(Reuters) — Quantenna Communications Inc, a U.S. company that designs Wi-Fi chips used in set-top boxes and wireless routers, has hired investment banks for an initial public offering (IPO) that could come later this year, people familiar with the matter said.
Morgan Stanley (MS.N) is the lead underwriter on the IPO, and the company is also working with Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) and Barclays Plc (BARC.L), the people said this week. Depending on market conditions, the company could be valued at more than $300 million, the people added.
Quantenna is aiming to file its IPO prospectus during the third quarter of 2016 at the earliest, the people said, asking not to be identified because the company’s plans are confidential.
Quantenna did not respond to a request for comment. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Barclays declined to comment.
If Quantenna moves ahead with its plans, it would be one of the few venture-backed technology IPOs expected this year.
Stock market jitters and technology stocks performing poorly have made investors wary of buying growth-oriented IPOs.
Reuters previously reported that Talend Inc, a U.S. software firm backed by venture capital firms, had also hired investment banks for an IPO.
Quantenna would also be a rare IPO in semiconductors, a capital-intensive sector that has seen venture capital funding dry up over the past decade.
The chip industry has undergone massive consolidation in the past two years, with transactions such as Avago Technologies Ltd buying Broadcom Corp (AVGO.O), one of Quantenna’s larger competitors, in a deal that closed in February.
Aquantia Corp, a semiconductor company focused on data center and enterprise chips, has also been working on an IPO of its own, a source familiar with the matter said. Aquantia declined to comment. Bloomberg News reported on Aquantia’s IPO plans last year.
Quantenna has raised about $160 million in funding since it was founded in 2006. The Sunnyvale, California-based company’s investors include Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures, Venrock, Sigma Partners and Australia’s Southern Cross Venture Partners.
Quantenna sells chips that provide high-performance wireless internet to manufacturers of set-top box makers for cable and telecom providers such as AT&T Inc (T.N), Bell Canada and Telefonica SA (TEF.MC). It has shipped more than 60 million chips used in more than 90 products.