Software Radio Firm Vanu Collects $32 Million Second Round

Vanu, the Cambridge, MA, company whose “all-software radios” allow wireless operators to broadcast using multiple standards such as GSM and CDMA, has raised $32 million a stealthy Series B venture round, Dan Primack of Private Equity Hub is reporting today. Waltham, MA-based Charles River Ventures, which led a $9 million Series A round for Vanu last year, has returned for the new round, which also included Norwest Venture Partners of Palo Alto, CA, and Tata Capital of India.

Vanu, founded in 1998 by MIT computer science PhD Vanu Bose, the son of Bose Corporation founder Amar Bose, isn’t publicizing the funding round. But Andy Beard, the company’s chief strategy officer, told Primack that the company will use the funds to expand operations in the United States and India. The company “will talk later this year about the motivation behind the round and what it means for our future plans,” Beard said.

Software radio technology uses computer software to emulate functions such as mixing and amplification that are handled by separate hardware components in traditional radios. Software-defined radios can communicate using multiple radio protocols that would normally require separate chips. In Vanu’s implementation of software radio, the software runs on standard Linux PCs rather than the specialized hardware used by most manufacturers of cellular base stations, making the systems easier to upgrade.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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