Funds

Startup Funding: October 2022

Investors poured $3.5 billion into 113 startup companies in October 2022, especially new battery technology, AI hardware, and faster memory access.

Battery technology dominated the fundraising in October thanks to the U.S. Department of Energy and four funding rounds that exceeded $200M. The DOE awarded sizeable grants to help 20 companies, including six startups, build out battery material processing and manufacturing capabilities in the U.S. Separately, investors put big financing behind companies developing grid-scale storage systems, improved lithium separation and processing, and recycled cathodes. There were plenty of smaller rounds, as well: 25 battery companies are featured in this report, ranging from flexible batteries for wearables to ones that can support electric aviation.

AI hardware also scored big, with startups garnering investment for both edge and server accelerators. Two companies are planning to debut chips next year that are based around in-memory compute architectures, while another is focused specifically on accelerating deep learning recommendation models. Also on the receiving end were companies focused on faster memory access, physical verification running on general-purpose GPUs, back-end photonic interconnect fabrics, and under-display cameras.

Chip design

Polar Bear Tech raised CNY 150.0M (~$20.9M) in angel+ financing from Inno-Chip, iFlytek, China Fortune-Innovation Capital, and others, following an earlier round in May. The startup provides design services for custom algorithm accelerator server chips. It takes a chiplet-based approach, which it says reduces the time and cost for a full design compared with traditional ASIC solutions. The company’s first lightweight Hub Die chiplet has been taped out and will be released soon. It has also developed several NPU chiplets. Funds will be used for development on the next generation of its general-purpose Hub Die chiplet and related interface technologies. Founded in 2021, it is based in Xi’An, China.

Spacemit drew hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$13.9M) in a pre-Series A+ round led by Legend Capital, joined by Matrix Partners, Brizan Ventures, and Beyond Ventures, and a previous Pre-A round jointly led by Matrix Partners and Glory Ventures. Spacemit is designing high-performance RISC-V processors, initially targeting applications such as intelligent robots and edge computing nodes. It is also starting development on a RISC-V core for servers. Based in Hangzhou, China, it was founded in 2021.

Lisuan Technology raised over CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in pre-Series A funding from Juntong Capital, Ondine Capital, Delta Capital, and Zhefang Capital. Lisuan Tech is developing a GPU for high-performance graphics rendering based on its own Pangu architecture, which the company says supports scaling up to 16,384 cores. It also uses AI methods to improve GPU functions and PPA. Its first chip is based on a 6nm process and is expected to be available next year. The startup eventually hopes to target a variety of end products including cloud, edge, and client devices. Funds will be used for R&D. Based in Nanjing, China, it was founded in 2021.

Sifli Technology drew nearly CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in a Series A round that included Lanpu Capital, Cedarlake Capital, and Legend Capital. Sifli Technology develops high-performance and ultra-low power MCUs for IoT devices and wearables. Its first-generation series integrates Bluetooth, 2D/2.5D GPU, and neural network accelerator, while the second-generation adds dual-mode Bluetooth and audio codecs. Funds will be used for marketing and R&D. It also plans to expand to the automotive market. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2019.

Fabric Systems raised $13.0M in seed funding from Metaplanet Holdings, Blockchain.com, and 8090 Partners. The startup is developing cryptography accelerator hardware, including a programmable cryptography ASIC to run algorithms such as zero-knowledge proofs. It is also in the cryptocurrency mining space, with its first planned products a Bitcoin mining ASIC and closed-loop immersion cooling system that aims to improve energy efficiency. Based in California, USA, it was founded in 2021.

Advancechip, also known as Jinxin Electronic Technology, received new funding from BYD and others. Advancechip designs digital signal processor (DSP) chips. Its products in mass production include 32-bit fixed-point arithmetic, 32-bit floating-point arithmetic, and 16-bit fixed-point arithmetic chips. Target markets include power tools, white goods, and consumer electronics. Based in Changsha, China, it was founded in 2012.

Ambitek received Series A financing. The startup designs SoCs for consumer electronics such as TWS earbuds, wearables, and smart speakers. Based in Chengdu, China, it was founded in 2020.

Blueshift Memory received a grant from Innovate UK. Blueshift Memory has developed a memory chip architecture for more efficient handling of large data sets and time-critical data, which it claims enables up to 1,000 times faster memory access for specific data-focused applications. The grant will be used to develop a computer vision application on edge devices for the IoT, based around the company’s architecture. “By dramatically increasing memory access speed, the compact CV AI module we are developing will open up use cases such as onboard real-time scenario analysis in body-worn cameras,” said Peter Marosan, founder and CEO of Blueshift Memory. “It will also help us demonstrate the potential benefits of the Cambridge Architecture IP for larger system-on-chip designs for applications like High Frequency Trading and In-Memory Databases.” Founded in 2016, it is based in Cambridge, UK.

FDMtek closed a Series B round from Addor Capital, China Internet Investment Fund, China Reform Fund, Shenzhen Capital Group, and others. FDMtek designs digital signal processor (DSP) chips for video and voice processing and high-precision real-time control. Funds will be used for R&D and expanding to the industrial control and new energy markets. Based in Beijing, China, it was founded in 2018.

Integense Microelectronics raised Series A funding from Addor Capital, Stony Creek Capital, and Mingshan Capital. Integense provides end-to-end semiconductor development services, including definition, design, verification, process optimization, fabrication, packaging, and test solutions. It specializes in custom ASICs and analog/mixed-signal circuit design for high-volume industrial and consumer applications. Integense also offers pin electronics, device power supplies, and ASIC solutions for automatic test equipment (ATE) as well as thermal printer head drivers, display and LED lighting drivers, power management controllers, and chips for disposable continuous glucose monitoring systems. Based in San Jose, California, USA, it was founded in 2015.

AI hardware

Kneron closed a $48.0M Series B round led by Horizons Ventures, joined by LiteOn Technology, Adata Technology, Foxconn, and others. Kneron develops edge AI SoCs using the company’s own NPU architecture. Its latest chip supports INT4 precision, transformer models, and includes an image signal processor. The startup also provides development boards along with image recognition models that balance power, model size, and complexity. “We are excited to work our new strategic investors in the advancement of core smart city infrastructures. Edge AI is key to enabling a whole array of devices, from edge servers to smart cameras, which will truly accelerate a proliferation of AI applications that require cross-vertical efforts. With new funding, we are prepared to tape out a next generation of innovative chips,” said Albert Liu, founder and CEO of Kneron. Founded 2015 and based in San Diego, California, USA, it has raised over $140M.

SiMa.ai extended its Series B1 round by $37.0M to $67.0M, with new investment from MSD Partners. The round also includes participation from existing partners Fidelity Management & Research Company, Amplify Partners, Dell Technologies Capital, Wing Venture Capital, Alter Venture Partners, +ND Capital, and Lip-Bu Tan. The round was first announced in May. SiMa.ai builds SoCs for machine learning workloads at low power. The startup’s initial focus is computer vision applications at the embedded edge for sectors such as security cameras, robotics and Industry 4.0, drones, autonomous vehicles, healthcare, and government. Its software-centric MLSoC platform, which recently started shipping, aims to be a simple way to deploy and scale edge ML and includes computer vision processors, ML accelerator, and application processors. It can be used either as a standalone edge-based system controller or as a ML offload accelerator for processors and ASICs. Founded in 2018 and based in San Jose, California, USA, it has raised $187M to date.

Axelera AI closed a $27.0M Series A round led by Innovation Industries, joined by imec.xpand and the Federal Holding and Investment Company of Belgium (SFPIM). In addition, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) awarded Axelera AI with a $6.7M Innovation Credit loan. Axelera AI is designing an edge AI hardware and software platform. The acceleration platform utilizes in-memory computing and a custom dataflow architecture. The integrated software stack will allow customers to run their neural networks on the accelerator without any model retraining. The startup claims its platform can provide the AI computational power of a server in a single chip with lower power consumption and price. So far, Axelera AI has taped out a testbench chip, which delivered 39.3 TOP/s with an efficiency of 14.1 TOPs/W at an INT8 precision in less than 9 square millimeters. Funds will be used to support mass production and launch of its first-generation AI platform, planned for 2023, as well as hiring. The company also plans to expand to the United States and Taiwan this year. Based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, it was founded in 2021.

Neuchips raised $20.0M in Series B2 funding from Wistron, JAFCO Asia, Powerchip Group, and Raydium Semiconductor Corporation. Neuchips is developing AI inference accelerators. Its first chip is targeted for deep learning recommendation models running in data centers, and the startup says it can perform over 20 million inferences per second at 20 Watts for leading recommender AI models. The platform uses FFP8 and includes hardwired accelerators, query scheduling, and a software stack. It will be ready to sample later this year. Based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, the startup was founded in 2019.

Yizhu Technology raised over CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in pre-Series A financing led by Longqiu Capital. Yizhu Technology is developing in-memory compute chips using ReRAM for both edge and server AI applications. The startup claims its architecture provides energy efficiency gains compared to traditional architectures and makes it easier to deploy AI algorithms with automatic optimization. It expects to tape out the first-generation chip in the first quarter of next year. Funds will be used for R&D and commercialization. Based in Suzhou, China, it was founded in 2020.

EDA

Amsimcel was awarded €4.8M (~$4.8M) in grant and equity financing from the European Innovation Council. Amsimcel develops a framework for physical verification. Its design rule checking (DRC) engine utilizes the massive parallel-computing capabilities of general-purpose graphic processor units (GPGPUs), which the company claims enables a 5-20x speedup compared to current solutions and near-linear scalability for hundreds of GPU nodes. It also provides a cloud platform built to distribute and coordinate a pool of GPU tasks. Founded in 2017, it is based in Bucharest, Romania.

DeTooLIC drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in Series A financing from SDIC Ventures. DeTooLIC provides EDA tools and multi-physics simulation software for advanced packaging and PCB, as well as 3D electromagnetic field simulation software. It is currently developing equivalent circuit extraction tools and interconnected signal integrity/power integrity design platforms for advanced packaging. Based in Ningbo, China, it was founded in 2021.

Rigoron Software raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in two early-stage funding rounds that included Huayi Ventures and Yuanhe Puhua. Rigoron offers digital IC signoff analysis and full-chip PPA optimization tools. Its signoff capabilities include timing constraint management and validation, static timing analysis, power analysis, IR-drop, and other checks. Funds will be used for R&D and product iteration. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2021.

Manufacturing & equipment

FA Software raised hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$13.9M) in Series D financing led by Shanghai Semiconductor Equipment and Material Investment Fund, with participation from Qingdao Zhongke Yuchen Investment Management, Hypercycle Venture, and Suzhou Anxin Tongying Venture Capital. FA Software offers a manufacturing execution system (MES) and computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) software for semiconductor fabrication, including production requirements planning, equipment management, data collection, and reticle management. It supports up to 12-inch wafer production lines. The company also provides solutions for photovoltaic and LED manufacturing. Funds will be used for R&D, including development of 12-inch semiconductor production line subsystems and other software. Founded in 1999, it is based in Shanghai, China.

Grand Hitek raised hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$13.9M) in Series A+ financing from Stony Creek Capital, China Fortune-Tech Capital, Zhongguancun Development Group, Etown Capital, Novartis Capital, and others. Grand Hitek provides dry vacuum pump equipment, components, and repair services for manufacturing semiconductors, display panels, solar photovoltaics, LED lighting, and lithium batteries. Funds will be used to expand vacuum pump mass production capacity. Founded in 2010, it is based in Beijing, China.

Techsense International, also known as Shiyu Precision, drew hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$13.9M) in new financing from IDG Capital, Orient Securities, Hypercycle Venture, Acorn Partners, and others. Techsense makes packaging and testing equipment. It offers ball mounting and integrated inspection/repair systems, flip-chip bonding, die sorters, automated optical inspection (AOI), substrate transfer equipment, AGV robots, and customized automation systems. Founded in 2013, it is based in Shanghai, China.

Wiseetec raised CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in Series A funding that included Sharewin Investment, Jihua Capital, GP Capital, and CRRC. Wiseetec makes semiconductor bonding and debonding equipment, including both temporary bonding and permanent bonding. It supports from 2-inch to 12-inch wafers. Based in Suzhou, China, it was founded in 2021.

Huajing Information drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in Series A financing from Dynamic Balance Capital. Huajing Information provides computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) and manufacturing execution system (MES) software for semiconductor, flat panel display, and photovoltaic manufacturing. It supports 6-, 8-, and 12-inch wafer lines. Funds will be used for R&D and hiring. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2016.

iBDTEC received tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in pre-Series B financing from China Fortune-Tech Capital. iBDTEC makes ion sources and ion beam equipment for ultra-high-precision multi-layer coating, surface etching, and surface polishing in manufacturing semiconductors, MEMS, LEDs, and optics. Funds will be used to expand production capacity and for R&D. Based in Zhongshan, China, it was founded in 2016.

Pinwei Intelligent Technology raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in pre-Series A funding from Jolmo Capital. Pinwei provides a range of software for manufacturing and packaging ICs, PCBs, SMT, and photovoltaics. Its products include manufacturing execution system (MES), equipment automation program (EAP), recipe management system (RMS), alarm management system (ALMS), wafer mapping and strip mapping, electronic data capture (EDS), quality management system (QMS), and statistical process control (SPC). Funds will be used for R&D. Founded in 2018, it is based in Nanjing, China.

Lidrotec was awarded a $1.0M grant from New York State as part of the Luminate NY accelerator competition. Lidrotec has developed a wafer-dicing laser technology for the semiconductor industry. It uses liquids in the laser processing zone, which cool and rinse wafers while the laser cuts out the chips. The startup claims this produces thinner cuts with higher precision, no damages to the material, clean surfaces without debris, and higher processing speeds without needing to adapt the production process. As part of the award, Lidrotec will establish operations in New York’s Finger Lakes region for at least the next 18 months. Founded in 2019, it is based in Bochum, Germany.

FlashPCB received a $0.3M grant from the National Science Foundation. FlashPCB offers a rapid PCB assembly service for prototyping. The grant will be used in developing AI algorithms to determine the optimal selection of components to be mounted on the PCB, with the aim of saving cost and time. Founded in 2021, it is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Femtum received a CAD $0.2M (~$0.2M) repayable investment from Canada Economic Development. Femtum makes mid-infrared laser systems with products including mid-IR pulsed fiber lasers, fiber amplifiers, and tunable sources. For semiconductor processing, the mid-IR lasers can be used to precisely ablate materials including silicon and germanium through multiphoton absorption. They can also be used in selective patterning of transparent conducting films on various substrates and on-surface waveguide inscription. A spin out from the Center for Optics, Photonics and Lasers founded in 2017, it is based in Québec, Québec, Canada.

Test, measurement & inspection

Govion Technology raised hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$13.9M) in Series C financing from Shangqi Capital, China Fortune-Tech Capital, SND Financial Holdings, China Development Bank Capital, CITIC Securities, and others. Govion Technology makes automated optical inspection (AOI) systems for semiconductor wafers, chip packages, displays, and batteries. It also offers a machine vision deep learning development platform, a standardized database for defects, and a platform for industrial automation and motion control based on machine vision. Based in Suzhou, China, it was founded in 2015.

SixSense drew $2.6M in Series A funding from Tin Men Capital. SixSense offers an AI-powered visual defect classification software platform for semiconductor inspection. The startup says its AI has built-in explainability that enables factory engineers to understand the reason defects occur and to predict anomalies in manufacturing equipment before they present as product defects. Funds will be used for hiring. Founded in 2018, it is based in Singapore.

Terapark Technology raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in pre-Series A+ funding from Hikvision and Panlin Capital. Terapark Technology has developed CMOS terahertz high-speed imaging chips with frequencies ranging from 100 to 400GHz. It is planning to incorporate these in terahertz industrial inspection modules and instruments for non-destructive inspection of semiconductor materials, high-power and high-frequency electronic materials, photovoltaics, and other materials. They can also be used for terahertz imaging and proximity sensing applications. Funds will be used for mass production and marketing. Based in Nanjing, China, it was founded in 2020.

Materials

Supermat Technology received nearly CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in financing from Cornerstone Capital, Hanwei Technology, Shenzhen High-tech Investment, and others. The company manufactures high-performance compound semiconductor epitaxial materials and infrared optoelectronic devices. Funds will be used for production line upgrades, technology iteration, and mass production. Founded in 2015, it is based in Beijing, China.

