UK Femto Firm Bags $15M
U.K.-based femtocell company ip.access Ltd. has raised $15 million from its existing investors and an unnamed "major new backer." (See ip.access Raises $15M.)
The company's existing investors -- Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd. , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Intel Capital , Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), Rothschild & Cie Gestion, Scottish Equity Partners and TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) -- all participated in the latest funding round. The identity of the new investor was not disclosed.
ip.access, along with its partner Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), is at the heart of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s 3G Microcell branded service, which is considered to be one of, if not the, biggest residential femtocell deployments around. But where does the company go from there? (See UK Femto Firm Fired Up for Growth .)
The new funds will be used for product development as well as for geographical expansion, according to Andy Tiller, ip.access senior VP of product strategy and marketing. "We're finding a lot of opportunities in Asia, and the Middle East and Africa [are] important as well."
As for technology development, Tiller said one area of focus for the company will be on outdoor small cell deployments and particularly the automation that's required in the network to enable the small cells to be deployed on a large scale, such as in the tens of thousands. Small cells are deployed in outdoor environments today, but there is manual configuration involved, he explained.
"That's the problem the industry is grappling with now," he said.
Why this matters
The fact that investors are willing to pump funds into a company that was founded back in 1999 shows that the market for small cells -- in all their various forms -- is still viewed as a potential opportunity for growth and is attracting new investors.
The company's expansion from residential and enterprise 2G and 3G femtocells to outdoor small cell deployments is also interesting in that it indicates increasing operator demand for such capacity-boosting base stations.
Here's the latest news from ip.access:
- ip.access Takes Small Cells to Africa
- Femto Firm Replaces CEO
- UK Femto Firm Fired Up for Growth
- ip.access Intros Small Office Femto
- Femto Firm Hits the High Street
- Qualcomm Invests in ip.access
- Qualcomm, ip.access Team for Femtos
- ip.access Unveils 3G Femto SDK
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile