blackbird and Main Sequence Ventures, will help ensure Morse’s production while continuing the company’s expansion into Japan.

The company raised at least $42 million in its Series A financing round, which includes support from the home of Wi-Fi, the CSIRO, along with $1.8 million from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Earlier this year it announced an expansion to Tech Central in Sydney as part of an agreement with the NSW government.

Founded in 2016 by Andrew Terry and De Nil, a pair of former engineers at US semiconductor giant Broadcom — whose chips are used in Apple devices — Morse Micro now has at least 140 employees in five countries.

At a time when local startups feel less free-flowing venture capital pressures, the big cash injection led by MegaChips gives Morse Micro a solid foundation to stand on and expand.

It already employs one of the original inventors of Wi-Fi, Professor Neil Weste, and is currently looking for a dozen more highly technical positions in its Australian and UK offices.

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