By Mo Islam, Partner, Threshold Ventures
I’m thrilled to announce EdgeQ’s $51 million in seed and Series A funding today as the company emerges from stealth. EdgeQ is developing an open and programmable system-on-a-chip for next-generation 5G edge networks. Threshold was the founding investor in the company, and we’re excited to support the team on their journey.
I was introduced to Vinay Ravuri, founder and CEO of EdgeQ, by Tasso Roumeliotis, a former DFJ Entrepreneur in Residence and the current founder and CEO of Numa. After spending time with Vinay and learning about his disruptive approach to unifying 5G and AI with programmable silicon, we quickly jumped on board to help him and the EdgeQ team build a one-of-a-kind company. Vinay has assembled a world-class team of 5G and AI industry veterans with decades of leadership experience from Qualcomm, Intel, and Broadcom.
What is 5G?
5G is the latest generation of mobile wireless technology. Leveraging new advancements in radio technologies and communications links, 5G presents a 10x improvement in latency and speed from the past generation of wireless networks. With new allocation of wireless spectrum and significant global telecommunications investment, 5G is the standard of mobile wireless networking for the next decade.
5G Device Growth
The 5G ecosystem is nascent today, but it is set up for massive growth over the next five years. With the release of smartphones like the iPhone 12 and Samsung S20 with 5G capabilities, the market is quickly expanding. Manufacturers have already shipped 200 million 5G-enabled devices, and new connected devices like industrial robots, drones, and autonomous vehicles are entering the marketplace. These intelligent and internet-connected devices demand the next generation of networks to power their applications, and 5G is poised to deliver. By 2025, the number of 5G connections is expected to grow to 1.8 billion, with China and the US leading the way, in verticals like manufacturing, energy, automotive, and gaming.
Operator 5G Infrastructure Investment
5G is now commercially available. At least 46 global telecommunications operators have launched 5G networks in 24 markets, and many more have announced plans to deploy 5G mobile services. Over the next five years, operators like AT&T and Verizon are expected to spend $1.1 trillion of capital expenditure (capex) on their networks, with the vast majority of the dollars allocated to 5G upgrades.
EdgeQ 5G Platform
5G infrastructure is a critical component of powering these next-generation wireless networks, and EdgeQ is the first company building an open and programmable platform for 5G infrastructure. Legacy networks like 4G/LTE are ill-equipped to address the bandwidth needs of the next generation of internet-connected devices, and closed, monolithic chip companies like Qualcomm are unable to provide the open and programmable interfaces for new application development.
Only a couple years into its formation, EdgeQ is working with large enterprise, telecommunications, and consumer internet companies to expand the global 5G network and help deliver new applications to billions of users.
5G’s global impacts have the potential to move humanity forward. Greater connectivity will drive innovation and economic growth, unlocking new digital services with disruptive business models, delivering greater societal benefit than any previous mobile technology.
Today, 3.8 billion people use mobile internet across the world. By 2025, that number will rise to more than 60% of the global population, 5 billion mobile internet users. 5G is expected to contribute an incredible $2.2 trillion to global GDP over the next 14 years. Not only does 5G’s market have massive potential, but its impact on society may be even greater. I’m excited for EdgeQ to be a leader in this new 5G economy.