Comms chips

Wireless Funding Soars in September

Money kept pouring into wireless startups in September, with $690.9 million committed overall, according to the latest report from Rutberg & Co.

SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM), with its $270 million bailout of the Helio Inc. venture with EarthLink Inc. (Nasdaq: ELNK) last month, skewed the numbers somewhat. But even without the Helio cash infusion, new private wireless financing for September was still up nearly 80 percent on the dog days of summer, as Rutberg recorded just $234 million in new financing for August.

Major cash influxes were seen in the carrier, operator infrastructure, and wireless semiconductor sectors, Rutberg says. Some of the more notable funding news included:

  • $41 million for rural broadband transport carrier Conterra Ultra Broadband from DukeNet Communications.

  • $36.8 million for yoof-focused operator kajeet Inc. (See Kajeet: Raking It In for the Kids.)
  • $19.5 million for mobile entertainment startup Twistbox from undisclosed investors.

  • $15 million from Accel Partners and others for WiMax service gateway play WiChorus Inc. (See Gateway to WiMax.)

  • WiMax chip vendor Picochip received long-rumored strategic funding from partner Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC). Still no word, however, on how much money was involved.

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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