Quantenna to raise $100m in long-awaited IPO, launches 802.11ax

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The IPO for WiFi chipmaker Quantenna has been a long time coming and there were times when we did not think it would get there, believing that a cash burn which sent it headlong into a $79 million deal with a Russian bank in 2012, might mean that other funders were too shy to take on further risk.

In the end the company has taken on board $187 million in fund-ing, and needed to come up with a value north of $500 million in order to bring a decent VC return on a long investment, which this IPO just about achieves. Effectively it is asking for $100 million, net of costs, which it will get if it sells 6.7 million shares at the mid-point of its $14 to $16 spread, and about $7 million more if an ex-tra 1 million shares are taken by the underwriters or it gets the highest price or both.

Quantenna has made its reputation by offering a WiFi chip early against each progressive standard, and at the fullest level of that specification. In the 802.11ac Wave II market it was a full year ahead of rivals, and in the coming 802.11ax, it launched a chip ear-lier this week, for delivery in bulk next year, way ahead of market expectation.

It calls this the QSR10G-AX built around its Wave 3 802.11ac based chip, but offering support for 8 concurrent data streams in 5 GHz and 4 in 2.4 GHz making 12 MU-MIMO streams.

Today Quantenna has just $16.9 million in the bank, and with cash owed, a working capital of $31.8 million. Its prospectus lists rivals as Broadcom, Marvell, MediaTek and Qualcomm, but in truth its specialized nature has meant it has mostly targeted the 10% of the WiFi chip market for home gateways through operator access points. In this it has competed with Celeno in Israel and Broadcom.

This is an abstract from an article of the wireless watch service. Learn More

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Peter has been involved in technology for 35 years, and is now the Lead Analyst at Faultline, a digital media research service offered by Rethink Technology Research. In his work at Faultline Peter has built an understanding of wired and wireless Triple Play and Quad Play models including multiscreen video delivery, taking in all aspects of delivering video files including IPTV. This includes all the various content protection, conditional access and digital rights management, encoding, set tops and VoD server technologies. Peter writes about all forms of video delivery is fascinated with the impact IP is having on all of the entertainment fields, and calls his service Faultline because of the deep faults which can devastate large established companies operating in the fields of consumer electronics, broadcasting, content delivery, content creation, and all forms of telecommunications operators, as content begins to be delivered digitally. Peter is currently advising major players and start up ventures in this field, and has both written and validated business plans in the area.

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