SweGaN raised 125.0M SEK (~$11.4M) in Series A funding led by Intertech Ventures, Mount Wilson Ventures, and Atlantic Bridge, with participation from STOAF and MediaTek. SweGaN manufactures custom gallium nitride on silicon carbide (GaN-on-SiC) epitaxial wafers for a range of devices used in telecom, satellite, defense, and power electronics. The company says its QuanFINE structure combines high-electron-velocity thin GaN with high-breakdown bulk SiC and removes the conventional thick doped buffer layer to bring the hot channel closer to the heat-sink SiC substrate, eliminate Fe-related deep traps, and shorten the production time. Funds will be used to increase production capacity and hire, including for its executive team. Founded in 2014, it is based in Linköping, Sweden.

Didao Microelectronics (Didaomat) raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in Series A funding from Matrix Partners China, following a pre-A round in July. The company produces photoresists for flat panel display and semiconductor manufacturing, as well as materials for back-end and advanced package cleaning. Funds will be used for R&D and marketing. Founded in 2020, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

Hanking Semiconductor Materials received tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in angel financing from Zheshang Venture Capital. The startup makes silicon carbide (SiC) components for semiconductor equipment. Its products include SiC tubes, wafer boats, caps, fins, and rings. Funds will be used for R&D and equipment procurement. Based in Shenyang, China, it was founded in June 2022.

Hunan Dezhi New Material received new financing from Addor Capital. Dezhi makes silicon carbide (SiC) nano-mirror coatings, SiC etching rings, ceramic matrix composite materials, and consumables for use in semiconductor manufacturing. Founded in 2017, it is based in Zhuzhou, China.

LinkHygH, also known as Linghui Material, received Series A financing from Linxin Investment, Element Capital, Hongtai Investment, and Ishikawa Investment. LinkHygH makes functional adhesives, tapes, and interface materials for applications such as consumer electronics, lithium batteries, semiconductors, displays, and new energy vehicles. The company began operation of its first production line earlier this year. Founded in 2021, it is based in Suzhou, China.

Analog & mixed signal

Senlogics drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in pre-Series A funding from China Fortune-Tech Capital and Guolian Investment. Senlogics designs magnetic field sensors, high-precision capacitive sensors, and high-performance ADCs. It targets industrial automation, IoT, automotive, and high-end consumer electronics. Funds will be used for hiring, commercialization of various sensor chips, and development of high-performance analog chip products. Based in Wuxi, China, it was founded in 2020.

ZY Micro, also known as Zhiyi Juxin Microelectronics, raised pre-Series A2 financing from Zhuoyuan Capital and Runcheng Assets. ZY Micro develops high-performance ADCs and DACs. It targets wireless communications, medical equipment, navigation equipment, and industrial control applications. Founded in 2018, it is based in Tianjin, China.

Wireless

TaiXin Semiconductor raised over CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in Series B financing led by FG Venture and Gree Group Production and Investment Company. TaiXin Semiconductor designs wireless chips and MCUs for IoT devices, with products including long-distance low-power WiFi HaLow chips, high-performance motor controller chips, general-purpose MCU chips, and high-performance low-cost WiFi-4 chips. Based in Zhuhai, China, it was founded in 2016.

Chixin Semiconductor raised nearly CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in pre-Series A funding from Hui Capital and others. Chixin Semiconductor makes ultra-wideband (UWB) chips for applications such as automotive, consumer electronics, and IoT. Funds will be used for mass production and R&D. Founded in 2020, it is based in Changsha, China.

HooRii Technology drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in angel+ and pre-Series A funding that included Supergravity, YMC Investment, and Bangshi Capital. HooRii Technology provides solutions for the Thread wireless mesh networking protocol for IoT. It offers hardware modules, including Matter-over-Thread, as well as industrial gateways and software. Founded in 2021, it is based in Hangzhou, China.

InCirT drew seed funding from High-Tech Gründerfonds. InCirT develops transceiver technology that enables ultrafast wireless communication in 5G, 5G Advanced, and future 6G networks. The startup claims its IP provides 100x higher data rate than current state-of-the-art while being up to 10x more energy efficient. It can be implemented in low-cost semiconductor technology. Funds will be used to finance ongoing product development and market entry. Founded in 2021, it is based in Aachen, Germany.

Picocom received Series C financing from Zhongbo Juli Capital. Picocom designs and markets open radio access network (O-RAN) standard-compliant baseband SoCs and carrier-grade software products for 5G small cell infrastructure. Founded in 2018, it is based in Bristol, UK, and Hangzhou, China.

Shuangxin Microelectronics received angel funding from CDF Capital. The startup manufactures and designs ceramic electronic components, including RF components and modules, thin-film circuits, ceramic multilayer circuits, and microwave and millimeter-wave modules. Funds will be used for purchasing equipment. Based in Deqing, China, it was founded in 2021.

Power devices

Vergiga Semiconductor, also known as Wei Zhao Semiconductor, raised hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$13.9M) in a Series C round led by BAIC Capital and ATL United, joined by Intel Capital and others. A supplier of power semiconductors, its products include low-voltage, medium-voltage, and high-voltage MOSFETs, IGBT discrete devices, and modules. Applications include PC/server, consumer electronics, communications power supplies, industrial control, automotive electronics, and the new energy industry. Funds will be focused on R&D for new automotive products and SiC products. Founded in 2012, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

Zinsight Technology raised CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in Series A+ financing from Fibonacci VC, Inspiration Capital, and Addor Capital. Zinsight produces silicon carbide (SiC) electric drive systems and high-performance SiC power modules. It targets new energy vehicles, heavy mining vehicles, aviation and marine propulsion, and industrial applications such as micro turbine generators and centrifugal compressors. Founded in 2019, it is based in Shanghai, China.

National Gallium Semiconductor drew nearly CNY 10.0M (~$1.4M) in funding from Hanli Capital and others. The startup makes gallium nitride (GaN) power devices for a range of applications. Funds will be used for product tape out, packaging and testing, mass production, and marketing. Founded in 2022, it is based in Wuxi, China.

Alpha Power Solutions received Series D investment from Xiaomi Industrial Investment, Chendao Capital, and others. The company makes silicon carbide (SiC) power devices, with products including 650V, 1200V, and 1700V SiC diodes, SiC MOSFETs, and modules. Target applications are EV fast charging and electric drive, photovoltaics, energy storage, and servers. Founded in 2017 as a spin off from Vitelic Technology, it is based in Shanghai, China.

Cheery Energy received new investment from the Suzhou Municipal Talent Fund. The startup makes high-efficiency AC/DC power modules, bidirectional AC/DC modules, and high-precision DC power supplies. It also provides power supply customization services. Based in Suzhou, China, it was founded in 2021.

Dongxin Microelectronics received angel investment from Kiwi Instruments. The startup develops power management chips. The two companies plan to collaborate on R&D for motor drive chips. Based in Chengdu, China, it was founded in 2020.

SPrCTECH, also known as Huiyixin Technology, received strategic financing from FiberHome’s Fenghe Fund. The startup offers power management chips for consumer and enterprise applications. Its products include AC/DC, DC/DC, and switching power supply chips. Based in Wuxi, China, it was founded in 2020.

Photonics

PhotonIC Technologies raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in Series C1 financing from Broadstream Capital, Shenneng Chengyi, and Walden International. PhotonIC Technologies makes optoelectronic chips for data centers, 5G, and 3D sensing. Its products include VCSEL drivers, PAM4 DML drivers with TIA, retimers, NRZ limiting redrivers and PAM4 linear redrivers, VCSEL indirect time-of-flight (iToF) and direct time-of-flight (dToF) drivers, and various optical sensors. The company uses both CMOS and silicon germanium (SiGe) processes. Funds will be used for R&D and operations. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2015.

