PureLiFi moves closer to commercialization

PureLiFi, the Scottish startup led by "father of LiFi" Harald Haas, just announced the completion of a Series B financing round led by Temasek. The funding will support the development and commercialization of its proprietary LiFi technology that uses LED light to provide wireless communication.

harald haas

Harald Haas

LiFi, which uses the visible light spectrum instead of radio frequencies to deliver high-speed wireless data communication and internet access, initially gained fame during a TED speech that Haas delivered back in 2011. Radio waves are limited and expensive, he said, and can't keep up with demand given constraints in spectrum resources.

PureLiFi, which has worked with the likes of Cisco and Lucibel, was formed in 2012 as a spin-off from the University of Edinburgh, where Haas has served as chair of the Mobile Communications department.

Since its last funding round in December 2014, the company has completed the development and production of the LiFi-X product, which it described as the world's first mobile LiFi dongle, representing a step toward mass-market adoption. This enabled the company to secure the Series B funding and support its ambitions of ubiquitous LiFi infrastructure and device integration.

The company now has raised more than $10 million to date, with the most recent funding led by Temasek, an investment company based in Singapore. The company was advised by Quest Corporate, the Edinburgh-based corporate finance advisory business, and Dickson Minto, during the fundraising process.

"This funding, which exceeds what we set out to secure, gives the company the resources required to rapidly scale over the next few years," said Russel Griggs OBE, chairman of PureLiFi, in a press release. "When I was asked to become chairman, my task was to build the initial base of the company and secure the funding to take it forward into the sectors we see as the future for the business. Having delivered all that successfully now, I am delighted that we have secured Mike Hickey to take over from me as chairman, whose international and sector experience will lead the company to even greater success."

Along with Hickey coming in as chairman, the company has also brought on Alistair Banham as CEO, both of whom have substantial experience in the semiconductor industry.

Various universities around the world are studying LiFi as a complement to capacity-challenged Wi-Fi and cellular networks. LiFi uses light, which runs on a much higher frequency, instead of radio waves to transmit data.

Earlier this year, reports surfaced that recent versions of iOS code were found to contain references to LiFi. But analysts told FierceWirelessTech at the time that a reference to LiFi is no guarantee that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will actually implement it. If it does go that route, Apple likely would have to create an entire ecosystem to go with it – not implausible, but certainly bold.

For more:
- see this press release

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