Charlottesville, VA.—March 27th, 2014—PsiKick, a semiconductor start-up revolutionizing wireless sensing technology, announced today that it has recently closed a Series A financing led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA). The financing will be used to accelerate the company’s growth and product development to meet the increasing demand for energy-efficient systems-on-chip (SoCs). Osage University Partners and MINTS, a University of Michigan venture fund, also participated as new investors in the round.
PsiKick’s ultra-low-power wireless SoCs are capable of operating on 1/100th to 1/1000th of the power budget of other low-power integrated circuit (IC) platforms. Their extreme energy efficiency enables them to be continuously and entirely powered from harvested energy sources such as vibration, thermal gradients, solar, radio frequency (RF) or piezo actuation. These SoCs include full sensor analog front-ends, programmable processing and memory, integrated power management, programmable hardware accelerators, and full wireless communication capabilities across multiple frequencies—enabling, for the first time, truly ‘battery-less’ sensors, devices and applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).
“Brendan and his team are integrating the state-of-the-art in ultra-low power processing, power management and next-generation wireless concepts to produce a novel ultra-low-power system,” said Greg Papadopoulos, PhD, Venture Partner at NEA. “The resulting platform is a stunning technological achievement and a gateway to the next wave of wearable devices.”
“It’s a race to the future when it comes to delivering low-power IC platforms, and PsiKick is well ahead of the pack,” said Forest Baskett, PhD, General Partner at NEA. “By reducing power budget to a mere fraction of other energy-efficient systems, PsiKick’s platform has the potential to dominate a nascent and fast-growing market as the ‘Internet of Everything’ becomes reality.”
Dr. Baskett and Dr. Papadopoulos will both join PsiKick’s board of directors in conjunction with the financing.
“PsiKick’s technology is truly ground-breaking, and we are thrilled to partner with NEA as we build on that foundation,” said Brendan Richardson, PsiKick Co-Founder and CEO. “Greg and Forest bring tremendous depth of expertise at a key time in the company’s growth—they know the technology, they know the market, and they have a tremendous track record of building truly innovative, industry-leading companies.”
Launched in June of 2012, PsiKick licensed the initial technology from the Universities of Virginia, Michigan and Washington and received its first seed funding from a group of angel investors in Charlottesville. Since then, the Company has taped out its first silicon, won multiple contracts with various Department of Defense (DoD) agencies and engaged with more than 20 customers for its ultra-low-power platform. With this new round of financing, the company will expand its sales, marketing and engineering teams and rapidly accelerate product development.
PsiKick Inc. is an ultra-low-power IC company with offices in Charlottesville, VA and Ann Arbor, MI that utilizes Sub-Threshold processing and extremely low power RF technology to build the world’s lowest power wireless systems-on-chip. The company was launched in 2012 by Dr. Benton Calhoun, Dr. David Wentzloff and Brendan Richardson and was based on the ground-breaking work of Drs. Calhoun and Wentzloff at the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan in low-power digital and analog circuit design. Additional IP came from the University of Washington. For additional information please visit: www.psikick.com
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a leading venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With approximately $13 billion in committed capital, NEA invests in information technology, healthcare and energy technology companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record of successful investing includes more than 175 portfolio company IPOs and more than 300 acquisitions. In the U.S., NEA has offices in Menlo Park, CA; Boston, MA; New York, NY; Chicago, IL; and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing), Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China. For additional information, visit www.nea.com.
About Osage University Partners
Osage University Partners is a venture capital firm focused on investing in startups that are commercializing cutting edge university technologies. Osage partners with top research universities to invest in their most innovative startups, and Osage shares its investment profit with its partner institutions. The firm invests in both technology and life science companies at early and late stages of company development. Osage has partnered with over 65 universities and has invested 32 of their spinouts. Osage University Partners is part of a family of investment funds within Osage Partners, which is based in Philadelphia, PA and manages in excess of $200 million. For additional information please visit: www.osageuniversitypartners.com