Investors Gather For Ensemble Raise

With plans of going public later this year, Ensemble Communications Inc., a manufacturer of broadband wireless communications equipment, raised $25 million in its third round of venture financing.

The San Diego, Calif.-based company will release its point-to-multipoint wireless system next quarter. Digital Microwave Corp., a manufacturer of point-to-point wireless equipment, led Ensemble’s Series C round.

“If there is anybody out there that can sell broadband equipment it is [Digital],” said Ensemble Chief Executive Rami Hadar. “They have operational experience in deploying, marketing and selling.”

Intel Corp. and Korea Technology Bank Venture Capital (KTB) were also first-time investors in the round. Hadar said he hopes to cultivate Asian Pacific distribution relationships with KTB limited partners, mainly Samsung Corp. and Korea Telecom. Existing investors that returned for the round include ADC Telecommunications, which led the company’s Series B round, Enterprise Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures and Crescendo Ventures.

Hadar previously founded wireless communications manufacturer CTP Systems, which was sold to DSP Communications in 1996. In a transaction unrelated to the Ensemble deal, Intel last year acquired DSP for $1.4 billion.

Proceeds from the Series C round will be spent on sales and marketing and customer support infrastructure. Ensemble’s product is currently undergoing beta trials with selected U.S.-based wireless communications providers. Although Hadar expects as much as 50% of his customers will ultimately be based abroad, he said near-term prospects are predominantly North American-based.

He added that the company is capitalized through at least the next 12 months, and would only consider strategic investors for any additional private financing.