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Icera Raises $70M, Cuts Staff

logo1Icera, a UK-based semiconductor company, said today that it’s raised $70 million in additional funding in the form of debt and equity; it also said it would cut an undisclosed number of its staff. Current investors Atlas Venture, Balderton Capital, Accel Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners and 3i provided $60 million in equity, and ETV Capital SA and MMV Financial offered $10 million in debt. This brings the company’s total funding to around $270 million — a king’s ransom in any market, but especially for a chip firm in this one.

The reason investors still plow money into Icera is the flexibility of its chipset. Right now it makes a software modem for HSPA used in data cards, but its programmable modem could be used for other wireless technologies, enabling Icera to participate in other wireless standards without a huge redesign of its silicon. That keeps the potential markets wide open and the costs lower, which makes investors happy enough to put more skin in the game — although perhaps not as much as the $100 million Icera was reportedly seeking earlier this year. Maybe that accounts for the cuts.

3 Responses to “Icera Raises $70M, Cuts Staff”

  1. Icera has always struck me as an example of how great technology does not always equate to market leadership. We’ve known them for a few years, and I’m always glad to see they are still out there. I really like their architecture, its an interesting approach. They have done well so far in getting into the data card market, the question is can they now expand into supplying handsets. This is a more demanding market, with more customer requirements. Its impressive that Icera has survived at all in a baseband market where so many far larger companies have failed.

    We’ve published a little bit of research on them. Again, I offer it up. If you’d like a copy, please let me know.