The funding will support the production ramp up of GAP9 and the development of its next generation GAP processor.
February 2, 2023 -- GreenWaves, the French pioneer in RISC-V application processors for battery powered devices and a performance leader in AI and DSP, announces a 20 million euros financing led by Innovacom together with Thales, Definvest and the French Tech Seed Fund, with the backing of historical shareholders Soitec and Zepp Health and other financings.
GreenWaves will use the funding to ramp up the production of its GAP9 processor which is enjoying significant market traction with tier one hearables vendors. GAP9 allows them to bring to market new-to-world audio features such as Neural Network based Noise Filtering and Adaptive Transparency. GAP9 is also being designed into battery powered IoT products such as smart cameras, condition monitoring sensors and vital sign monitoring devices.
Additionally, the funding will support the development of GreenWaves’ next generation processor to further enrich the features, and extend the battery life and programmability of the next generation of earbuds and to enable new automotive applications.
“We are delighted about the rate of customers adoption of GAP9, with a dozen design wins in hearables and IoT. Hearables is on its way to surpass smartphones in innovation and volume”, said Loic Lietar, CEO of GreenWaves Technologies. “In IoT applications we serve the most demanding low power smart camera use cases, where GAP9 shines”.
GAP9 provides the ideal platform for companies requiring a combination of neural network, classic and ultra-low latency Digital Signal Processing capabilities in highly energy constrained products. GAP9 enables these applications while remaining highly flexible and easy to program. GAP9 delivers the lowest energy consumption across all of the tests in the MLPerf™ Tiny v1.0 inference benchmark.
For Sébastien Lecornu, Minister for the Armed Forces, “It is with great satisfaction that the Ministry for the Armed Forces is supporting GreenWaves Technologies, a promising company in the field of very low energy consumption AI. Through this investment in GreenWaves Technologies, the Definvest fund will contribute to the development of a promising French sector from which the defence sector can benefit. This eighteenth investment confirms that Definvest remains, more than ever, an essential tool in the Ministry of the Armed Forces’ SME Action Plan.”
“We are proud to have accompanied GreenWaves Technologies, a pioneer in the edge processor industry at a turning point in its recent history and to have helped it demonstrate the potential of its products and technology. We are now particularly pleased to be leading this financing round and to support the company in a new very exciting stage of growth.” said Vincent Deltrieu, Partner and Member of the management board of Innovacom.
“The expertise of the GreenWaves Technologies team in both architecture and software tools has made it possible to develop a new generation of easily programmable processors whose performance is unmatched today. After 8 years of R&D, the company is now at an inflection point; we are happy to support GreenWaves Technologies in this new stage of its development, with a scaling up expected this year” adds Gwenael Hamon, Senior Investment Director of Bpifrance.
“Thales is very pleased to support the next round of development of GreenWaves Technologies. This investment will allow this French-based deeptech startup to keep scaling up its activity and expand its global reach,” complements Philippe Keryer, Thales Executive Vice President, Strategy, Research & Technology.
About GreenWaves Technologies
GreenWaves is a fabless semiconductor company founded in 2014 and based in Grenoble, France. We design and market ultra low power processors for energy constrained products such as hearables, wearables, IoT & medical monitoring products.
GreenWaves’ system-on-chips enable companies to develop and bring to market products with new to world features enabled by state of the art machine learning and digital signal processing techniques. Our leading edge development tools enable audio and machine learning developers to productively harness the power of GAP processors.
GreenWaves GAP9 processor powers features such as neural network based noise removal and adaptive noise cancellation, multi-channel spatial sound and listening enhancement technologies in next generation earbuds and headphones with market leading energy efficiency. For more information, visit www.greenwaves-technologies.com.
Since 1988, Innovacom has invested close to one billion euros, supported more than 300 digital startups, participated in more than 20 Initial Public Offerings and completed 150 industrial disposals.
Innovacom has contributed to several recent successes in a diverse range of sectors: electric vehicles (G²mobility), ad tech (Videoplazza), medical imaging (Olea Medical), digital customer relations (Dimelo), connectivity in trains (21Net Ltd), materials for energy transition (Exagan) or components for smartphones with the Heptagon unicorn.
Innovacom is currently supporting high-potential companies such Acklio, AI Verse, Antaïos, Aryballe, Aura Aero, Avicenna.ai, CAILabs, Cozy Cloud, Exotrail, Intersec, Iten, MicroEJ, Matrixx Software, OSO AI, Robart, Uavia, Upciti, Scintil Photonics ou SustainCERT.
