5G chip-designer EdgeQ emerged from stealth Tuesday, announcing a $38.5 million Series A as the company eyes going to market.
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While many think of 5G technology as better and faster connectivity for their cellphones, EdgeQ is looking to address the 5G connectivity and compute market for large enterprises in sectors like manufacturing, construction, energy, automotive and warehousing, said founder and CEO Vinay Ravuri.
These industries need 5G technology on the edge as they start to more heavily rely on connected devices such as robotics, drones and autonomous vehicles.
“Today compute is primarily done in the cloud, but for these industries you need to do compute locally,” Ravuri said.
EdgeQ allows companies to converge 5G connectivity and AI compute onto a “system-on-a-chip” and customize it to their needs. This enables companies in need of fast connectivity and automation—think of robotics in manufacturing—to run on edge networks, Ravuri said.
Entering the market
The company has not started to manufacture its chipsets, but Ravuri said there will be a follow-up announcement early next year and the company already has talked to potential customers.
“We are not waiting for customers to come to us,” he said.
While there is not a set time frame for the company’s next raise, Ravuri said it is reasonable to think the company may start to raise money when chip production ramps up–likely later next year.
EdgeQ will have its work cutout for it as it battles large chipmakers such as Qualcomm, Intel and Samsung in the $10 billion 5G infrastructure market. Nevertheless, Ravuri said he sees no other startups in the space and plenty of room for EdgeQ to grow into its own large company.
“You plan for only one thing and that is to be your own self-sustaining company,” he said.
Aside from its headquarters, EdgeQ also has offices in San Diego and India and a veteran team hailing from large tech companies like Qualcomm, Intel and Broadcom.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.