WiFi Chip Start-Up Gets $169m VC investment

It’s too expensive to back chip start-ups – received wisdom – right? Wrong if you’ve got a good IC.

A WiFi chip start-up got $79 million this week on top of an initial $90 million.

Quantenna Communications of Fremont raised the money on the back of a super-WiFi chip with exceptional range and throughput.


Quantenna makes what it calls 4×4 MIMO 802.11n Wi-Fi chip which, claims the company,  are fast enough to stream HD video. The chip streams four HD video channels simultaneously. Data rates ‘can hit’ 180Mbps.



When the 802.11ac standard comes in either this year or next, an 802.11ac chip to from Quantenna will deliver 360Mbps, says Quantenna CEO Sam Heidari.



Heidari says ‘a number of major service providers’ have said they’ll use the chip.


Russky VC firm Rusnano will put in $40 million of the latest $79 million round, Sequoia will put in $20m, and three other VCs will put in the rest.

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  1. Anonymous
    April 27, 2012 19:41

    I know…
    it’s exactly my point. Look to what these sites have already accomplished together.
    All the potential to reboot the sites (w/o ST-Ericsson)is there! Go for it!

  2. Anonymous
    April 27, 2012 15:15

    “oh yes, these 3 sites together could easily built a WLAN chip from scratch!”
    We did :0)

  3. Robert
    April 27, 2012 05:01

    Hmmm, the MiMO wifi sector is definitely heating up again but $179M VC money seems way over the top, even as a term sheet valuation. Oh well the trick now is to get the product to market with enough fanfare that the funds don’t want to miss out, which implies an IPO exit.
    IMHO yhe non-IPO exit has limited appeal (probably only STB and residential gateways) where there are lots of alternative network methods deploying, think MoCA, HPAV, G.Hn, 1000baseT….

  4. Anonymous
    April 26, 2012 22:49

    oh yes, these 3 sites together could easily built a WLAN chip from scratch!

  5. Anonymous
    April 26, 2012 17:31

    Yes, my dear friend.
    Continuing on the same path… there are another 85 in Zaventem.

  6. TheNotSoAnonymous Mike Bryant
    April 26, 2012 16:32

    If there are good engineers becoming available in Bristol and Zurich then why aren’t you getting together to form a startup ? This is what sets the US apart from Europe.

  7. AnotherAnonymous
    April 26, 2012 13:46

    Same here in Zurich

  8. Anonymous
    April 25, 2012 17:59

    If they are still looking for good engineers…. a whole bunch has just become available in Bristol

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