Atlantic Bridge Leads €24m DecaWave Funding Round

23 Feb 2018 | 12.48 pm

Atlantic Bridge Leads €24m DecaWave Funding Round

Accumulated losses of €31 million

23 Feb 2018 | 12.48 pm

Specialised Irish chip developer DecaWave has raised $30m (€24m) in venture capital and other funding to further develop sales of its flagship DW1000 semi-conductor chip which, among other things, can identify the specific location of any object, person, or place within centimetres.

DecaWave specialises in precise location and connectivity applications, and raised the funds from venture capital funds, Enterprise Ireland and existing investors. The funding round was led by Atlantic Bridge, along with the China Ireland Growth Technology Fund, ACT Venture Capital and ZZ Ventures.

The company said the funding will be used to accelerate the development of DecaWave’s second-generation solution to satisfy demand in the high-volume consumer and automotive markets. It will also allow DecaWave to further expand its presence in China, where it faces strong demand for its technology. Brian Long and Gerry Maguire of Atlantic Bridge and John Flynn of ACT Venture Capital will join the board.

The DecaWave chip offers Ultra-Wideband wireless technology that provides precise location and connectivity for applications that can identify the specific location of any object, person, or place within centimetres. These can enable advanced analytics for factory automation, logistics, and hospitals to delivering new forms of user interface in robotics and connected homes — in short, the company’s chips aim at the new market of the Internet of Things.

The company, founded by chief executive Ciaran Connell and CTO Michael McLaughlin, is ten years old and released its flagship DW1000 in 2013. It now has more than 3,000 customers and has sold more than four million units to date.

The company booked a net loss of €3.1m in 2016, bringing accumulated losses to €31.3m. The deficit in shareholder funds at year-end was €5m, and invested capital in December 2016 was at least €24m

DecaWave chairman Jim O’Hara said: “This is one of the most exciting technology companies to emerge from Ireland over the past decade. It is turning heads internationally, getting strong market traction, not least in China, and with some premium global brands. This funding round and involvement of the stellar partners in it will ensure the very promising DecaWave trajectory is accelerated.”

The company says it will create 100 jobs over the next three years, bringing to 150 the total number of employees at the company’s operations in Ireland, France, China and South Korea. The posts will be in engineering, R&D, sales and marketing, and applications, with recruitment already under way.

Atlantic Bridge partner Gerry Maguire commented: “We have a track record of supporting Irish companies through key stages of development and helping them commercialise their technology globally. DecaWave is among the most exciting companies we have worked with and is already making significant market inroads with leading global brands. Its potential is vast and we believe it will become the most talked about Irish semi-conductor company of the decade.”

EI chief executive Julie Sinnamon added: “Since 2004, Enterprise Ireland has worked intensively with DecaWave to support this visionary company through key development stages and to scale and achieve international growth. DecaWave is a great example of the vibrancy across the export-focused Irish ecosystem that drives exports and employment. Companies like DecaWave, which is going to scale-up significantly through this funding, can be held up as an example to every entrepreneur and ambitious company that it is possible to build globally successful companies from Ireland.”

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