Its recent association with the Turenne Group, one of France’s leading independent private equity firms, has resulted in a €1,2 billion platform under management. Present in Paris and Marseille, Innovacom is a company certified by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers.
Bpifrance Investissement is the management company that handles Bpifrance’s equity investments. Bpifrance is the French national investment bank. It finances businesses – at every stage of their development – through loans, guarantees, equity investments and export insurances. Bpifrance also provides extra financial services (training, consultancy) to help entrepreneurs meet their challenges (innovation, export…).
For more information, please visit: www.bpifrance.fr and presse.bpifrance.fr –
Follow us on Twitter: @Bpifrance – @BpifrancePresse
About the fund Definvest and the DGA
With €100 million provided by the French Ministry of Defense, Definvest combines the complementary expertise of the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) and Bpifrance. As an extension of the SME support mechanisms already deployed by the DGA, the fund aims to take equity stakes in strategic Defense Industrial and Technology Base (DITB) SMEs, alongside financial and industrial investors, to enable them to develop independently.
The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) is an expert testing and engineering arm of the French Ministry of Defense. The DGA’s mission is to equip armies in a sovereign manner, prepare the future of defense systems, promote European cooperation, and support exports. As the State’s largest buyer, in 2021 the DGA placed €23.5 billion of orders with industry and invested €1.404 billion in innovation and defense technology projects. With 18 sites in France, its 10,000 civilian and military men and women (nearly 60% of whom are managers, engineers or experts) and its network of international collaborators, the DGA is involved in all areas of defense (land, naval and air combat, electronic communication and information systems, deterrence, space, cyber security, robotics, etc.).
More information on: www.defense.gouv.fr/dga and www.ixarm.com – Follow us on Twitter : @DGA
About France 2030 and the French Tech Seed Fund
The France 2030 investment plan
- Reflects a dual ambition: to transform key sectors of our economy (health, energy, automotive, aeronautics and space) in the long term through technological innovation, and to position France not only as a player but also as the world leader of tomorrow. From basic research, to the emergence of an idea to the production of a new product or service, France 2030 supports the entire life cycle of innovation until its industrialization.
- Is unprecedented in its scale: €54 billion will be invested so that our companies, our universities, our research organizations, can fully achieve their transitions in these strategic sectors. The challenge is to enable them to respond in a competitive manner to the ecological challenges and attractiveness of the world that comes, and to bring out the future leaders of our lines of excellence. France 2030 is defined by two transversal objectives consisting in devoting 50% of its spending to the decarbonation of the economy, and 50% to emerging players, carriers of innovation without spending unfavourable to the environment (in the sense of the principle Do No Significant Harm).
- Will be implemented collectively: designed and deployed in consultation with economic, academic, local and European stakeholders to determine strategic orientations and flagship actions. Project promoters are invited to submit their applications via open, demanding and selective procedures to benefit from the support of the State.
- Is managed by the General Secretariat for Investment on behalf of the Prime Minister and implemented by the Ecological Transition Agency (ADEME), the National Research Agency (ANR), Bpifrance and the Bank of Territories.
More information on: www.france2030.gouv.fr
Equipped with 500 million euros, the French Tech Seed Fund acts on behalf of the French State by Bpifrance within the scope of the France 2030 investment plan, aiming to support fundraising for innovative start-ups and very small enterprises (VSEs) with less than 3 years of technology-intensive innovation. Coming from France 2030 and coordinated by Bpifrance, the fund has been counting on certified corporate collaborators, responsible for identifying and qualifying these young entrepreneurs, in addition to acting as a bridge between them and private investors. These corporate contributors guarantee the technological validity of the project and enable public investment through Convertible Bonds of up to 400 million euros and capital provided by private investors. 100 million euros are also earmarked for capital investments beyond the conversion of Convertible Bonds.
Thales is a global technology leader, which invests in innovations in digital and “deep tech” – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum – to build a future of trust, essential for the development of our societies. The Group provides solutions, services and products that assist its customers – companies, organizations and governments – in the domains of defense, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security, to fulfill their critical missions by placing humanity at the heart of its decisions. Thales employs 81,000 people in 68 countries. In 2021, the Group generated sales of €16.2 billion.
 Definvest: specialized equity fund of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, managed by Bpifrance
 French Tech Seed : managed on behalf of the French State by Bpifrance within the scope of France 2030