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Thursday, Mar 30, 2023

Mobix Labs Gets $12.5M In Funding for 5G Chips

Chip company Mobix Labs in Irvine has come out of stealth mode, saying this month it has raised $12.5 million in financing for a venture aimed at the growing 5G wireless market.
CEO Fabian Battaglia said Feb. 3 the company, with numerous ties to longtime area chipmaker Microsemi Corp., had 16 employees and “we’re adding rapidly.”
“Our plans are to have between 40 and 50 by the middle part of the calendar year,” he told the Business Journal.
Put most basically, Mobix Labs said it is developing the building blocks necessary for simplifying the design of next-generation 5G wireless products.
The company said on Feb. 8 it had closed $10 million in new funding as part of an extended seed round. Mobix Labs said it previously raised $2.5 million in its initial capital raise.
Battaglia said the company investors are a combination of industry leaders along with what he called “strategics” that will become customers or “channel partners.”
He added: “The strategics are Asia-based.”

R&D, Sales
“We’re targeting the infrastructure market,” Battaglia told the Business Journal.
“We are actively adding R&D staff at our Irvine-based design center. We are also in the process of establishing a global sales and applications team.”
Mobix Labs is known as a “fabless semiconductor company focused on the 5G millimeter wave wireless market.”
Fabless generally means the company designs and sells the chips but does not manufacture them, instead outsourcing the fabrication to a manufacturing plant or foundry.
“The company at its core is an R&D, innovation company,” aimed at solving the challenges of the high-speed portion of 5G, Battaglia said. “We are true RF (radio frequency) experts.”
He added that the company’s chip is now being tested and “we are going to be sampling it later in this quarter.”

Jimmy P Backing
The venture brings together former executives of Aliso Viejo’s Microsemi, which was purchased by Microchip Technology Corp. for $10.3 billion in 2018.
Battaglia served as senior vice president of sales at Microsemi from 2007 to 2018, according to the Mobix Labs website.
Jim Peterson, who was CEO and chairman of Microsemi, was named board chairman of Mobix. Known locally as Jimmy P, the longtime area exec now runs Peterson Capital and is co-chair of the University of California-Irvine’s $2 billion fundraising campaign.
Rick Goerner, former executive vice president of marketing and sales at Microsemi, was also named to the Mobix board.
“It’s exciting to see the growing success of Mobix Labs as key members of the Microsemi leadership team are joining the company, along with other top industry executives,” Peterson said.
“I look forward to working with Fabian and the Mobix Labs team in leveraging vast executive expertise across telecom and semiconductor industries to help the company deliver its innovative solutions to the 5G wireless market.”

Faster Speeds
With speeds up to 10 times faster and capacity up to 100 times that of existing 4G LTE networks, 5G represents the future of wireless communications, where the full capabilities of new technologies can be unlocked, the company says on its website.
Battaglia said he believes that his company’s applications overlap in some areas with those of another Irvine-based upstart company, Movandi. However, he explained that the Mobix and Movandi are experts in somewhat different areas of the 5G system.
Battaglia emphasized the importance of Mobix’s local roots. The CEO said the company will be a good corporate citizen and “really promote technology here in Orange County.” 

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Kevin Costelloe
Kevin Costelloe
Tech reporter at Orange County Business Journal

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