Morse Micro bags funding from MegaChips, others to fuel Wi-Fi HaLow ambitions

Morse Micro, an Australian fabless semiconductor firm working on Wi-Fi HaLow chips for IoT sensors and other devices, has raised AUS$140 million (USD$94.8 million) in a Series B funding round that was led by Japan’s MegaChips, which also will become Morse’s manufacturing partner.

The impressive dollar figure, a neat trick at a time when venture funding is supposed to be very hard to come by, will help Morse Micro deepen its offerings with the development of new products, while accelerating the firm’s go-to-market strategy for its existing Wi-Fi HaLow chips and modules.

Other investors participating in the round included Blackbird Ventures, Main Sequence Ventures, Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Skip Capital, Uniseed, SpringCapital, Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull, and others. 

MegaChips will manufacture Morse Micro’s semiconductors and modules compliant with the IEEE 802.11ah standard, otherwise known as Wi-Fi HaLow. MegaChips also will provide quality assurance, sales support and new distribution channels across the East Asia region as Morse Micro and MegChips engage in joint sales and promotional activities to help grow the market for Wi-Fi HaLow solutions.

Wi-Fi HaLow is a sub-1 GHz, low-power technology capable of operating in narrow frequency slices. It can deliver long range (about 1 km) connectivity while supporting particularly dense IoT environments like large industrial facilities and smart cities. For example, a single access point can serve as many as 8,200 connected stations. It was first approved in 2016, and has lingered in the shadow of other low-power IoT connectivity options.  However, the Wi-Fi Alliance launched a product certification program last year to help raise HaLow’s profile. Morse Micro was among the first to submit products for certification, along with firms like Newracom and Methods2Business.

Michael De Nil, co-founder and chief executive officer at Morse Micro, said in a statement that the growing traction for Wi-Fi HaLow-compliant solutions in the IoT ecosystem, has the market at an “exciting inflection point.”

MegaChips has been an active investor in 2022, also contributing to a $21 million round for AI edge processing company Quadric earlier in the year.