Qualinx, a pioneer in ultra-low power wireless tracking and connectivity semiconductors, has announced that its Series A financing has reached $20 million. An additional $10.2 million complements the $8.8 million (8 million Euros) investment announced earlier this year. The new round comes from existing investors, FORWARD.one, InnovationQuarter Capital and Waterman Ventures, and includes an Innovation Credit facility from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO. Qualinx now has sufficient financing to complete the development of its second-generation GNSS IoT radio system-on-chip (SoC) and to commence mass production in 2024.
Founded as a spin-off from Delft University of Technology and supported by earlier investments from Delft Enterprises, the company developed and successfully tested a new radio chip that can receive geo-positioning information from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) with a 10 times lower power consumption, smaller chip size and at reduced costs compared to existing solutions. The chip is able to detect signals from all major satellite systems including GPS, to accurately determine location and time.
“This next step in our Series A financing round shows the confidence of our existing investors in DRF technology and our successful application for RVO’s Innovation Credit facility reaffirms that our technology and market strategy are on track”, said Tom Trill, CEO at Qualinx.”
Qualinx’s Digital Radio Frequency (DRF) technology transfers most of a wireless chip’s analog functions into the digital domain. This brings CMOS scaling benefits to GPS-like radios and to other industry-standard, short and long-range radios. In all these devices, DFR functions can be configured in software to precisely tailor the radio’s performance for each application, while delivering up to 10X power reduction in smaller, lower-cost packages than those of traditional radios.
The company’s first-generation product, the QLX300+ is believed to be the world’s smallest and most power-efficient Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) sensor. The second-generation QLX400 will combine the GNSS sensor with an IoT radio on one chip. The GNSS sensors receive geo-positioning information, detecting signals from all major satellite systems including GPS and Galileo, to accurately determine location and time. The addition of a radio creates a low-power system-on-chip that will extend the operating life of battery-powered products from months to years.
“Early customer engagements confirm that geo-positioning and asset tracking will be key applications for our technology, but it will be equally attractive for many other IoT products, from security devices to fitness trackers. In fact, the scale of Qualinx’s market opportunity is breathtaking”, added Trill.
Arjan Göbel, partner at FORWARD.one, said, “Qualinx has not only invented an exceptionally useful technology for solving real-world challenges, but the company has already proven its ability to execute on the milestones in its business plan. In the volatile world of deep-tech investment, we view Qualinx as an example to others of how to commercialize semiconductor innovation and we’re delighted to be alongside them on this journey.”
Marcus Preijde, programme coordinator at RVO’s Innovation Credit, said, “Qualinx put forward a strong proposal for the Innovation Credit, showcasing its cutting-edge technology and its potential to disrupt the semiconductor industry. Based on a well-defined business plan and its experienced leadership, we expect Qualinx to be very successful. Qualinx is undoubtedly a great example of the Dutch innovative companies and projects, which we are so proud to support with the Innovation Credit.”
Steve Dickens, VP and Practice Leader at research and advisory firm Futurum Group, commented, “We have been tracking Qualinx and their innovation trajectory for over a year, and the team raising capital in a tough market speaks volumes. The semiconductor and positioning space is ripe for disruption, and we are watching closely as Qualinx comes to market and are excited by the innovation we have seen so far.”