Wireless Startups Score $515M

Wireless startups raked in a combined $515.5 million in venture capital funding during the month of February, according to Rutberg & Co.

In its latest rundown of mobile VC funding, the research house says 30 companies received cash influxes last month. The mobile investments were primarily in the device, semiconductor, and carrier infrastructure sectors.

Reston, Va.-based mobile satellite firm TerreStar Corp. pulled in the big numbers with a $300 million investment. The firm is developing an integrated satellite and earthbound broadband network that will incorporate what it calls "4G technology" for terrestrial deployment.

Silicon providers raked in the dollars, too. Gallic WiMax chip designer Sequans Communications garned $28 million while Israeli USB chip vendor Wisair Ltd. grabbed a very respectable $24 million.

Venture capitalists also opened their wallets for the promise of new and improved user interfaces for mobile devices. Israeli startup N-trig got $28 million in financing to develop its touch-stylus technology.

Despite some signs of weakness in the larger economic picture, young wireless companies still appear to be drawing VC investment at a steady rate. In December, the total invested in mobile startups was $367.9 million, and in January, 44 private companies announced $510.5 million in new mobile-related financing.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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