Teraphysics enters commercialization phase for mmLink

Three former NASA scientists invented Teraphysics' high frequency amplifier technology.

A relatively small Cleveland-based millimeter-wave company with big aspirations is launching its “mini IPO” today, with the proceeds to fund the commercialization phase of its technology.

The company received SEC qualification to raise $50 million through the issuance of Regulation A+ securities, an internet crowdfunding source sometimes referred to as a mini IPO. The company is issuing 10,000,000 shares of common stock priced at $5 per share.

Founded by a group of former NASA scientists, Teraphysics touts a suite of millimeter-wave amplifiers called mmLInk. The company’s plans call for its amplifier system to be less costly and quicker to install than fiber optic cable while achieving transfer speeds of 10 to 20 gigabits per second—or 10 to 15 times faster than present-day technology supporting standard home internet connectivity.

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The company has held talks with major U.S. and European wireless operators, but doesn’t have anything to announce as of yet. Gerald Mearini, president and co-founder of Teraphysics, told FierceWirelessTech that future products are expected to reach 150 gigabits per second and while operators today say they don’t need that kind of horse power, they will in the future.

“We’re in the process of vetting partners,” he said. The traditional wireless infrastructure suppliers are potential partners but most of the companies they’re talking with are in the area of large contractors that make backhaul radios.

Mearini formed the company with CEO Lou Fisi and CTO Jim Dayton Jr. back in 2002. Mearini said he remembers it well because it occurred on the day his first daughter was born 15 years ago. The company came out of stealth mode a couple years ago.

Considering that the company has been working to perfect its products for more than a decade, what does Mearini think of all the time, money and attention directed at millimeter wave these days? “I think it’s fantastic,” he said, adding that the industry is going to run out of bandwidth and the existing E band spectrum won’t cut it.

Right now, the company is focused on the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz bands, but it’s also interested in higher bands above 140 GHz and even built product for frequencies as high as 650 GHz.

Teraphysics' mmLink product was developed and enhanced with funding from the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, Air Force Research Lab and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Boustead Securities is advising Teraphysics and is the underwriter of the Teraphysics Reg A+ offering. “The availability of these Reg A+ securities represents what the JOBS Act was intended to do—provide access for all investors to early stage investment opportunities in what could be ‘the next big thing,” noted David Dobkin of Boustead in a press release.