Startup Funding: September 2020

It was a superb month for startups, with huge rounds in automotive, information facilities, and AI. A brand new startup with huge backing is taking intention at vitality inefficiency within the information middle, and one other is seeking to make the commercial IoT battery-free. SK Hynix based a brand new firm to investigate semiconductor manufacturing information, and one in every of China’s EV corporations sees a large money infusion. This month, we take a look at 26 corporations that collectively drew over $2.6B in funding.

Semiconductors & design
Server processor startup Nuvia raised $240.0M in a Series B spherical led by Mithril Capital in partnership with Sehat Sutardja and Weili Dai (founders of Marvell), funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Constancy Administration and Analysis Firm, and Temasek Holdings, with extra participation from Atlantic Bridge, Redline Capital, Capricorn Funding Group, Dell Applied sciences Capital, Mayfield Fund, Nepenthe, and WRVI Capital. Nuvia is aiming its upcoming information middle SoC and Arm-based CPU core at reducing efficiency per whole price of possession by matching excessive efficiency with excessive effectivity and limiting most energy to that may be dissipated in an air-cooled atmosphere. Primarily based in Santa Clara, Calif., and based in 2019 by former SoC and CPU architects from Apple and Google, Nuvia has raised $293.0M in whole.

Everactive drew $35.0M in a Series C spherical led by Fluke (a part of Fortive Company) for its batteryless, wi-fi industrial IoT sensor platform. The corporate’s industrial monitoring programs use ultra-low-power radios and sensors that may be powered totally with vitality harvesting from a spread of sources, together with indoor photo voltaic, thermal gradients, RF, and vibration. Everactive additionally presents analytics providers for the information its sensors gather. Primarily based in Santa Clara, Calif., and based in 2012 as a spin out from the College of Michigan and the College of Virginia, Everactive has raised $98.1M to this point.

Fabless VCSEL startup RaySea raised CN¥200M (~$29.3M) in a Series A spherical led by Shanghai Free Commerce Zone Fund and Yunhao Capital and joined by Yongchuang Capital, Puhua Capital, and Tongdu Capital. RaySea makes a spread of VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) chips concentrating on 3D face recognition on cellphones, offline face fee, and ground cleansing robots. It’s also engaged on chips for automotive lidar and communications, with the funding supporting the subsequent stage of mass manufacturing of chips and funding in tape-out R&D. Primarily based in Ningbo, China and based in 2017, the corporate has raised $43.8M thus far.

Versatile electronics maker PragmatIC drew £13M (~$16.9M) in funding. Becoming a member of the spherical was Erik Langaker, who joined the corporate’s Board of Administrators as Chair. The startup focuses on low price versatile ICs corresponding to RFID and NFC and targets transferring them into mass market. PragmatIC additionally has a foundry providing that enables clients to provide application-specific versatile gadgets. Based in 2007 and based mostly in Cambridge, U.Ok., the corporate has raised $65.9M in whole.

Microoled raised €8.0M (~$9.3M) in Series A funding from Cipio Companions and Ventech for its low energy, excessive decision near-to-eye OLED microdisplays. The corporate not too long ago launched a compact optical module for good glasses purposes and can use the funding for additional growth of built-in AR modules and strengthening its manufacturing capacities. Microoled is predicated in Grenoble, France, and was based in 2007.

Semiconductor IP startup AccelerComm raised £5.8M (~$7.5M) in Series A funding led by IQ Capital alongside present buyers Bloc Ventures and the IP Group. The corporate’s channel coding IP (also referred to as ahead error correction) is used to right transmission errors and is optimized for satellite tv for pc and mobile communications, together with 5G NR, with improved spectrum effectivity, decreased latency and decrease energy consumption. The funds shall be used for US and world growth and additional growth of the expertise. Based in 2016 as a spin out from the College of Southampton and based mostly in Southampton, U.Ok., AccelerComm’s whole funding has reached $10.7M.

