Investments, Technology

Echodyne Raises USD 15M Series A Funding Led by Bill Gates and Madrona Venture Group


Bellevue, Washington-headquartered Echodyne, which is bringing metamaterials-based radar products to market, has secured USD 15 million series A funding led by Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates and Madrona Venture Group, with participation from Vulcan Capital, Lux Capital, The Kresge Foundation, and others. The startup is spinning-off Intellectual Ventures and is led by co-founders Eben Frankenberg (CEO) and Tom Driscoll (CTO).

Eben and Tom describe the company as, “artificially structured materials used to control and manipulate a range of physical phenomena including electromagnetic radiation.”

Metamaterials is a class of synthetic materials engineered to have properties not found in nature. For example, they can manipulate incoming electro-magnetic radiation such as light or radio waves to redirect it in a variety of potentially useful ways.

As part of the deal, Tim Porter, managing partner of Madrona Venture Group is joining the Echodyne Group and the first time the Group has invested in an Intellectual venture spinoff.

It’s the fourth spinout from the Intellectual Ventures(IV), and Gates has invested in all four IV spin-off companies.

“I’ve worked with Eben for almost a decade and I’m looking forward to what Echodyne will accomplish with his leadership,” said Bill Gates.

Microsoft co-founder is also an investor in TerraPower, which is developing an alternative nuclear reactor; Kymeta, a company that is developing a new type of satellite broadband antenna; Evolv, a firm which is developing new security scanning technology. Like Echodyne, both Evolv and Kymeta are basing their products on metamaterials technology.

Apart from this, in November, Bill Gates had made a personal investment in impact investment fund, Unitus Seed with participation from VC investor Vinod Khosla and a group of Seattle-area techies.

Image Source: Pnas

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