May 31, 2019 — Australian semiconductor IoT start-up, Morse Micro, has secured $23.8 million in Series A funding to take its ultra low power Wi-Fi HaLow chip to mass production. The round was led by Ray Stata and Main Sequence Ventures, CSIRO Innovation Fund, with participation from Skip Capital, Blackbird Ventures, Right Click Capital, Uniseed, and the Clean Energy Innovation Fund.*
Ray Stata, founder and chairman of semiconductor multinational Analog Devices, was appointed to the Board, joining Andrew Terry and Michael De Nil (Morse Micro co-founders) and Mike Nicholls (Main Sequence Ventures partner).
Further to funding mass production, the cash injection will also be used to double Morse Micros team size across multiple local and overseas markets, and move its headquarters from Eveleigh to Sydneys CBD to accommodate its ambitious growth plans for 2019 and beyond. According to Ray Stata, Sydney is an ideal location for the company to headquarter its operations.
Given its historic roots in Wi-Fi, its unsurprising that Sydney has such a large pool of engineers with Wi-Fi experience to support Micro Morses ambition to be the leader in Wi-Fi HaLow chips this certainly gives the company a head start, said Mr. Stata. Morse Micro founders, Andrew Terry and Michael De Nil, are two of the industrys most talented and experienced Wi-Fi chip designers.
Main Sequence Ventures co-led Morse Micros seed round and were keen to co-lead again, with partner Mike Nicholls stating: Since funding their seed round in 2017, the team has outperformed on both product delivery and customer business development. This, combined with the fact that the new chip fills a gap in a number of fast-growing segments, gave us the confidence to invest further. According to Morse Micro co-founder, Andrew Terry, this overperformance resulted from a tailored approach to product development and market fit.
Designing for the IoT is challenging as the requirements are very different to other markets, said Mr Terry. So we started from scratch and designed an architecture specifically suited to the demands of the IoT and to the various markets where its many applications were most suited. Morse Micros chip uses a 900MHz radio band which boasts extended range and lower power consumption compared to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands used by conventional Wi-Fi. This is because lower frequencies allow the signals to reach further and pass through objects better, all while using less power.
In addition to this, Morse Micros chip also supports high bandwidths and very large networks: over 8,000 devices can be connected to a single access point, with data rates of many megabits-per-second. This enables its use in a wide range of applications beyond the traditional IoT use cases of smart homes and sensor networks, including industrial controls, asset management, video, retail signs and displays.