Biotech startup Cardea Bio drew $7.5M in a continued Series A spherical led by Tsingyuan Ventures, Lifespan Investments, and prior investor Serra Ventures, and joined by Agilent Applied sciences, Desk Mountain Capital, Photon Fund, and Taihill Enterprise. The corporate makes graphene-based ‘Biology-gated Transistors’ (which it calls Cardean Transistors) that mix molecular biology with electronics. Cardea Bio’s CRISPR-Chip chipset makes use of CRISPR because the transistor gate to allow looking out via genomes for genetic sequences of curiosity with out the necessity of PCR/DNA amplification. Primarily based in San Diego, Calif., and based in 2013, the corporate has raised $15.3M.

Picture electron Soul closed a financing round of $7.0M (¥740M), achieved via the mixture of the sale of inventory to buyers, a financial institution mortgage, and financing from a nationwide funding company. The corporate offers photocathode e-beam programs for semiconductor inspection, which is says improves e-beam inspection velocity by 10x in comparison with present expertise. Primarily based in Nagoya, Japan, Picture electron Soul was based in 2015 based mostly on R&D from Nagoya College.

Amber Options raised $5.5M in Series B funding for its expertise that enables electrical energy to be digitally managed by software program with a solid-state structure. Concentrating on constructing electrical infrastructure corresponding to circuit breakers, sockets, and lighting management, the startup’s merchandise present machine studying and machine-to-machine management embedded in a programmable solid-state energy system, and the corporate is engaged on a smaller silicon model. Primarily based in Dublin, Calif., and based in 2017, Amber Options has raised $11.2M in whole.

Quantum computing
Quantum computing startup Seeqc raised $22.4M in Series A funding, led by EQT Ventures and joined by FAM AB, M Ventures, BlueYard Capital, New Lab Ventures, and the Partnership Fund for New York. (The M Ventures funding of $5M was introduced in April.) Seeqc’s strategy combines classical and quantum computing to handle effectivity and stability points. The corporate’s digital quantum administration SoCs are co-located with qubit chips as multi-chip modules in the identical cryogenically cooled system and carry out digital qubit management, readout and classical information processing capabilities, in addition to being a platform for error correction. It additionally owns a multi-layer superconductor fab. Primarily based in Elmsford, N.Y., Seeqc was spun out of Hypres in 2018. In whole, the corporate has raised $29.2M.

Quantum photonics startup AegiQ was awarded a £1.4M (~$1.8M) grant from Innovate UK to construct safe quantum communications for fiber-optic and satellite tv for pc based mostly purposes as a part of a consortium of corporations. The startup is growing III-V semiconductor-based quantum photonics utilizing on-demand single photons. It would even be a part of a mission led by Fraunhofer’s Centre for Utilized Photonics that goals to extend the reliability and scale back the scale, weight, energy consumption, and price of laser elements and programs. Primarily based in Sheffield, U.Ok., and based as a spin out from Sheffield College in 2019, AegiQ is presently elevating seed funding.

AI
Gauss Labs was based with a $55.0M investment from SK Hynix, who shall be sole investor via 2022. Initially, Gauss Labs will give attention to making use of AI to semiconductor manufacturing, using information generated at SK Hynix’s manufacturing websites. SK Hynix plans to make use of the outcomes to enhance course of management, yield prediction, gear upkeep, defect inspection and fault prevention. Ultimately, the corporate plans to develop to different manufacturing industries. Gauss Labs is predicated in California Metropolis, Calif.

DeepCube drew $7.0M in a Series A spherical led by Awz Ventures, with participation from Koch Disruptive Applied sciences and Nima Capital. The startup offers a software-based inference accelerator to enhance machine studying and deep studying efficiency on present {hardware}, which it claims can present a 10x velocity enchancment and reminiscence discount on programs starting from edge gadgets to information facilities. Primarily based in Tel Aviv, Israel and based in 2017, whole funding in DeepCube has reached $12.0M.

