Pivotal Commware identified the fixed wireless access (FWA) market as one that’s perfect for its millimeter wave (mmWave) line of products, and it’s getting the capital to double down on that mission.
The Bill Gates-backed company announced today the closing of a $102 million Series D round led by Gates Frontier and Tracker Capital. Joining them as co-leads are funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC and Blue Investment Group. Existing investors, including Verizon Ventures, Devonshire Investors, Thermo Companies, DIG Investment XV AB and Lux Capital, also participated.
According to Pivotal, its Pivot 5G repeaters extend the wireless coverage area of radio access networks (RANs). As mobile operators increasingly turn to mmWave to fill in coverage areas, Pivotal’s products can be used to extend signals. FWA is deemed a good use case for mmWave because it’s a fixed service where users aren’t constantly moving around as they typically are when they’re using wide area cellular networks.
Pivotal Commware CEO Brian Deutsch told Fierce late last year that while he wasn’t crazy about where the market was in the current economy, his company wasn’t concerned about raising more capital because it’s demonstrating revenue growth and that’s what investors are looking for. In fact, he talked about expanding the business around the world.
In 2019, Pivotal Commware secured $10 million in financing and in 2021, it announced the closing of a $50 million C-round investment. The company originally was based in Kirkland, Washington, but in May announced its corporate relocation to Bothell, Washington.
“Customer demand for data continues to climb and that increased customer demand will benefit from the higher capacity found at mmWave frequencies,” Deutsch said in a statement today. “We are delighted to have investors like Gates Frontier, Tracker Capital, and Verizon who share our vision for the future of our crucial and rapidly expanding industry.”
Glenn Lurie, Pivotal board member and former president and CEO of AT&T Mobility, contributed a quote as well, saying as data demand grows, a country’s economic success and social development will require widespread access to the Internet. “Verizon’s leadership in 5G and mmWave in particular has positioned both Verizon and Pivotal for sustained success,” he stated.
According to Mobile Experts chief analyst Joe Madden, a Fierce Wireless contributor, the number of mmWave CPEs deployed for FWA will triple in four years. “Heck, it will almost double in the next 12 months,” he stated. “The technology has been proven over the past two years, and now the operators are stepping on the accelerator.”
Pivotal Commware didn’t say in its press release exactly how it will use the new capital, other than to say it will provide the opportunity to invest aggressively in Pivotal Turnkey to drive mmWave FWA coverage for mobile network operators. “Capital and cash flow from operations will also be used to develop next generation software and hardware products and solutions,” the company said.