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5G in the UK: Edinburgh-based smart antenna designer picks £740K

Sofant Technologies

Based out of Edinburgh, Sofant Technologies is a radio technology company that designs Smart Antennas. The company secured £740K funding in an oversubscribed round following the £2.3 million pre-Series A round it raised last year.

Expected to benefit from UK’s 5G rollout

The investment round was led by EMV Capital, a venture capital firm along with participation from existing investors including Kelvin Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank. This round includes a surge of 40% in the price per share since the last investment round in July last year.

Sofant is expected to benefit from the rollout of 5G in the UK. The company intends to use the new funding to expand its commercial team and accelerate its system integration with satellite network operators and users.

Since the 2020 investment round, Sofant has developed growing industry recognition with support from global manufacturers and application-specific development partners. Also, the company hired a new CFO to support the scaleup of commercial activities within the business.

Sofant CEO David Wither said, “This top-up investment is a vital part of the preparation for our series A funding round. Our engineering team has made significant progress on the development of our core technology platform. We have also built an ecosystem of corporate partners who will play key roles in the commercialization of Sofant’s disruptive, low power antenna technology”.

Dr. Ilian Iliev, Managing Director of EMV Capital commented, “Since our initial investment, we have seen the Sofant team make rapid progress in this strategically vital technology for the UK’s telecoms sector. In the aftermath of COVID-19, supply chain consolidation and strategic reliability has become a key priority for Western governments. Sofant is well-positioned to provide this homegrown, reliable partner in building safe, reliable and fast connectivity systems.”

Smart antennas to reduce power consumption

Sofant Technologies was incorporated as a University of Edinburgh spinout in 2011. It is the UK’s leader in radio frequency microelectromechanical systems (RF MEMS)-based antennas for satellite and 5G telecoms systems. Its proprietary and highly efficient patented radio technology platform provides the UK and Europe with a homegrown, industry-leading technology solution to several major challenges facing wireless communication systems.

In satellite communications and 5G, its technology reduces the power consumption of electronically scanned antenna arrays by over 70% with lower production and maintenance costs compared to other emerging solutions. Amongst Sofant’s development programmes are prototype antenna arrays funded by the European Space Agency and the European Commission.