AI chipmaker Aspinity drew $5.3M in Series A funding led by Anzu Companions and joined by Amazon Alexa Fund, Birchmere Ventures, Mountain State Capital, and Riverfront Ventures. The startup’s ultra-low energy, analog machine studying chip goals to investigate sensor information of always-on gadgets in an analog format and weed out pointless information earlier than waking the digital system. It could possibly use application-specific algorithms and works with a number of kinds of sensors, and the corporate says the entire chip can use as little as 10µA of present throughout always-on occasion detection. Based in 2015 and based mostly in Pittsburgh, Pa., Aspinity has raised $11.8M thus far.

Automotive
Electrical car firm WM Motor raised CN¥10B (~$1.47B) in Series D funding, which the corporate says is the biggest single funding spherical to this point for a Chinese language automaker. The spherical was led by a Shanghai state-owned investor group, together with SAIC Motor, and joined by Baidu and Susquehanna Worldwide Group (SIG). State-owned funding establishments Anhui, Jiangsu, Hubei and Hunan in addition to strategic buyers together with Yangtze River Business Fund, State Improvement & Funding Company (SDIC), Guangzhou Finance Holdings Group, Sino IC Leasing, Tsinghua Unigroup, Hongta Group, Yingke Capital, and Tencent Holdings additionally participated. Primarily based in Shanghai, China, and based in 2015, WM Motors presently has two electrical SUV fashions in mass manufacturing and owns to manufacturing services. It’s reportedly eyeing a public debut on Shanghai’s STAR Market and has raised $3.1B to this point.

Battery maker Northvolt drew $600.0M in an equity raise from Baillie Gifford, Baron Capital Group, Bridford Investments, Norrsken Basis, and PCS Holding, particular person buyers  Cristina Stenbeck and Daniel Ek, and present buyers Goldman Sachs Service provider Banking Division, IMAS Basis, Scania, and Volkswagen Group. Northvolt makes lithium-ion batteries for electrical automobiles, grid storage, and industrial purposes with a give attention to recyclability and greener manufacturing. The funds shall be used for capability growth, R&D, and recycling, and the corporate has a purpose of utilizing 50% recycled materials in new cells by 2030. Primarily based in Stockholm, Sweden and based in 2016, Northvolt has raised $3.3B thus far.

Lidar maker Ouster drew $42.0M in Series B funding from Cox Automotive, Fontinalis Companions, and Tao Capital Companions. The corporate’s 128-beam digital lidar vary contains ultra-wide angle, mid-range, and long-range fashions and use one chip-scale laser array and one CMOS sensor. Primarily based in San Francisco, Calif., and based in 2015, Ouster has raised $140.0M in whole.

Automotive software program integrity startup Aurora Labs raised $23.0M in Series B funding led by LG Know-how Ventures and particular person investor Marius Nacht and joined by Porsche SE, Toyota Tsusho, UL Ventures, and present buyers. Aurora Labs touts its ‘self-healing’ expertise that makes use of machine studying to detect potential line-of-code faults and supply over-the-air updates to ECU software program. It additionally offers software program change threat evaluation and validation. Primarily based in Tel Aviv, Israel, and based in 2016, the startup has raised $34.1M in whole.

Autonomous car firm Idriverplus raised CN¥100M (~$14.6M) in Collection C funding led by Xin Ding Capital and joined by Yuzhou Huaxia Weiming Well being Business Fund for its L3/L4 self-driving platform for passenger automobiles that features multi-sensor fusion (together with earlier-mentioned Ouster’s lidar) and HD mapping and localization. As well as, the corporate has designed its platform into low-speed fully-autonomous avenue sweepers, ground scrubbers, and bundle supply automobiles. Primarily based in Beijing, China, and based in 2015 by a gaggle from Tsinghua College, the corporate will use the funds for additional R&D and growth of a robotaxi fleet.

Effenco raised CA$10.0M ($~7.6M) in Collection B funding led by BDC Capital and joined by Middle of Excellence in Power Effectivity (C3E), Investissement Quebec, and Effenco president David Arsenault for the corporate’s hybrid-electric expertise for heavy obligation industrial automobiles. Effenco’s system can shut down the engine when automobiles are stationary and supply electrical energy to the car gear, cab and chassis equipment. Primarily based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and based in 2006, the corporate has raised $22.7M in whole.