Black Semiconductor received new funding from Cambium Capital Partners, Project A Ventures, Vsquared Ventures, and individual investor Andreas von Bechtolsheim. Black Semiconductor has developed technology that enables fabricating photonics directly on the back end of any electronic circuit, enabling the creation of optical interconnect fabrics. It uses the optical and electrical properties of graphene to convert electronic signals into optical signals (and vice versa), providing on-chip optical signal routing and fiber-to-chip interfaces for chip-to-chip connections. The startup says its technology can enable up to 100,000 times greater distances between individual microchips compared to copper and support up to 10 Pbit/s total data rate systems, without impacting the CMOS front-end. Founded in 2019, it is based in Aachen, Germany.

Gan Semiconductor received new investment from Chuanghe Xincai Fund. The startup makes high-efficiency semiconductor laser chips, ultraviolet LEDs, high-power LEDs, and photodiodes. Based in Lu’an, China, it was founded in 2021.

PhotonPath closed a funding round led by braking systems company Brembo, along with 360 Capital Partners and RoboIT. PhotonPath makes integrated photonics components and subsystems, particularly for communication and sensing applications. The startup uses a Glass On Silicon platform it says provides a high coupling efficiency, very low propagation loss, and low birefringence. It also offers firmware and software, custom packaging, and automated test and assembly. As part of the deal, Brembo and PhotonPath will work together on developing sensing systems based on integrated photonics circuits for the automotive market. “This is a relevant milestone for PhotonPath, as it allows us to focus our development and capabilities on a specific industry vertical, validating our technology solidity and the market bet we are taking in this green field for integrated photonics,” said Douglas Aguiar, co-founder, CEO, and president of PhotonPath. A spin off from Politecnico di Milano founded in 2019, it is based in Milan, Italy.

Quantum computing

Qunnect raised over $8.0M in Series A funding led by Airbus Ventures with participation from Quantonation, SandboxAQ, NY Ventures, Impact Science Ventures, and Motus Ventures. Qunnect is developing quantum-secure networking technology designed for scalable deployment on existing telecom fiber infrastructure. The funds will be used to further develop the product suite, scale manufacturing, and launch a multi-node R&D quantum network testbed connected to existing fiber optic cable to demonstrate entanglement distribution protocols. “This project allows us to showcase our first-of-their-kind quantum memory and entanglement sources, as well as our quantum network support hardware for precise timing and qubit stabilization,” said Qunnect CEO Noel Goddard. Based in New York City, New York, USA, it was founded in 2018.

QuantrolOx received a €2.5M ($2.4M) grant from the European Innovation Council, along with a commitment for an additional €8.0M ($7.8M) as a matching equity investment when the startup raises additional investment from an outside source. QuantrolOx is building automated, machine learning-based control software to tune, stabilize, and optimize qubits. The company is initially targeting solid-state qubits, but says it is applicable to all types of quantum technologies. The funds will be used to support the launch of its product in 2023. Based in Oxford, UK, it was founded in 2021 as a spinoff from the University of Oxford.

Sensors

Metalenz closed a $30.0M Series B round led by Neotribe Ventures and joined by Foothill Ventures, M Ventures, Intel Capital, Osage University Partners, TDK Ventures, 3M Ventures, Global Brains, SG Innovate, Baidu Ventures, Hegemon Capital, and Braemar Ventures. Metalenz designs optical metasurfaces, or meta-optics, that use patterned sub-wavelength structures to combine the functions of several refractive lenses into a single thin and flat surface that can be fabricated using standard semiconductor processes. The company currently offers 3D sensing products including dot pattern projectors and dynamic illumination optics. Funds will be used to accelerate market introduction of its new polarization sensing solution that can provide 3D depth maps, increased shape contrast, and molecular makeup of objects in a small form factor. Founded in 2016 based on research from Harvard University, it is based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Outsight raised $22.0M in financing from Energy Innovation Capital and Bpifrance, alongside Groupe ADP, BNP Paribas, SPDG, Demeter Partners, Safran Corporate Ventures, and Faurecia. Outsight develops real-time software for processing lidar data. The company’s platform, which is available as a plug-and-play hardware device, works with any lidar hardware and handles low-level 3D lidar pre-processing and interfacing, including simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) and relocalization, point-wise perception and segmentation, and object detection, tracking, and classification. It targets robotics, infrastructure, and industrial applications. Founded in 2019, it is based in Paris, France.

Cosemitech raised CNY 150.0M (~$20.9M) in Series C financing from Bridge Capital, Shenzhen Capital Group, Oriza Holdings, and Shanghai STVC Group. Cosemitech makes Hall sensor ICs, including Hall switches, single-chip Hall current sensor ICs, linear Hall ICs, and wheel speed sensor ICs. It targets the automotive, industrial, home appliances, medical, and communications markets. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2014.

Useful Sensors raised $5.0M in seed funding. Its investors include AIX Ventures, Ame Cloud Ventures, Amplify Partners, Bloomberg Beta, Fika Ventures, and Homebrew Management. Useful Sensors combines sensors with AI in a hardware platform that can be integrated into smart appliances and IoT devices. Its first product is a small, low-cost hardware module with camera that detects nearby peoples’ faces and returns information about how many there are, where they are relative to the device, and performs facial recognition. Applications include turning on kiosks when someone approaches or a fan that aims at the nearest person. The startup plans to expand into other sensors and AI applications, including speech recognition. Based in Mountain View, California, USA, it was founded in March 2022.

Ainstec received tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in Series A+ financing led by Meridian Capital, joined by Silicon Harbour and others. Ainstec combines MEMS sensors with an ultra-low power AI processor for 3D vision sensing. It currently offers a structured light module and solid state lidar. Applications include biometrics, gesture recognition, and AR/VR. Funds will be used for R&D and mass production of 3D sensing module products. Founded in 2018, it is based in Suzhou, China.

Spacetouch raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in Series B+ funding from Gree Group Production and Investment Company and Puxin Capital. Spacetouch makes touch and HMI chips for consumer electronics, wearables, and smart home devices. Its offerings include in-ear detection, touch, pressure sensing chips for TWS earbuds, smartwatch touch chips, and ultra-low power speech recognition chips for offline voice control of home appliances. Funds will be used for R&D and to expand to additional markets such as automotive and AR/VR. Based in Zhuhai, China, it was founded in 2017.

Accelovant was awarded a CAD $1.1M (~$0.8M) grant from Pacific Economic Development Canada. Accelovant makes a fiber-optic solid state contact temperature sensor developed for semiconductor, industrial, and scientific measurement applications. The company’s fiber-optic sensors use a ceramic-like material system that capable of emitting light energy in a controllable and predictable pattern under wide temperatures as the photo-luminescent active sensor component. Accelovant says it also increases durability and accuracy. The grant will be used for hiring, purchasing new equipment, and expanding its facility. Founded in 2017, it is based in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Displays & AR/VR

OTI Lumionics raised $55.0M in a Series B round from LG Technology Ventures, Samsung Ventures, UDC Ventures, Anzu Partners, and the Family Office of Lee Lau. OTI Lumionics designs materials and manufacturing processes for OLED displays. Its CPM Patterning technology uses self-assembly to control the growth of thin films as they form in real time, a process the startup says works under mild conditions, does not require extra specialized equipment, and does not generate hazardous liquid wastes. It also enables creation of transparent displays, which allows sensors and cameras to be placed below the screen. “Eliminating notches and cut-outs to maximize screen real estate is a major driver for next-generation device designs from multiple leading brands. Under display cameras and sensors are essential to realizing this design goal, but it is currently incredibly challenging to mass produce these types of displays without trading off performance. Our unique CPM display materials were designed to solve these specific challenges and have recently been customer qualified for mass production of next-generation smartphone displays,” said Michael Helander, president and CEO of OTI Lumionics. The startup uses a quantum and AI-driven computational platform to design new materials that fit existing production processes. Founded in 2011, it is based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

Torey Microelectronics raised over CNY 200.0M (~$27.8M) in financing from TCL Technology, Huaqin Technology, and Huike Investment. Torey Microelectronics designs and manufactures display driver ICs for a wide range of consumer electronics. Funds will be used for hiring, development of high-end display chips, and expansion into the power management chip market. Based in Shenzhen, China, it was founded in 2018.

