Local semiconductor company Morse Micro has added another $30 million to its Series B raise just 10 weeks after raking in $140 million in the first phase of the round, including $100 million from Japanese chipmaker MegaChips.
The time local pension funds, including TelstraSuper, HESTA, Hostplus and NGS, managed by Blackbird, and UniSuper, managed by Uniseed, piled up with the money.
VC’s Blackbird, Skip Capital, Uniseed and CSIRO’s Main Sequence Ventures were investors in the first Series B round in September, along with government-backed Clean Energy Finance Corporation, SpringCapital Investment and former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy.
The $170 million in total for the Series B means the semiconductor startup has now raised about $214 million, starting with a $4.5 million seed round in 2017, backed by Main Sequence and after three years of development, they are ready to start production.
The company previously raised $42 million in what was also a split Series A spanning several months, from $23.8 million initially in May 2019 to the $18 million balance in November 2020.
Morse Micro is designing chips with the HaLow Wi-Fi standard – a low-power, long-range form of Wi-Fi ideal for internet-of-things (IoT) devices. Where the Wi-Fi in your home or office operates at frequencies of 2.4 or 5 gigahertz (GHz), HaLow is less than 1 GHz, meaning it has greater range and can penetrate walls. The low-frequency Wi-Fi that HaLow offers also requires less power, so the chips can potentially run for years on small batteries.
The company launched at Cicada Innovations and moved this year with an expansion to Sydney’s Tech Central as part of an agreement with the NSW Government.
Founded in 2016 by Andrew Terry and Michael De Nil, a pair of former engineers at US semiconductor giant Broadcom – whose chips are used in Apple devices – Morse Micro now employs at least 140 people in five countries.
De Nil, the CEO of Morse Mirco, said they were “glad that these leading institutional investors” backed them in the final round
“The substantial investment from these leading pension funds demonstrates our belief in our vision to revolutionize IoT connectivity,” he said.
“Most of all, this investment comes at a time when traction for Wi-Fi HaLow is growing and Morse Micro is building sustainable Wi-Fi HaLow solutions for the future. As part of our Series B round, this additional funding is a cornerstone investment in our company’s journey to market scale and leadership.”