As part of its goal to develop the critical infrastructure technology for next-generation wireless networks, Vancouver startup Bonsai Micro has raised funding from BDC Capital and Vanedge Capital.
The startup didn’t disclose the size of the round, which was led by Vanedge with participation from BDC Capital’s Deep Tech Venture Fund. The financing appears to be Bonsai Micro’s first external financing since it was created in 2018.
Bonsai Micro has ties to the leading early British Columbia semiconductor company PMC-Sierra. Bonsai’s co-founders, Bernard Guay and Matthew McAdam, were both high-level engineers at the company in the early to mid-2000s.
“With the ongoing deployment of new 5G networks and the imperative need for domestic semiconductor technology…the opportunity is massive.”
PMC-Sierra has been touted as one of Canada’s greatest success stories in the semiconductor industry. It was a combination of California-based Sierra Semiconductor and BC-based Pacific Microelectronics Centre (PMC), the latter of which was spun out of the research arm of BC Tel, the province’s telephone company later bought by Telus.
“Most people say our chips provided the early plumbing of the Internet,” PMC-Sierra co-founder and CEO Colin Harris is reported to have said. In 2015, PMC-Sierra was bought by fellow semiconductor company Microsemi, both of which have since become part of NASDAQ-listed Microchip Technology.
Bonsai Micro is developing fabless semiconductors that combine what it calls “cutting-edge” wireless technology with machine learning. The goal is to help create “critical” infrastructure technology for next-generation wireless networks, including 5G. The term “fabless” means the semiconductor chips are designed and sold in-house, but have their fabrication outsourced.
“With the ongoing deployment of new 5G networks and the imperative need for domestic semiconductor technology in North America, especially for 5G, the opportunity is massive,” said Moe Kermani, managing partner at Vanedge Capital.
Vancouver-based Vanedge invests in early-stage companies with a focus on “building foundational new technologies.” The venture firm last publicly announced a fund in 2017, when it raised $161 million for its second fund.
The Crown corporation BDC Capital’s Deep Tech fund was created in 2021 with $200 million CAD, making it Canada’s largest dedicated deep tech fund.
Feature image courtesy Unsplash.