Two Wireless Deals Total $26M

Two wireless companies last week announced $26 million in funding as companies jockey for the lead in the race to ship samples of their multi-band chips.

Sirific Wireless Corp. based in Waterloo, Ontario, announced its $17 million Series B round a day ahead of the $9 million second close of a Series B round for Berkana Wireless of Campbell, Calif. Both companies have developed CMOS transceiver chips for the multi-band handset market in cellular telephony.

Sirifics round came from Boston-based TD Capital, one of five private equity investment groups supported by the Toronto Dominion Bank of Canada and the Intel Communications Fund. To date, Sirific has raised more than $38 million from such investors as Agilent Technologies, BDC Venture Capital, Celtic House and GrowthWorks WV.

Meanwhile, the second close on the financing for Berkana Wireless was funded by Hotung Capital Management and KTB Ventures, bringing the total of Berkanas Series B round to $21 million. Altogether, the company has raised $30 million to date. The first close was backed by Authosis Venture Capital, ICCP Venture Partners, KTB Ventures and Miramar Venture Partners.

Sirific and Berkana are shipping samples of their multi-band chips to customers as they gear up for competition against large public companies, such as RF Micro Devices, Silicon Laboratories and Wavecom and venture-backed startups like Ashvattha Semiconductor, Sequoia Communications and Stepmind.

Richard Murphy, Sirific vice president of marketing, says his company has an edge in technology as its products support both four frequency bands and multiple standards. Robert Fan, Berkanas vice president of marketing, who says that while his companys product is at present only a four-band product, its next iteration will support EDGE and eventually WCDMA.