Shenzhen Best Chip & Display Semiconductor Technology (BCDTEK) received over CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in angel+ funding from Shenzhen Guozhong Venture Capital Management and Hunan Hi-Tech Venture Capital. BCDTEK develops and manufactures OLED driver ICs, silicon-based OLED micro-displays, and display driver boards, including LVDS, HDMI, Type-C, and embedded driver boards. It targets applications such as VR/AR, electronic viewfinders, micro projectors, helmet-mounted displays, and thermal imagers. Funds will be used for construction of a 12-inch silicon-based OLED production line as well as for R&D of silicon-based OLED microdisplay devices. Founded in 2020, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

Wedo Semiconductor raised over CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in a Series A+ round from Shanghai Guofang Construction, Spinnotec, Walden International, Sunic Capital, Zhengxuan Investment, and Hushan Capital. Wedosemi makes display drivers for AMOLED, micro-LED, and Si-OLED displays, with applications including mobile phones, smartwatches, and AR/VR. The funding will help the startup expand into drivers for medium-sized OLED DDIC and LCD TDDI displays for applications such as tablets, notebooks, and vehicle displays. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2021.

Viture raised $10.0M in a Series A round from BAI Capital and Verity Ventures. Viture makes XR smart glasses that can stream games and video from various cloud services. They startup says its first glasses, which are expected to release next year, weigh 78g and can run for 3-5 hours. Funding will be used for mass production. Founded in 2021, it is based in San Francisco, California, USA.

Munevo drew €3.0M (~$2.9M) in funding from Bayern Kapital, BayBG, be10x Capital, Roca X, and others. Munevo has developed smart glasses that allow people with mobility disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and spinal cord injuries to control an electric wheelchair through head movements rather than with their hands. It also enables control of robotic arms, smartphones, smart home systems, and computers. Funds will be used to expand into the United States and other international markets. Founded in 2018, it is based in Munich, Germany.

Nuovision Technology received CNY 15.0M (~$2.1M) in pre-Series A funding. The startup makes micro-LED chips and devices for display, micro-projection, HUD, AR/VR, and optical communication. Founded in 2021, it is based in Suzhou, China.

Planck Quantum raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in pre-Series A funding from BAIC Capital and others. The startup manufactures quantum dot luminescent materials for optoelectronics, microelectronics, and displays. It also designs quantum dot production equipment. The startup says the lifespan of its red and green quantum dot electroluminescent materials can exceed 20,000 hours. Planck Quantum also offers phosphor film products. In the future, it plans to launch products such as quantum dot diffusion plate, non-barrier film, quantum dot ink, and quantum dot photoresist. Founded in 2021, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

Dishitai Optoelectronics Technology received new funding from Jingkai Investment. The startup manufactures OLED displays and lighting panels, focusing on small and medium-sized displays. It expects to finish construction of its manufacturing plant this year. Based in Nanjing, China, it was founded in 2021.

ADAS & autonomy

EVAS Intelligence raised over CNY 300.0M (~$41.1M) in pre-Series A funding led by GAC Capital and Oriental Fortune Capital, joined by Yuexiu Industrial Fund, CDB-CDC Capital, and others. EVAS Intelligence is a fabless company designing IP, SoCs, algorithms, and software toolchain for autonomous driving. The startup has developed image signal processor and deep learning acceleration IP, which are used in its SoC along with heterogeneous computing units. Funds will be used to expand to a global market. Based in Guangzhou, China, it was founded in January 2022.

Kodiak Robotics received a $30.0M growth capital credit facility from Horizon Technology Finance Corporation. Kodiak Robotics focuses on self-driving technology for long-haul trucks using a modular hardware approach that integrates sensors into a streamlined sensor-pod structure that optimizes for perception, scalability, and maintainability. It owns a fleet of self-driving trucks and uses them to haul freight for customers. In 2025, it plans to offer a subscription service where its software and hardware can be integrated into trucks owned by other companies. Based in Mountain View, California, USA, it was founded in 2018.

Anngic raised over CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in Series C funding from Shanghai SIIC Fund Management and Pivot Capital. Anngic makes 4D millimeter-wave radar for automotive applications. It also offers radar-plus-vision sensor fusion systems with perception, path planning, and vehicle control algorithms for L2 ADAS. Capabilities include forward collision warning, adaptive cruise, automatic emergency braking, headway monitoring and warning, pedestrian collision warning, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. The company operates its own production line from SMT to automated assembly. The funds will be used to facilitate cooperation with OEMs. Founded in 2014, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

Novauto received nearly CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in Series A2 funding from Guochuang Future Fund, GF Qianhe, Yunshi Capital, and SEE Fund. This follows a similarly-sized round in March. Novauto develops intelligent driving computing and perception platforms for applications including L2 and unmanned low-speed driving. It also offers automatic model optimization software, point cloud algorithm optimization tools, customized acceleration IP library, and high-reliability system middleware. Funds will be used to develop the next generation of its architecture and for mass production. Founded in 2019 as a spin out from Tsinghua University, it is based in Beijing, China.

Autowise.ai raised nearly $12.0M in Series B3 financing from Sense Capital (the investment arm of AI vision company SenseTime) and others. The funding follows a $30.0M tranche in July. Autowise.ai develops autonomous street sweeper and sanitation vehicles capable of operating both in controlled environments such as ports and in open locations with other vehicles and pedestrians. It plans to expand its technology to other autonomous driving applications. Based in Shanghai, China, it was founded in 2017.

DeepScenario raised seven-digit seed funding (€1.0M is ~$1.0M) from High-Tech Gründerfonds, MobilityFund, and angel investors. DeepScenario develops an AI platform that enables companies to train, test, and validate autonomous systems against real-world edge-case scenarios and traffic data, staged against any location, and against any ambient conditions. “What sets the AI Scenario Engine apart is our scenario mining process. We leverage our breakthrough computer vision algorithms to get access to representative real-world distributions at scale, and across all three spatial dimensions plus the time dimension,” said Holger Banzhaf, founder and CEO of DeepScenario. Based in Munich, Germany, it was founded in 2021.

Leo Drive raised seed funding from automotive software company TIER IV. Leo Drive offers turnkey autonomous vehicle development services to OEMs, Tier 1s, and other potential users of self-driving technologies. The startup is also developing off-the-shelf software-enabled hardware products, particularly sensor suites. The two companies have been working together as part of the Autoware open-source software project for autonomous driving. Funds will be used for hiring and to mature its product offerings. Founded in 2015, it is based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Auto components

Swift Navigation raised $100.0M in Series D financing led by SK Inc. and Potentum Partners, joined by existing investors including New Enterprise Associates, Eclipse Ventures, and EPIQ Capital Group, as well as new investors FM Capital, OVN Capital, TELUS Ventures, TWM Venture, Buckley Ventures, Schox Venture Capital, and additional independent investors. Swift Navigation offers Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and centimeter-accurate precise positioning technology for automotive ADAS and autonomy, industrial machine control, commercial transportation, mobile, and emerging mass-market applications. The company’s products include a GNSS service, software positioning engine, and receiver hardware. Founded in 2012, it is based in San Francisco, California, USA, and has raised $200M to date.

E-tronic drew over CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in a Series A round led by Infinity Capital, joined by South China Venture Capital, Shiying Fund, Bingchuan Capital, and Lerong Capital. E-tronic focuses on automotive power devices, with products including SiC motor controllers, SiC power modules, and battery management systems. Funds will be used for construction of a SiC power module packaging line. Based in Guangzhou, China, it was founded in 2021.

Vecmocon Technologies raised $5.2M in pre-Series A funding from Blume Ventures, Tiger Global Management, and others. Vecmocon makes electronics for light electric vehicles such as scooters. Its products include a battery management system, a vehicle intelligence module for communication with other subsystems, instrument cluster, charger, and motor controller. Funds will be used for hiring and expansion. Founded in 2016, it is based in New Delhi, India.

Batteries

Energy Exploration Technologies (EnergyX) received a $450.0M investment from Global Emerging Markets Group. EnergyX has developed a method for lithium separation and processing mechanisms that incorporates mixed matrix membranes and electrodialysis to improve lithium recovery while reducing cost. The company is also developing solid state lithium metal batteries, which could provide increased energy density, longer cycle life, and fast charging times. Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA, it was founded in 2018.

