Unicorn creation has slowed as fundraising has dipped and valuations have been slashed, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t new ones joining the herd.
Santa Clara, California-based Astera Labs raised a $150 million Series D led by Fidelity Management and Research that values the company at nearly $3.2 billion. The company last raised a $50 million Series C — led by Fidelity — that valued the company at $950 million in September 2021.
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Other existing investors, including Atreides Management, Intel Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures also participated.
Astera Labs provides data and memory connectivity solutions for some of the biggest chipmakers in the world, including Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. The company will use the new proceeds to expand its product lines, add to its workforce, and create two new research and design centers in Vancouver and Toronto this year.
“This latest funding round is a testament that we are not only invested in the right growth markets such as cloud, artificial intelligence/machine learning and hyperscale infrastructure, but that we are also able to consistently execute and deliver breakthrough connectivity products that are critical to our customers and partners,” said CEO Jitendra Mohan in a release.
Semiconductor manufacturing has been in the news for the last several years as supply chain and manufacturing issues have played havoc with the market.
In August, President Joe Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act, which includes more than $52 billion in federal subsidies for research and manufacturing of semiconductors in the U.S.
Startup investors seem to have taken note. While only $3.8 billion was invested in VC-backed semiconductor startups in 2020, that number more than doubled to $7.8 billion last year, according to Crunchbase data.
The industry will not hit that number this year, but it has seen significant investment with $5.1 billion poured into it by investors.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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