Pharrowtech raises €15 million in Series A funding to develop the world’s first viable wireless alternative to fiber optics

Levine, Belgium – (work wirePharrowtech, a leader in the design and development of millimeter wave (mmWave) hardware and software for the next generation of wireless applications, today announced the closing of a €15 million Series A funding round to further develop next-generation wireless 60 GHz RF transceivers and antenna technology. .

This investment round was led by Innovation Industries, a reputable Netherlands-based deep-tech investor, and was joined by investors Seed Round imec.xpand, Bloc Ventures and KBC Focus Fund. The funding will enable Pharrowtech to accelerate the deployment of the 60 GHz CMOS Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit (RFIC) PTR1060, the PTM1060 Radio Frequency Relay Module (RFM) PTM1060 for 5G for unlicensed fixed wireless access, wireless infrastructure, and consumer applications. The capital raised will also be used to ensure the best customer support, expand Pharrowtech’s US operations, and grow its engineering and business teams to drive its product roadmap and drive growth.

In a world driven by digital transformation, high speed internet connectivity has become a critical asset. Various economic and geographic factors are leading governments and companies around the world to search for solutions that can bridge the digital divide and provide high-speed connectivity. Pharrowtech offers a unique solution, providing gigabit-per-second speeds to consumers and businesses wirelessly. The company designs subsystems for 60 GHz operations without a license. This frequency range is becoming increasingly important for applications such as remote work and learning, augmented and virtual reality, entertainment and gaming, thanks to its greater capacity and lower latency. Network operators are increasingly looking to Fixed External Wireless Access (FWA) solutions as the most efficient and economical solution to deliver the required gigabit-per-second speeds to consumers. In parallel, due to the increasing capabilities of 5G radio base stations, mobile operators are deploying millimeter wave solutions to meet the growing demand for delivery network architectures for large and high density small cell deployments.

Building on imec’s research, development and prototyping, Pharrowtech recently announced the availability of the PTR1060, the first IEEE 802.11ay compliant CMOS RF chip for indoor and outdoor wireless use cases supporting the full 57 to 71 GHz bandwidth. The company has also launched PTM1060 Phased Array Antenna Modules (RFM) to provide OEM/ODM with a turnkey 60GHz solution. The levels of integration, performance, and capabilities of Pharrowtech’s latest RFIC unlock the full potential of low-cost, small form factor and low-power FWA deployments, 5G and Wi-Fi infrastructure regeneration, next-generation consumer electronics products, and high-power IoT devices. Speed ​​links. Programming interfaces and adjustable features of the chip and antenna allow for optimal integration by equipment manufacturers.

Both products are currently available to select customers and are actually built by a top-tier US hardware vendor. The company is also offering consumer demos and assessment kits and will ramp up production in the third quarter of 2022.

Wim Van Tillo, CEO and Co-founder of Pharrowtech says:This year started with a great note for Pharrowtech and this investment is another milestone in our journey. Despite the challenges brought by a global pandemic, Pharrowtech has been able to quickly transition from IMEC R&D prototypes in 2019 to scaling production of an exceptionally advanced 60GHz RF solution by 2022. Our agility and capabilities have put us at the fore, delivering solutions from Shaping the future of communication everywhere. We would like to thank our team, our investors, our partners and especially our clients for their faith in us. As the next phase of our growth continues, we are committed to providing RF solutions for multi-GHz links to enable low-cost infrastructure and consumer applications. ”

Sander Verbrugge, Partner, Innovation Industries comments: “Pharrowtech is leading the way in enabling the next generation of connectivity with its cutting edge technology and products. Connectivity and high bandwidth fuel innovation and are essential to modern society. We are proud to be a part of this journey and to support this global team in achieving their global ambitions.”

David Liftley, Chief Technology Officer, Block Ventures adds:The global network infrastructure is rapidly evolving from a costly and complex technology to an agile and easy-to-deploy ecosystem. Pharrowtech is at the forefront of this revolution, improving bandwidth connectivity for all stakeholders. The team’s latest innovations are a testament to their expertise, implementation and commitment, and we are pleased to support them in their future endeavours.”

Peter Vanbekbergen, Partner, imec.xpand says: “Pharrowtech is a prime example of how the product-focused imec spin-off is accelerating the introduction of advanced technologies into the marketplace. This investment supports this accelerated entry into the market and will additionally strengthen Pharrowtech’s strategic position in the wireless ecosystem. We are proud to support Pharrowtech in becoming a global player in this ecosystem.”

Rudi Severns, Chief Investment Officer, KBC Focus Fund adds:As a leading investor in DeepTech with a clear focus on semiconductors and leveraging KBC Group’s network in its projects in Belgium and neighboring countries, KBC Focus Fund is committed to actively supporting the ecosystem, working closely with like-minded investors such as imec.xpand, Bloc Ventures and Innovation Industries. Pharrowtech’s industry-leading technology will change the current trajectory of the wireless ecosystem, and we are proud to have partnered with them from the start and continue to support their growth journey. ”

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About Pharotech

Pharrowtech designs and develops mmWave radio frequency (RF) technology for next-generation wireless applications, with products including RFIC semiconductor, phased antenna arrays and software solutions. Pharrowtech’s leading products serve fast-growing markets including 5G broadband fixed wireless access (FWA), consumer electronics (CE) products such as virtual reality (VR) headsets and televisions, as well as IoT applications for smart cities.

About Innovation Industries

Innovation Industries is a leading venture capital fund in deep tech that invests in Deep Tech, MedTech and Agri-food tech. Her team lives and breathes technology, with diverse and complementary backgrounds in (bio) physics, physiology, chemistry, engineering and more, along with extensive industry experience. Industrial Industries follows a pragmatic approach, actively supporting its portfolio companies.

About imec.xpand

Imec.xpand is an early stage and growth venture capital fund with a game-changing approach to transforming hardware-driven nanotechnology innovations into successful global businesses. The fund is independently managed by a team of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business experts and targets ambitious tech startups that meet all criteria to become a successful, scalable venture with the potential to change the world.

About Block Ventures

Founded by long-standing industry experts from ARM and Vodafone, Bloc Ventures is a venture capital firm targeting early-stage “deep” technology companies, and works closely with them to build world leaders. Bloc’s collaborative approach is designed to identify and build on compelling investment opportunities, create long-term value and reduce risk for investors.

About the KBC Focus Fund

The KBC Focus Fund is a €50 million venture capital fund focused on deeptech. We have the ambition to boost the nanotechnology, microelectronics and Internet of Things sector. We mainly focus on Belgium and the surrounding countries where there are well-known centers of expertise in this technological field.

The KBC Focus Fund benefits from the network and expertise of the KBC Group and is managed by KBC Securities. KBC Securities has a solid knowledge of the technology ecosystem in Belgium and abroad with experienced teams in M&A, corporate finance, research and sales departments. As part of the KBC Group, the KBC Focus Fund aims to be a long-term partner for entrepreneurs.

About IMEC

Imec is a world-leading research and innovation center in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. Imec leverages state-of-the-art research and development infrastructure and its team of over 5,000 employees and senior researchers, to research and develop advanced semiconductor and system measurement, silicon photonics, artificial intelligence, beyond 5G communication and sensing technologies, and in application areas such as health and life sciences. , mobility, industry 4.0, agri-food, smart cities, sustainable energy, education … -ups, academia and knowledge centers. Headquartered in Leuven (Belgium), Imec has research sites across Belgium, the Netherlands and the USA and offices in China, India, Taiwan and Japan. In 2020, IMEC’s ​​(P&L) total revenue was €680 million.

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