Automotive information evaluation startup Acerta Analytics raised $7.0M in Series A funding led by OMERS Ventures and joined by M12 (Microsoft’s enterprise fund), StandUp Ventures, Radical Ventures, EDC, and Techstars. The startup makes use of machine studying and an anonymized database of automotive merchandise, processes, and failure modes to determine anomalies in manufacturing information and catch faulty assemblies throughout manufacturing. It additionally presents a product for real-time monitoring of automobiles on the highway. Primarily based on analysis from the College of Waterloo, Acerta was based in 2017, has raised $11.0M in whole, and is predicated in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

Annotell drew €5.8M (~$6.8M) in Series A funding led by led by Ernström & Co and Stena Sessan for its software program to create and analyze coaching and validation information used to make sure the protection and accuracy of notion programs for ADAS and autonomous automobiles. Primarily based in Gothenburg, Sweden, and based in 2018, Annotell has raised $8.0M thus far.

Elaphe Propulsion Applied sciences drew €4.2M (~$4.9M) in Series A+ funding from EIT InnoEnergy for its electrical in-wheel-drive expertise for electrical automobiles. As a substitute of a central powertrain, Elaphe offers a modular system that makes use of in-wheel powertrains with software program for optimization of every in-wheel motor in real-time. The corporate has produced over 20 in-wheel motor fashions. Primarily based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and based in 2006, Elaphe has raised €15.3M (~$17.3M) in whole.

Electrical motorbike firm Ultraviolette Automotive drew ₹300.0M (~$4.1M) in Collection B funding from TVS Motor Firm. Ultraviolette is making ready to launch its first model, a high-performance electrical motorcycle equal to 200-250cc engines, subsequent yr. Primarily based in Bengaluru, India, and based in 2014, the corporate has raised $4.9M thus far.

EV startup Etrio raised $3.0M in Collection A funding led by particular person investor Janardhan Rao. Etrio offers a spread of EV products, from retrofitting of sunshine industrial automobiles and passenger vehicles to three-wheelers and e-bikes. The startup’s LCV retrofitting focuses on last-mile and mid-mile logistics. Etrio is predicated in Hyderabad, India, and was based in 2017.

Cell Propulsion drew $1.0M in pre-Collection A funding led by growX ventures and Micelio and joined by present investor Endiya Companions for its electric powertrains to retrofit buses and light-weight industrial automobiles. The startup has targeted on growing EV elements that may deal with tropical local weather circumstances and is engaged on a powertrain for heavy industrial automobiles. Primarily based in Bengaluru, India, and based in 2016, Cell Propulsion has raised $2.2M to this point.


Desk 1: Chosen corporations that obtained enterprise funding in September 2020. Supply: Semiconductor Engineering

AI purposes
How are startups utilizing AI, and which areas are drawing the eye of buyers?

Well being and medical stood out, with 12 corporations drawing a large $816.6M:

  • XtalPi raised $318.8M in Collection C funding for AI-powered drug discovery and growth.
  • Recursion Prescribed drugs drew $239.0M in Collection D for its drug discovery platform, with a give attention to drug repurposing to deal with uncommon illnesses.
  • Olive raised $106.0M in a enterprise spherical to automate administrative duties in healthcare settings.
  • Finch Therapeutics raised $90.0M in Collection D for growth of drug therapies based mostly on the human microbiome, with a present give attention to recurrent C. diff infections.

A number of different funding rounds in varied sectors drew huge funding:

  • Zymergen raised $300.0M for its biomanufacturing efforts, which embody optical movies and non-toxic crop safety.
  • Infarm raised $170.0M in Collection C for distributed city vertical farming.
  • Past Limits raised $133.0M in Collection C for enterprise information analytics software program for oil and fuel, manufacturing, and healthcare industries.
  • Tonal raised $110.0M in Collection D for good dwelling health club gear.