Form Energy raised $450.0M in Series E funding led by TPG Rise, joined by GIC and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, along with existing investors ArcelorMittal, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group, Coatue, Energy Impact Partners, MIT’s The Engine, NGP Energy Technology Partners, Temasek, Prelude Ventures, and VamosVentures. Form Energy is developing a multi-day energy storage system for renewables on the grid. The startup says its rechargeable iron-air battery is capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants and at less than 1/10th the cost of lithium-ion. It is currently in the site selection process for its first full-scale battery manufacturing facility. Founded in 2017, it is based in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA.

Ascend Elements raised $300.0M in equity and debt financing, including $200.0M in Series C investment led by Fifth Wall Climate and joined by SK Ecoplant, Oman Investment Authority, Lithium Americas Corporation, GLy Capital Management, Mirae Asset Capital, and Shinhan GIB, along with previous investors including Hitachi Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures, TDK Ventures, Orbia Ventures, At One Ventures, TRUMPF Venture, and Doral Energy-Tech Ventures. This comes in addition to $480.0M in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. Ascend Elements produces lithium-ion battery cathode precursor and cathode active materials made from recycled battery feedstock using its Hydro-to-Cathode direct precursor synthesis process technology, which it claims is more efficient than traditional methods. “It’s not enough to simply recycle lithium-ion batteries and recover metals for the global commodity markets. Our patented, closed-loop process goes beyond simple battery recycling. Instead, we produce sustainable, high-performance cathode active materials that can go directly back into new EV batteries,” said Ascend Elements CEO Mike O’Kronley. The company expects to recycle more than 150,000 metric tons of lithium-ion batteries per year globally by 2026. Founded in 2015, it is based in Westborough, Massachusetts, USA.

Xiamen Hithium Energy Storage Technology raised over CNY 2,000.0M (~$277.9M) in Series B financing from ABC International, Matrix Partners China, Fenghe Capital, Dayone Capital, Chengtun Mining Group, and others. Hithium manufactures lithium-ion battery core materials and lithium iron phosphate (LFP) energy storage batteries and systems. Its energy storage batteries cover utility, industrial and commercial, and residential usage. Funds will be used to purchase new equipment and for R&D, manufacturing, and market expansion. Based in Xiamen, China, it was founded in 2019.

Ningxia Hanyao raised CNY 500.0M (~$69.6M) in Series B financing from Goldstone Investment, Aplus Capital, Shenyin Wanuo Investment, and others. The company manufactures low-cobalt ternary cathode materials and lithium-rich manganese-based cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries used in consumer electronics, power tools, electric two-wheelers, and energy storage. Founded in 2017, it is based in Yinchuan, China.

AM Batteries (AMB) closed a $25.0M Series A round led by Anzu Partners, with participation from TDK Ventures, Foothill Ventures, Toyota Ventures, Zeon Ventures, SAIC Capital, VinFast, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures, and Creative Ventures. AMB’s dry-electrode manufacturing technology allows for the coating of lithium-ion battery electrodes without the need for harmful solvents or energy-intensive evaporation. To manufacture battery electrodes, AMB uses an electrostatic spray deposition technique by which the cathode and anode active materials are electrostatically charged and deposited onto metal foil current collectors, which are then processed to their final state. The startup says its method reduces energy consumption and factory footprint and enables customizability of batteries. Funds will be used for hiring and to and accelerate commercialization efforts, advance its roll-to-roll manufacturing pilot line to a production-grade line for customers, and extend its dry-electrode manufacturing platform to new battery chemistries and technologies like solid-state batteries. Founded in 2016, it is based in Acton, Massachusetts, USA.

OneD Battery Sciences closed a $25.0M Series C round that included GM Ventures and Volta Energy Technologies. OneD Battery Sciences has developed technology to add more silicon to the anode of battery cells by fusing silicon nanowires into EV-grade graphite. The silicon nanowires fill the surface and the internal pores of the graphite, making the silicon accessible to the lithium ions. The company says the silicon nanowires have an available reversible capacity of 3,250mAh/g and a lower cost per kWh than graphite alone. Funds will be used to continue R&D, advance pilot production, and work with licensed manufacturing partners. The startup also signed a joint research development agreement with General Motors, which will explore using OneD’s technology in GM battery cells. Founded in 2013 with the acquisition of Nanosys’ nanowire technologies, it is based in Palo Alto, California, USA.

Ionblox closed a $24.0M Series B round with investment from eVTOL company Lilium, Applied Ventures, and Catalus Capital. Ionblox makes batteries using a pre-lithiated silicon oxide anode for high performance automotive and aviation applications. “Ionblox has launched the only commercially scalable battery with a silicon dominant anode that can simultaneously provide high energy, high power, 1,000 fast charge cycles, and a clear path to low-cost production today,” said Sujeet Kumar, chief executive officer of Ionblox. “Our unique batteries can be scaled up with low risk and at a competitive cost, because we use commercially available materials and proven production processes and equipment, rather than costly and hard-to-scale proprietary materials.” Previously known as Zenlabs Energy, it was founded in 2017 and is based in Fremont, California, USA.

Haidi Energy drew hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$13.9M) in Series A financing from Cowin Capital, CITIC Capital, Guan Min Tou, Dedao Hosen, and Talent Optronics. Haidi Energy manufactures lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries and nickel manganese cobalt lithium-ion (NMC) batteries. It makes cylindrical batteries, energy storage systems, and custom modules. Founded in 2011, it is based in Shandong, China.

Linli New Energy drew hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$13.9M) in Series B financing from Shenzhen Capital Group and others. Linli New Energy manufactures phosphate-based precursors for lithium iron phosphate battery cathodes. Based in Huanggang, China, it was founded in 2017.

Shunhua Lithium raised hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$13.9M) in a Series A+ round led by Minmetals Securities and Jiangsu Guoxin Corp, joined by Shenzhen Guarantee Group, Keyuan Palm Innovation Fund, Shenzhen Guohua Investment Management Corp, and Hunan Yitong. Shunhua Lithium recycles lithium-ion batteries using a lithium phosphate waste powder extraction method, which it says could reach a 92% recover rate for valuable elements. Funds will be used to increase capacity and for R&D. Founded in 2016, it is based in Zhuzhou, China.

Quino Energy emerged from stealth with $3.3M in seed funding led by ANRI, joined by TechEnergy Ventures and others. It also was awarded a $4.6M grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Quino is commercializing a redox-flow battery for grid-scale energy storage. The battery uses an aqueous, organic electrolyte with specially designed reactants called quinones made from low-cost coal tar and wood tar that are dissolved in water. The startup says it is more cost-effective than competing battery technologies at longer storage durations of 5-12 hours. The grant will support development of a process for the synthesis of battery reactants. “The process in question could enable Quino to create high-performance flow battery reactants from the raw materials through an electrochemical reaction that can be performed inside the flow battery itself. If we are successful, there will be no need for a chemical factory — essentially, the flow battery is the factory itself — which we believe will enable the low production costs necessary for commercial success,” said Eugene Beh, co-founder and CEO of Quino Energy. Founded in 2021 based on research from Harvard University, it is based in San Leandro, California, USA.

Anthro Energy raised $7.2M in seed funding led by Union Square Ventures and Energy Revolution Ventures, with participation from Voyager Ventures, Emerson Collective, Nor’Easter Ventures, Ultratech Capital Partners, and the Stanford President’s Venture Fund. Anthro developed a polymer electrolyte platform it uses to build structural batteries that can withstand mechanical deformation. The company has a line of flexible batteries that can be integrated into the ‘dead space’ in devices, such as straps, bands, and substrates of wearables and medical devices. According to the startup, the cells survive tens of thousands of multi-axial flexing cycles with no change in performance. The technology can also be applied to a wide range of energy storage devices, noted Anthro’s CTO and co-founder Joe Papp. “Our materials can impart safety and structural integrity to batteries of any chemistry, for any application. Safety and mechanical stability are core challenges facing the next-generation of high-performance batteries, and we have a solution for that.” The technology is compatible with existing battery manufacturing lines. Funds will be used to accelerate commercialization of the core battery technology platform. A spin out from Stanford University founded in 2021, it is based in San Jose, California, USA.

e-Zinc received a $7.0M venture debt facility from Silicon Valley Bank. e-Zinc develops zinc-air grid-scale energy storage systems to store energy for long periods of time while keeping costs lower than lithium-ion batteries. It says its battery can discharge energy for several days at rated power, compared to only a few hours for most other battery types. It can also operate in both hot and cold climates. The company targets its batteries as a replacement for diesel generators. Funds will be used for commercialization efforts, expanding manufacturing operations, and pilot projects. Founded in 2012, it is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Cylib received €3.6M (~$3.5M) in seed funding led by Speedinvest and Vsquared Ventures, joined by numerous individual investors. Cylib has developed an end-to-end lithium-ion battery recycling process it says can recover lithium, graphite, and all valuable metals in an electric car battery from pack to cell level with more than 90% recycling efficiency. The process, comprised of thermal, mechanical, and hydrometallurgical steps, reduces the water and acids required for recycling. Founded as a spin-off from RWTH Aachen University in 2022, it is based in Aachen, Germany.

