Montréal-based fabless semiconductor company Spark Microsystems has closed $34 million CAD in Series B financing as the broader chip industry continues to grapple with a supply crunch and demand fluctuations.
The funding was led by Québec investment firm Idealist Capital, which secured a first close of $250 million CAD in September to invest in decarbonizing power systems. It also saw participation from existing Spark investors, including Economic Development Canada, Real Ventures, ND Capital, and climate tech-focused Cycle Capital.
Spark CEO Fares Mubarak said that this new financing provides the company with the financial backing to meet “massive demand” for short-range wireless connectivity.
Spark has raised over $26 million in total funding to date, including a $100,000 grant from Nokia in 2018.
This demand has fluctuated in recent years for the broader market, however. The Semiconductor Industry Association reported that due to a decline in demand for electronic devices, coupled with pandemic-fuelled chip shortages, the semiconductor industry has shown consistent growth, though the market considerably cooled during the second half of 2022.
As a semiconductor company operating in a shaky market, proceeds from Spark’s investment round will be used to accelerate customer acquisition and partner engagements, as well as product development for “major markets spanning mobile electronic devices and smart sensors,” the company said.
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Founded in 2016, Spark claims its UWB technology can reduce power and offer high data throughput. Designed for short range communications, UWB technology transits data using a different method compared to traditional narrowband technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, and cellular. According to Spark, this enhances capabilities for UWB wireless networks, including quicker times to initialize a link and send data. This enables a greater number of short-range cable-free applications in the industrial internet-of-things (IoT) and consumer electronics spaces, like augmented and virtual reality, gaming, and audio.
Spark has raised over $26 million in total funding to date, including a $100,000 grant from Nokia in 2018. It also closed a $17.5 million equity round in 2021 and received a $7.1 million investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada in 2022.
Featured image courtesy Spark Microsystems.