Israeli WiFi startup Celeno snags $38 million from Singapore investment fund Red Dot, Pitango and OurCrowd
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Celeno is one of the stronger startups in the WiFi chip-making industry Photo Credit: Celeno

The round is the first investment by Red Dot, a Singaporean fund which controls a $150 million war chest dedicated solely to Israeli startups

Celeno, a Ra’anana-based startup making chips for high-speed WiFi, announced a massive $38 million Series F round led by Temasek-backed Red Dot Capital Partners. The round also brought in Poalim Capital Markets and OurCrowd as new investors who join returning investors Liberty Global, Cisco, Pitango, 83North, Miven and Vintage. This brings their total funding haul to $106.2 million, building off of the $68.2 million raised in their previous rounds, the company told Geektime.

“With this significant new investment round, combined with the caliber of investors backing us, we are able to continue executing our strategy, building a world class global company that will bring value to investors and shape the industry as a market leader,” Celeno CEO Gilad Rozen said in a statement. “With this new round we have taken Celeno to the next level and are able to further accelerate our growth and expansion in the market as well as focus on enhancing R&D efforts and further developing our disruptive solutions.”

The company produces a number of 802.11ac chips used for high-speed internet and video broadcasting within high-interference and dense network scenarios, according to their own description. They claim Liberty Global, Deutsche Telecom, Time Warner Cable among some 100 service providers using their chips.

As video streaming continues drawing more consumer demand for bandwidth, the market for WiFi chipsets is projected to reach a $20.4 billion value by 2017 according to Markets and Markets. Celeno is considered one of the stronger companies in the business. One prominent startup competitor is Sequoia-backed and California-based Quantenna Communications, which last scored a $22 million round in December 2014, also post-Series E. Their funding dwarfs Celeno’s, coming in at $161.15 million according to Crunchbase. Qualcomm-owned Atheros and Broadcom are also prominent players in the global industry.

“Celeno has made the crucial transition from an innovative, disruptive start-up to a global player alongside some of the Wi-Fi semiconductor industry’s largest players and the solution of choice for many of the most important global service providers,” Zvika Naggan said in a statement, managing partner for Red Dot who will now take a seat on the board.

Red Dot, which was only announced in February of this year, is a $150 million fund operated by Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek dedicated solely to investing in mature Israeli startups. It’s chaired by Vertex Venture Capital’s founder, Yoram Oron. The two countries have seen trade, particularly in startups, expand in 2016. This also continues OurCrowd’s growing relationship with partners in the city-state following a $10 million investment in the equity crowdfunding company by Singapore’s United Overseas Bank. Earlier this year, Israeli startup Trax received a $40 million Series C round investment led by formerly Temasek-backed Broad Peak Investment Advisers.

Celeno was founded in 2005 and maintains its headquarters in Ra’anana, Israel with offices around the world.

It is worth noting that Celeno already has their feet on the ground with offices in China, which has spoken openly of its intention to significantly grow their own domestic chip production through strategic partnerships with foreign firms. For their part, Celeno like many other Israeli producers of high quality chips, has been steadily increasing their business in the East. Following this deal, these connections are likely to strengthen and more cooperation is likely to follow.

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