Botree Cycling drew tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in Series A funding led by Zhidao Investment Management and CasStar, joined by Wuzhong Financial Holding and MiraclePlus. Botree Cycling makes equipment for dismantling and hydrometallurgical recycling of lithium-ion batteries. It also has recycling processes for hydrogen fuel cells and solid-state batteries. Funds will be used for R&D of battery material regeneration technology and development of core equipment that meets European and North American standards. Founded in 2019, it is based in Beijing, China.

Cadenza Innovation received strategic investment from electrical and industrial distributor Turtle & Hughes. Cadenza Innovation has developed a packaging architecture for lithium-ion cells, modules, and pack/rack. The company says its cell design combines the best properties from wound jelly rolls and large prismatic cells to create safe, reliable, high energy density solutions at low cost for EV, PHEV, energy storage, telecom, and other specialty markets. Founded in 2012, it is based in Danbury, Connecticut, USA.

Iopsilicon drew new financing from Xiaomi Yangtze River Industry Fund, Everbright Holdings, Oceanpine Capital, GF Venture Capital, Chinese Academy of Sciences Venture Capital, and others. The company makes nano-silicon carbon anode materials for lithium-ion batteries used in EVs, consumer electronics, power tools, large-scale energy storage, and aerospace. Based in Changzhou, China, it was founded in 2017.

Natrium Energy drew Series A funding from Huaihai Holding Group, Anfeng Venture Capital, and Veken Technology. The company manufactures materials for sodium-ion batteries, including iron-based ternary precursors, cathode materials, electrolytes, and modules. Funds will be used to expand production and for hiring. Based in Shaoxing, China, it was founded in 2018.

Zocono received Series B financing from Qianhai FOF, Z&Y Capital, Aplus Capital, Shenzhen Credit Guarantee Group, and others. The company provides equipment and automated production lines for manufacturing lithium batteries. It also offers automated optical inspection equipment for mini-LED wafers. Founded in 2003, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

DOE battery grants

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a total of $2.8B in grants to 20 companies under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build and expand commercial-scale facilities to extract and process lithium, graphite, and other battery materials, manufacture components, and demonstrate new approaches, including manufacturing components from recycled materials. Federal investment will be matched by recipients. Details of all the projects is available in a fact sheet. Among the 20 companies are numerous startups:

6K received a $50.0M grant to build a demonstration plant that can produce multiple battery chemistries, namely NMC811 and lithium iron phosphate (LFP), using its microwave-based plasma processing technology. The process leverages a 6000 Kelvin excited plasma species to create a highly uniform, highly reactive production zone which the company says enables the synthesis of materials at rates far greater than conventional methods while reducing energy consumption, water use, and wastage. The plant is expected to produce 10,000 tonnes per annum in 2026. Founded in 2014, it is based in North Andover, Massachusetts, USA.

Anovion Battery Materials received a $117.0M grant to manufacture its synthetic graphite anode material for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, energy storage systems, personal e-mobility, medical devices, and military and aerospace, as well as other industrial applications. The company uses a graphitization technology that produces high crystallinity and low impurities by heating the product over 3,000°C. Formed in 2022 from assets contributed by affiliates of Amsted Graphite Materials and the acquisition of Pyrotek’s battery materials division, it is based in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Ascend Elements received $480.0M from two grants for a new manufacturing facility to produce lithium-ion battery cathode precursor and cathode active materials made from recycled battery feedstock. The company uses a Hydro-to-Cathode direct precursor synthesis process technology that it claims is more efficient than traditional methods. The new facility will produce enough material annually for over 250,000 electric vehicles. Founded in 2015, it is based in Westborough, Massachusetts, USA.

Group14 Technologies received a $100.0 grant to expand its production of composite materials for lithium-silicon batteries, adding two 2,000-ton-per-year commercial manufacturing modules. The company says its micronized silicon-carbon powder has five times the capacity and enables up to 50% more energy density compared to conventional graphite for Li-ion battery anodes and can be dropped into existing manufacturing processes. Founded in 2015, it is based in Woodinville, Washington, USA.

Lilac Solutions received a $50.0M grant to demonstrate its ion-exchange technology for lithium extraction at commercial scales with minimal environmental impact. The method captures lithium from brines using solid ion-exchange beads, while impurities remain within the liquid resource and are returned to the natural environment. The extracted lithium is released from the solid ion-exchange beads using acid, producing a purified lithium stream that can be further processed into battery-grade lithium products using conventional technologies. Founded in 2016, it is based in Oakland, California, USA.

Sila Nanotechnologies received a $100.0M grant to build out a facility to manufacture silicon anode materials. The company claims the silicon anode, which replaces graphite in lithium-ion batteries, increases the energy density of batteries by 20% without compromising cycle life, power, safety, or other performance parameters. The project is expected to reach full production of 20 GWh equivalent of silicon anode material in 2026. Based in Alameda, California, USA, it was founded in 2011.

Other technologies

New Dimension Systems raised nearly CNY 700.0M (~$97.1M) in financing from investors including SDIC Venture Capital, Vertex Ventures, SoftBank China Capital, Chengdu F&D Equity Investment, Bohai Industrial Investment Fund, Shenzhen Hui Capital, BYD, Co-Win Ventures, Innoangel Fund, and Shenzhen HTI Group. New Dimension Systems provides 3D CAD software for manufacturing, including of electronics. Along with 3D CAD, its product suite includes cloud data management, part models, and communications tools. Other industries it targets are new energy, automotive, rail transport, and industrial machinery. Founded in 2003, it is based in Hangzhou, China.

Makersite received an $18.0M investment led by Hitachi Ventures and Translink Capital, with participation from KOMPAS and Planet A. Makersite offers cloud-based software to build digital twins of manufactured products for lifecycle management. A key focus of the company is managing sustainability efforts, enabling companies to track a product’s emission footprint throughout the entire supply chain, including Scope 3 emissions. It also manages cost and compliance. The startup targets the electronics industry, as well as consumer goods, construction, and chemicals industries. Founded in 2018, it is based in Stuttgart, Germany.

Youhualin drew CNY 100.0M (~$13.9M) in Series C financing from V Fund, Broad River Capital, SAIC Hengxu, 5Y Capital, and others. The company offers supply chain planning and scheduling software for a range of industries, including consumer electronics and batteries. Founded in 2016, it is based in Shanghai, China.

Bekonix received $1.3M in seed funding led by Moneta Ventures. Bekonix makes a no-code software platform for concept design and prototyping of IoT devices. The drag-and-drop interface allows users to combine off-the-shelf components from a library of controller boards, inputs, and outputs, as well as create firmware and mobile apps. Along with segments such as wearables, modern furniture, lighting, signage, toys and games, and education, Bekonix co-founder and president Jyoti Das said the investment “sets Bekonix up to scale rapidly and drive innovation for our enterprise partnerships in AgTech, logistics, med-tech, and Industry 4.0 use cases.” Founded in 2020, it is based in Sacramento, California, USA.

Table

Selected companies that announced funding in October 2022.

