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Aquantia raises USD37m in growth capital

Aquantia, today announced it has secured USD37 million in an oversubscribed Series H round of growth capital. New investors participating in this round include Credit Suisse's Direct Equity Partners, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, and Walden Riverwood along with existing investor Cisco Investments.

Aquantia has raised a total of USD199 million and currently employs over 160 people. Since its first round of funding in 2005, Aquantia has become a market leader in high-speed Ethernet copper connectivity solutions in data centre and enterprise.
The additional funding marks a major milestone in the company's history, having attracted strategic investment over the years from among the leading companies in semiconductor and networking innovations, including Intel Capital, Cisco Investments, Xilinx, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, and Venture Tech Alliance.
"The semiconductor industry is experiencing some of the biggest technology inflections in history. Traditional venture capitalists have mostly abandoned investing in emerging semiconductor companies primarily because the sector has become so capital intensive. With so much at stake, private semiconductor companies, with a strong business model, outstanding execution, unparalleled strategic backing and the ability to displace large incumbents present a unique opportunity for investors," says Lip- Bu Tan, CEO of Cadence Design Systems and Founder and Chairman of Walden Riverwood.
"We feel very fortunate to be leading in a market with significant sustaining revenues from design wins that enjoy very long product life-cycles," said Faraj Aalaei, president, and CEO. "Aquantia's success comes from a strong focus on turning technology differentiation into business success. Our driving ambition to take partnership opportunities with our customers to the next level consistently results in expanded opportunity and a secure trust between us and our customers."
"Aquantia has been a standout example of the importance Cisco Investments sees in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the semiconductor industry," said Rob Salvagno, vice president of Corporate Development at Cisco and head of Cisco Investments. "By developing low-power, low-cost, and high-performance integrated circuits, Aquantia has the potential to enable exponentially faster wired and wireless networks for their customers."
Starting in 2005, Cisco Investments has been a strategic investor in Aquantia, enabling the company to work with several areas of Cisco's product portfolio to pilot and use the latest innovations in semiconductor technology. For example, for the past several years Cisco and Aquantia have been working together to accelerate the use of 5 and 2.5 Gigabit technology in enterprise networks. In 2013, Cisco awarded Aquantia the New Emerging Technology Supplier Award for its excellent performance in helping drive excellence, productivity and efficiency within Cisco's extended supply chain. Cisco Investments remains committed to driving startup innovation in silicon technology, with an investment fund dedicated to investments in disruptive semiconductor startups and semiconductor-focused venture funds.
Commenting on the enterprise network market opportunity: "We saw the very first 5.0/2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port shipments begin to ramp at the end of June and expect volumes to begin rising significantly in the third quarter of this year as multiple product lines begin to ramp," said Chris DePuy, vice president of enterprise edge research at Dell'Oro Group. "The benefit of increased throughput without replacing cable is creating an entirely new Ethernet market to serve the demands of the campus environment. This benefit could push port counts over 1 million in only a year."
Aquantia developed AQrate, a unique technology capable of increasing network speeds to 5 Gbps at lengths up to 100m on existing Cat 5e/Cat 6 cables. The products were first sampled in late 2013 and are currently in mass production.

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