Avnera Raises $8M Equity Round to Advance Wireless Audio Chip Technology

A consumer tech company has scored one of the bigger equity financing rounds in the Portland area this fall. Beaverton, OR-based Avnera, a fabless semiconductor company that makes chips for wireless audio applications, has raised about $8 million in equity financing out of a total offering of $10 million, according to a regulatory filing with the SEC. The investors in the current round were not specified, and e-mails seeking confirmation of the deal sent to Avnera and previous investors were not immediately returned.

Before the latest round, Avnera had raised about $42 million in funding. Its original investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Jafco Ventures. Other investors joined in later rounds, including Intel Capital, DAG Ventures, Altien Limited, Panasonic Ventures, Polycom, and BestBuy. Most recently, Avnera raised a $14.7 million Series C round in September 2007.

The current filing lists as company directors Rob Chandra and Umesh Padval of Bessemer, John Walecka of Redpoint, and John Miner, formerly of Intel Capital (now with Pivotal Investments).

Avnera was founded in 2004, and is led by CEO, chairman, and co-founder Manpreet Khaira. Its technology involves advanced circuit design techniques to put things like radio frequency electronics, power management systems, audio data converters, and programmable signal processors onto a single silicon chip. That can help make audio accessories cheaper and have better sound quality in computers, iPods, home entertainment systems, and mobile devices. Avnera’s customers include Logitech, Creative, Panasonic, Vizio, and Sanyo.

Back in June, Eric Rosenfeld of Capybara Ventures and the Oregon Angel Fund told Xconomy that Avnera was one of the leading lights in Portland’s semiconductor scene. “They’re doing very well,” he said at the time. “Hopefully they’ll be the one that revives people’s confidence locally.”

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