Altair Semi Raises $22 Million

Altair Semiconductor, a Hod Hasharon, Israel-based developer of mobile WiMAX processors for handsets and other handheld devices, has raised $22 million in Series C funding. Pacific Technology Fund led the round, and was joined by ETF Venture and return backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, BRM Capital, Giza Venture Capital and Jerusalem Venture Partners.


Altair Semiconductor, a fabless chip company developing the world’s most advanced 4G mobile semiconductors for handsets and handheld devices, today announced that it closed a U.S. $22M Series C funding round. The round, in the form of a combined equity and credit investment, was led by Pacific Technology Fund (PTF), and joined by ETV Capital and returning investors. The funding will be used to support Altair’s global expansion, sales and customer support, as well as future development of Altair’s chipsets for WiMAX, LTE and XGP.

“Pacific Technology Fund is very impressed with Altair’s strong record of achievement, and the potential of Altair’s technology,” said Adriaan Lightenberg, Managing Partner of Pacific Technology Fund. “We believe Altair’s chipsets are going to change the rules of the game in the 4G market with lower power consumption, smaller size and decreased cost of bringing products to market.”

Altair’s business has gained considerable momentum since its U.S. $18M Series B round of funding in May of 2007. Less than six months after releasing the ALT2150, the world’s smallest and most power-efficient mobile WiMAX processor, Altair’s solution is considered an industry benchmark for mobile, handheld devices, and is integrated in some of the world’s leading device and module manufacturers’ products. Recently, Altair had been awarded the leading supplier position of chipsets for wireless devices operating on Willcom Inc.’s next generation PHS (“XGP”) in Japan, a 4G technology similar to mobile WiMAX. On the LTE front, Altair has created strategic partnerships with key ecosystem members to accelerate the development and interoperability of its LTE solution.

“Altair is a company with a different approach to Mobile WiMAX chipsets,” said Berge Ayvazian, Chief Strategy Officer for the Yankee Group. “While most chip makers focus on serving today’s CPE and laptop-centric markets, Altair has chosen to go straight to mobile devices, and has developed a solution that enables the cost-effective integration of WiMAX into virtually any device. This third and significant round is not only important for Altair’s expansion, it is also important for the WIMAX industry.”

“Pacific Technology Fund’s significant investment demonstrates their belief in Altair’s strong market position, despite the global economic conditions,” said Altair CEO and Co-Founder Oded Melamed. “Pacific Technology Fund joins a solid consortium of returning investors in helping us grow our business, and develop the chipsets that will drive 4G into the mainstream by empowering a new class of handheld devices.”

About Altair Semiconductor

Altair is the world’s leading developer of ultra-low power, small footprint and high performance 4G semiconductors that take broadband bandwidth beyond notebooks and USB adaptors to un-tethered, battery-operated handheld devices. The company’s products provide handheld device manufacturers, integrating 4G technologies into their products with a highly power-optimized, robust and cost-effective solution. Altair is privately held and has raised a total of $48M in three rounds of financing from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, BRM Capital, ETV Capital, Giza Venture Capital, Jerusalem Venture Partners, and Pacific Technology Fund.

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About Pacific Technology Fund

Pacific Technology Fund is a private equity firm specializing in buyout and growth capital investments in established technology companies focused on the Japanese market. PTF was founded with the mission of achieving superior risk-adjusted returns by investing in Japan-centric companies with unrealized potential for significant growth and profitability enhancement. PTF works closely with leading Japanese private equity firms on a cooperative basis. In addition, the firm provides strategic consulting services to technology companies and investors in the semiconductor, telecommunications, automotive and medical industries.

About ETV Capital

ETV Capital is Europe’s leading provider of venture debt and structured finance solutions for venture capital backed technology and healthcare businesses. Founded in 1999, with a strong institutional backing from a global syndicate, ETV has a long and successful track record of investing in companies across Europe and Israel and has to-date invested in close to 150 technology companies. ETV has offices in London, Barcelona, Frankfurt and Herzliya, Israel.