Company Sector Amount Raised (M, USD) Funding Type Headquarters
Ascend Elements Batteries $780.0 Series C, Debt, Grant USA
EnergyX Batteries $450.0 Venture USA
Form Energy Batteries $450.0 Series E USA
Hithium Energy Storage Technology Batteries $277.9 Series B China
Anovion Battery Materials Batteries $117.0 Grant USA
Swift Navigation Auto Components $100.0 Series D USA
Group14 Technologies Batteries $100.0 Grant USA
Sila Nanotechnologies Batteries $100.0 Grant USA
New Dimension Systems CAD $97.1 Venture China
Ningxia Hanyao Batteries $69.9 Series B China
OTI Lumionics Displays $55.0 Series B Canada
6K Batteries $50.0 Grant USA
Lilac Solutions Batteries $50.0 Grant USA
Kneron AI HW $48.0 Series B USA
EVAS Intelligence ADAS & Autonomy $41.1 Pre-A China
SiMa.ai AI HW $37.0 Series B USA
Axelera AI AI HW $33.7 Series A, Debt Netherlands
Metalenz Sensors $30.0 Series B USA
Kodiak Robotics ADAS & Autonomy $30.0 Debt USA
Torey Microelectronics Displays $27.8 Venture China
AM Batteries Batteries $25.0 Series A USA
OneD Battery Sciences Batteries $25.0 Series C USA
Ionblox Batteries $24.0 Series B USA
Outsight Sensors $22.0 Venture France
Polar Bear Tech Chip Design $20.9 Angel China
Cosemitech Sensors $20.9 Series C China
Neuchips AI HW $20.0 Series B+ Taiwan
Makersite Supply Chain $18.0 Venture Germany
Spacemit CPU $13.9+ Pre-A+ China
FA Software CIM/MES $13.9+ Series D China
Grand Hitek Equipment $13.9+ Series A+ China
Techsense International Equipment $13.9+ Venture China
Govion Technology Inspection $13.9+ Series C China
TaiXin Semiconductor Wireless $13.9+ Series B China
Vergiga Semiconductor Power Semi $13.9+ Series C China
Haidi Energy Batteries $13.9+ Series A China
Linli New Energy Batteries $13.9+ Series B China
Shunhua Lithium Batteries $13.9+ Series A+ China
Lisuan Technology GPU $13.9 Pre-A China
Sifli Technology MCU $13.9 Series A China
Yizhu Technology AI HW $13.9 Pre-A China
Wiseetec Equipment $13.9 Series A China
Supermat Technology Materials $13.9 Venture China
Chixin Semiconductor Wireless $13.9 Pre-A China
Zinsight Technology Power Semi $13.9 Series A+ China
BCDTEK Displays $13.9 Angel China
Wedo Semiconductor Displays $13.9 Series A+ China
Anngic ADAS & Autonomy $13.9 Series C China
Novauto ADAS & Autonomy $13.9 Series A+ China
E-tronic Auto Components $13.9 Series A China
Youhualin Supply Chain $13.9 Series C China
Fabric Systems ASIC $13.0 Seed USA
Autowise.ai ADAS & Autonomy $12.0 Series B+ China
SweGaN Materials $11.4 Series A Sweden
Viture AR/VR $10.0 Series A USA
Qunnect Quantum $8.0 Series A USA
Quino Energy Batteries $7.9 Seed, Grant USA
Anthro Energy Batteries $7.2 Seed USA
e-Zinc Batteries $7.0 Debt Canada
Vecmocon Technologies Auto Components $5.2 Pre-A India
Useful Sensors Sensors $5.0 Seed USA
Amsimcel EDA $4.8 Grant, Venture Romania
Cylib Batteries $3.5 Seed Germany
Munevo AR/VR $2.9 Venture Germany
SixSense Inspection $2.6 Series A Singapore
QuantrolOx Quantum $2.4 Grant UK
Nuovision Technology Displays $2.1 Pre-A China
DeTooLIC EDA $1.4+ Series A China
Rigoron Software EDA $1.4+ Venture China
Huajing Information CIM/MES $1.4+ Series A China
iBDTEC Equipment $1.4+ Pre-B China
Pinwei Intelligent Technology CIM/MES $1.4+ Pre-A China
Terapark Technology Inspection $1.4+ Pre-A+ China
Didao Microelectronics Materials $1.4+ Series A China
Hanking Semiconductor Materials Materials $1.4+ Angel China
Senlogics AMS $1.4+ Pre-A China
HooRii Technology Wireless $1.4+ Angel, Pre-A China
PhotonIC Technologies Photonics $1.4+ Series C China
Ainstec Sensors $1.4+ Series A+ China
Spacetouch Sensors $1.4+ Series B+ China
Planck Quantum Displays $1.4+ Pre-A China
Botree Cycling Batteries $1.4+ Series A China
National Gallium Semiconductor Power Semi $1.4 Venture China
Bekonix IoT $1.3 Seed USA
DeepScenario ADAS & Autonomy $1.0+ Seed Germany
Lidrotec Equipment $1.0 Grant Germany
Accelovant Sensors $0.8 Grant Canada
FlashPCB Manufacturing $0.3 Grant USA
Femtum Equipment $0.2 Debt Canada
Advancechip DSP Undisclosed Venture China
Ambitek Chip Design Undisclosed Series A China
Blueshift Memory Memory Undisclosed Grant UK
FDMtek DSP Undisclosed Series B China
Integense Microelectronics Chip Design Undisclosed Series A USA
Hunan Dezhi New Material Materials Undisclosed Venture China
LinkHygH Materials Undisclosed Series A China
ZY Micro AMS Undisclosed Pre-A+ China
InCirT Wireless Undisclosed Seed Germany
Picocom Wireless Undisclosed Series C UK
Shuangxin Microelectronics Wireless Undisclosed Angel China
Alpha Power Solutions Power Semi Undisclosed Series D China
Cheery Energy Power Semi Undisclosed Venture China
Dongxin Microelectronics Power Semi Undisclosed Angel China
SPrCTECH Power Semi Undisclosed Strategic China
Black Semiconductor Photonics Undisclosed Venture Germany
Gan Semiconductor Photonics Undisclosed Venture China
PhotonPath Photonics Undisclosed Venture Italy
Dishitai Optoelectronics Technology Displays Undisclosed Venture China
Leo Drive ADAS & Autonomy Undisclosed Seed Turkey
Cadenza Innovation Batteries Undisclosed Strategic USA
Iopsilicon Batteries Undisclosed Venture China
Natrium Energy Batteries Undisclosed Series A China
Zocono Batteries Undisclosed Series B China

Funds & investors

Matrix Partners announced its $800.0M twelfth fund, which will be used to invest in startups between concept and Series A. The firm invests in semiconductor chip and component companies and software-defined hardware startups, as well as AI, B2B SaaS, dev tools and infrastructure, digital health, and fintech.

Vertex Ventures is raising $500.0M for a fund that will invest in Chinese tech startups. It will particularly focus on startups developing advanced technologies and technologies that could face import restrictions. One area of interest for the firm is companies working on chips for electric vehicles.

Alley Robotics Ventures launched its first early stage venture fund at $30.0M. The firm’s focus is on robotics and automation startups across both hardware and software.

Intel expanded its Ignite acceleration program for early-stage deep tech startups. The expansion brings the program to Boston, Massachusetts, USA, joining existing programs in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Munich, Germany. The 12-week program provides mentorship and resources to accelerate R&D and increase reach. While centered in Boston, the program is open to deep tech startups across the country.

AI applications

Big rounds were back for companies using AI in products and services. Two companies raised funds for content generation services, and investors showed support for precision medicine. Here are some of the largest rounds for the month.

  • Tempus raised $275.0M in venture and debt financing for its AI and precision medicine platform for drug discovery, clinical trials, and disease diagnostics.
  • Automation Anywhere received $200.0M in debt financing for its cloud-based robotic process automation platform to digitize, automate, and analyze processes.
  • OpenWeb raised $170.0M in Series F for its community engagement and comment platform for publishers and brands that uses AI content moderation.
  • Jasper raised $125.0M in Series A for its platform that helps create and write original content, generates AI art, and repackages existing content for format, language, and tone.
  • Stability AI raised $101.0M in funding for its free and open-source text-to-image generator and development of open AI models for image, language, audio, video, 3D, and more, for consumer and enterprise use cases.
  • Altana Technologies raised $100.0M in Series B for its AI-powered supply chain visibility platform for governments, logistics providers, and businesses.
  • Trigo raised $100.0M in Series C for its computer vision-powered automated checkout system for retail and grocery stores that determines when shoppers have picked up an item and automatically charge on walkout.

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