The telecom market is a notoriously difficult environment for startups. Customers are few and far between, sales cycles are long and, as a result, raising funds can be decidedly difficult.
But things are slowly changing.
“There’s more awareness among VCs [venture capitalists] now than there was two or three years ago,” explained Vinay Ravuri, who just this week announced $51 million in new funding for his startup, EdgeQ, which makes chipsets for 5G operations beyond smartphones.
“In the last two years that has changed a bit,” he said, adding that VCs “are starting to realize there is an opportunity here.”
“I do think there are growing sources of funding for 5G,” said Rajeev Shah, CEO of startup Celona, which is focusing on the market for private wireless networking among enterprises.
“The short and sweet answer: Yes, there is more funding available for 5G startups than in the past,” added Amar Kapadai, co-founder and CEO at Aarna Networks, which raised financing earlier this year for its network orchestration efforts.
According to a number of financiers and entrepreneurs, the tide is starting to turn in the telecom industry, partly as a result of the 5G wave. And though most agree that startups in the 5G industry can’t access the seemingly limitless venture capital resources that startups in the artificial intelligence or microservices sectors seem to be able to get at, for example, the situation is nonetheless improving.
“I wouldn’t call it amazing and I wouldn’t call it zero,” said EdgeQ’s Ravuri. “It’s