Rakuten backs $114m Series C round for US mobile tech firm Altiostar

Photo: Reuters

US-based mobile technology firm Altiostar has announced the closing of a $114-million Series C round of financing backed by Japan’s Rakuten, Tech Mahindra and Qualcomm Ventures.

The fresh capital will be used to expand Altiostar’s virtual RAN (radio access network) technology to encompass 4G and 5G products, allowing telecom operators to build end-to-end web-scale cloud native networks, the company said in a statement.

Qualcomm Ventures and Tech Mahindra were the first to participate in the C round when they invested in Altiostar early in 2018. While Qualcomm’s investment remains undisclosed, Tech Mahindra announced that it acquired a 17.5 per cent stake in Altiostar for a cash consideration of $15 million.

Rakuten, meanwhile, announced its unspecified participation in the round in February this year, saying that the investment in Altiostar was in line with its plans to build a cutting-edge wireless network.

Founded in 2011 by Ashraf Dahod and headquartered in Tewksbury, Altiostar is a provider of virtualised RAN networks for LTE technology. Outside the US, it has a presence in the UK, Germany, India, Mexico, Argentina, and Israel. The company employs close to 220 people.

Concurrently with this financing round, Altiostar has agreements solidifying its relationship with each of its strategic partners. The company is working with Rakuten to deploy its solution in the mobile network of the Japanese firm, while also collaborating on the development of 5G solutions. It has also entered into a collaboration agreement with Qualcomm and signed a value-added-reseller/system integrator contract with India’s Tech Mahindra.

“A round of this magnitude, backed by global technology leaders like Rakuten, Qualcomm Ventures and Tech Mahindra, signifies the immense 5G opportunity we have in front of us as well as the progress we have made developing our virtualized RAN technology,” said Altiostar president and CEO Ashraf M. Dahod.

IDC expects the largest percentage of overall investment to be spent in the RAN portion of 5G networks, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 156.6 per cent between 2018 and 2022.

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
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