Drives growth and advances 60GHz wireless baseband IP for 802.11ad WiFi and 4G network backhaul 

60GHz wireless specialist, Blu Wireless has closed a $3.1 million (£2m) funding round. This will allow the company to drive further growth, doubling in size to 30 staff, and complete the development of its HYDRA baseband IP offering for 802.11ad next generation WiFi (WiGig CERTIFIED) and 4G mobile network backhaul applications.

The funding round was led by Qi3 Accelerator, who represented a syndicate of over $1.5m (£1m) of London Business Angels private investors, including Wren Capital. A further $0.9 million (£0.6m) was invested by the Angel Co-Fund, several additional investors made up the remainder.

Henry Nurser, CEO of 60GHz baseband IP company Blu Wireless

Henry Nurser, Blu Wireless CEO

Blu Wireless’s baseband technology uses a flexible parallel processing architecture to efficiently support the complex modulation schemes required for emerging multi-gigabit wireless communication standards. The IP is currently optimised for chipsets used in both advanced WiFi and 4G small cell deployments, and can be simply scaled to support the anticipated future standards as they move to 20Gbps and beyond.

The Bristol, UK based firm is already working with several of the world’s leading semiconductor and system companies in these markets.

The IP will be sold under license agreement to chipset manufacturers that compete in, or want to enter, markets that exploit the unlicensed 60GHz frequency band.

Blu Wireless’s CEO, Henry Nurser commented: “With the completion of this funding round, we will be executing our plan to become the leading supplier of baseband system IP to manufacturers in the 60GHz sector.

“Qi3 Accelerator did a great job to pull this large syndicate together and the Angel Co-Fund’s involvement was also vital to the transaction.”

Tim de Vere Green and Nathan Hill of Qi3 Accelerator led the transaction, alongside Rajat Malhotra of Wren Capital. Tim de Vere Green will join the Blu Wireless board.

Tim de Vere Green said: “This is a very exciting sector and we are convinced Blu Wireless will be a global leader in 60GHz technology. We believe 60GHz applications in both consumer WiGig and telecoms backhaul are set for rapid growth, and Blu Wireless is already working with several of the world’s leading semiconductor companies in these markets. The thorough due diligence we have conducted has given us great confidence in the team’s technical and management capabilities, as well as their deep knowledge of their target markets.”

Advisors to the transaction included solicitors Harrison Clark Rickerby, Roxburgh Milkins and Geldards.