Pharrowtech raises Series A funding to develop first ‘viable’ wireless fibre alternative

Millimetre wave hardware and software design and developer gains investment to accelerate go-to-market for cutting-edge gigabit-per-second wireless solutions for internet access, consumer applications, 5G and smart cities

As it aims to cash in on a world led by digital transformation where high-speed internet connectivity has become a crucial asset, Pharrowtech has gained €15m in funding to continue developing next-generation 60GHz wireless RF transceivers and antenna technology as an alternative to optical fibre.

Claiming to able to bridge the digital divide and provide ultrafast connectivity, the millimetre wave (mmWave) communications hardware and software designer and developer claims to deliver a unique solution, offering gigabit-per-second speeds to consumers and businesses wirelessly.

The company designs sub-systems for 60GHz licence-free operations. This frequency range is becoming increasingly important for remote working and learning, augmented and virtual reality, and entertainment and gaming, thanks to its greater capacity and lower latency. It also noted that network operators were looking at outdoor fixed wireless access (FWA) solutions as the most effective and economical solution to deliver the required gigabit-per-second-speed links to consumers.

Building on Imec’s research and development (R&D) prototypes, Pharrowtech recently announced the availability of the PTR1060, the world’s first IEEE 802.11ay-compliant CMOS RF chip for indoor and outdoor wireless use cases that supports the full 57-71GHz bandwidth. It believes the integration levels, performance and capabilities of the radio-frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) open the full potential of low-cost, small form factor and low-power FWA deployments, 5G and Wi-Fi infrastructure backhauling, next-generation consumer electronics products, and internet of things (IoT) devices requiring high-speed links.

The Series A investment round was led by Innovation Industries, a deep tech investor based in the Netherlands, joined by Seed Round investors imec.xpand, Bloc Ventures and KBC Focus Fund.

The funding is designed to enable Pharrowtech to accelerate deployment of the 60GHz CMOS RFIC PTR1060 and phased array antenna radio-frequency module (RFM) PTM1060 for 5G unlicensed fixed wireless access, wireless infrastructure and consumer applications.

The capital raised will also be utilised to ensure best-in-class customer support, expanding Pharrowtech’s operations in the US, and growing its engineering and business teams to drive the product roadmap and fuel further growth.

“This year has started on a great note for Pharrowtech and this investment is another significant milestone in our journey,” said Pharrowtech CEO and co-founder Wim Van Thillo.

“Despite the challenges brought by a global pandemic, Pharrowtech was able to move rapidly from Imec R&D prototypes in 2019 to scaling up production of an exceptionally advanced 60GHz RF solution by 2022. Our agility and capabilities have kept us ahead of the curve, delivering solutions that will shape the future of ubiquitous connectivity,” added Van Thillo.

“We would like to thank our team, investors, partners and especially our customers for their faith in us. With the next phase of our growth underway, we are committed to providing RF solutions to multi-GHz links to enable low-cost infrastructure and consumer applications.”

Innovation Industries partner Sander Verbrugge said: “Pharrowtech leads the way in enabling the next generation of connectivity with its cutting-edge technology and products. Connectivity and high bandwidth fuel innovation and are essential to modern society. We are proud to be part of this journey and to support this world-class team in achieving its global ambitions.” 

David Leftley, chief technology officer at Bloc Ventures, added: “Global network infrastructure is evolving rapidly from costly and cumbersome technology to an agile and easy-to-deploy ecosystem. Pharrowtech [is] improving bandwidth connectivity for all stakeholders. The team’s latest innovations are a testament to their expertise, execution and commitment, and we are delighted to support them in their future endeavours.”   

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