AccelerComm raises £5.8m for 5G wireless IP

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

AccelerComm in Southampton has raised £5.8m (€6.8m, $7.5m) in a second Series A funding round to scale up its channel coding IP for 5G wireless systems. Thiis is used by telecoms vendors to reduce latency and increase spectral efficiency.

The round was led by IQ Capital alongside existing investors Bloc Ventures and the IP Group and will be used to expand the current team, drive US and global expansion, and develop the technology. It raised £2.5m in 2018 in its frist Seria A round as well as a grant of £500,000 and initial seed funding from the IP Group. This brings the total backing to over £8.7m.

Demand for digital signal processing wireless IP is growing among mobile operators, telecoms equipment vendors, satellite operators and connected device manufacturers.

Low latency and high spectrum efficiency are crucial in protecting cellular and other radio networks from insufficient capacity, low data rates, sparse coverage and poor quality-of-service. Despite  the roll-out of early 5G networks these factors remain an issue that could hit revenue opportunities for operators from services such as gaming or VR, industrial IoT, autonomous vehicles or drone control.

 AccelerComm’s channel coding IP is used to correct transmission errors in mobile, small cell and satellite communications caused by noise, interference and poor signal strength. This technology is optimised for the specific needs of cellular and satellite communications to provide market leading performance and efficiency.

The product suite includes a complete channel coding IP solution that delivers reduced latency and power consumption for the most critical component of a 5G system, whilst meeting all the throughput and error correction targets. The AccelerComm IP packages can be quickly integrated and flexibly delivered for use in custom silicon as an ASIC, in programmable hardware such as an FPGA or as software, covering all use cases within the current standards.

The company was founded by Professor Rob Maunder at the University of Southampton in 2016 and is working with Intel, Xilinx and National Instruments and has executives and senior managers from ARM, Qualcomm and Ericsson.

“From gaming and VR to automated robotic manufacturing lines and telemedicine, the use cases on the road to 5G appear almost limitless. But a critical roadblock remains – latency,” said Tom Cronk, CEO of AccelerComm. “For more than 15 years a research team led by Prof. Maunder, first at the University of Southampton and now at AccelerComm, has been working to solve the challenge to deliver on the 5G promise of a low latency, high throughput experience. We are delighted to have closed our Series A funding round, which will help us further develop and deploy our already market leading technology to help improve the efficiency of networks for many years to come.”

Max Bautin, Managing Partner at IQ Capital commented “We are very excited that we have been able to partner with AccelerComm in this round of funding. Squeezing ever more data into limited radio spectrum at faster and faster speeds is a huge challenge facing the telecoms industry. Improving the efficiency and reliability of data transfer has become critical to many industries – not just in cellular networks and IoT but also satellites, drones, fixed wireless internet and anything else that uses radio waves. AccelerComm’s track record of selling to globally very sophisticated blue-chip customers and deep IP are very impressive. The amazing founding team combining cutting edge academic and industry knowledge with ex ARM DNA gives AccelerComm incredible growth potential.”

David Leftley, CTO and co-founder of Bloc Ventures and Lee Thornton, Investment Director at IP Group said “Bloc and IP Group are delighted to be partnering with Max and the IQ Capital team on taking AccelerComm to the next level of scale. We believe we have the makings of something very special in AccelerComm, something we have not seen in the UK since the early days of ARM”.

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