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Grand Angels invests in chip designer

November 25, 2013
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Grand Angels invests in chip designer
Ambiq Micro, which was founded by a U-M alum, is a semiconductor design company. Photo via ambiqmicro.com

Grand Angels has invested in a semiconductor design company founded by a University of Michigan grad.

Ambiq Micro, based in West Lake Hills, Texas, has received $10 million through a series B funding round. The round included investments from Grand Angels, Huron River Ventures, Austin Ventures, ARM, Mercury Fund and others, according to a Grand Angels announcement last week.

Grand Angels did not disclose the amount of its investment.

Ambiq Micro, a fabless semiconductor company, plans to use the funding to expand its marketing globally, speed up product development and expand design of its primary semiconductor technology, Sub-threshold Power Optimized Technology.

Ambiq’s semiconductor technology has a range of end-user applications, such as smart cards, wireless sensors and medical devices.

“As more and more markets are demanding devices that are mobile, portable or remote, batteries and low-power ICs become essential enablers for business,” said Ambiq CEO and President Mark Foley. “With this investment round, we will proliferate our SPOT platform-based products to these emerging low-power markets and applications.”

Michigan-made technology

Grand Angels learned about Ambiq through Michigan-based Huron River Ventures, said Grand Angels President Jody Vanderwel.

Vanderwel said Grand Angels looks to invest in companies that have a disruptive solution in their market.

Research indicated that Ambiq Micro is at the forefront of super processor microchips technology, which comes from U-M, where the company retains its research and development, Vanderwel said.

“The technology developed by Ambiq Micro is a behind-the-scenes innovation, but remarkable in its potential to impact the semiconductor industry,” Vanderwel said. “We’re excited to put Michigan money to work in technology that will affect us all.”

Vanderwel said one of the most encouraging aspects of the series B round is the fact that it’s part of an overall trend that reveals venture capital is growing in Michigan, particularly in technology industries.

“There is really good technology being developed in Michigan and good opportunities in venture technology,” Vanderwel said. “This was one of those opportunities.”

With Ambiq Micro investment, Grand Angels has invested $12.4 million in 26 companies.

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