Bangalore's Ojas Venture Partners has made an investment in city-based Arigami Semiconductor Systems, which is coming up with techniques and intellectual property (IP) to enable digital chip designers to build more efficient datapath intensive digital designs.
When contacted, Ojas Ventures CEO Rajesh Srivathsa confirmed the transaction. He, however, declined to divulge the value of the deal. It is understood that the deal is very early stage and Ojas' investment could be in the sub-$1-million category.
The funding from Ojas has helped Arigami file for patents, rent tools and machines, and target customers. Ojas Ventures is a $35 million early stage venture capital fund backed by N. S. Raghavan, the co-founder and former joint managing director of Infosys.
Vijay Kundaji, one of the co-founders of Arigami, says, all electronic products use some sort of processing which involves arithmetic. Arigami's solution helps the process by improving the performance of datapath. Other founders of the fledgling firm are Chandramohan Umapathy and V Ranganathan.
Arigami's optimization takes inspiration from vedic mathematics though it's not completely based on it. The firm has also raised seed funding from S Baskar, former CTO of bluetooth solutions firm Impulsesoft.
Arigami says, it would need another round of funding and it would take a decision on that in six to eight months.
Arigami started operations at a time when the semiconductor industry hit it worst phase with drastic fall in sales and expenditure. Arigami has also had to face some challenges.
"We struggled with getting the right kind of evaluation opportunities as companies making chips are very cagey about opening their designs to a third party," said Kundaji, who has earlier worked with Cadence Designs and National Semiconductor.
But Arigami now has three customers with whom its evaluating products. One is a wireless company while the other two are major semiconductor companies, said Kundaji without revealing names due to confidentiality agreements. Arigami has started bringing in small revenues through these consultations.
Also the recession has given Arigami time to fine tune and validate its product. Though currently operating through a consulting model, it ultimately plans to scale by building a product.