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Bangalore-based Graphene Semiconductor raises $800K from Karnataka govt's VC fund KARSEMVEN

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Bangalore-based firm Graphene Semiconductor Services Pvt Ltd, which provides product development and sustenance services to global customers in the semiconductor and soft-internet protocol (IP) business space, has raised Rs 4.95 crore (around $800K) in seed funding from state government-owned VC fund, Karnataka Semiconductor Venture Capital Fund (KARSEMVEN).

The company will use the funds in scaling up operations and expanding its offerings.

"To get a validation from a governmental authority is a huge win for everyone at Graphene," said Vilas Bhade, CEO, Graphene Semiconductor.

With this investment, Graphene Semiconductor has become the first company in the semiconductor space to have received funding from a government-backed VC fund.

"We are open to providing additional funding for Graphene if needed, further emphasising our stance on the company's offerings and business model," added Jayakumar AR, CEO, KARSEMVEN Fund.

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Graphene Semiconductor was founded in 2013 by Bhade; Shrikrishna Gokhale (president), Vinay Hebballi (COO and business development); Ravi Arora (CSO and CTO); Nandagopal Ananda (director, functional logic & verification engineering); and Pramod Sabnis (director, physical design).

Bhade has over 25 years of experience and prior to Graphene, he has held various senior management positions with companies such as Wipro, Infosys and Sasken. He holds an engineering degree from Bangalore University.

The startup provides end-to-end solutions from product realisation, conceptualisation to deploying the product and following up on its sustainability. It currently employs 120 people and has a market presence in India, the US and Japan.

KARSEMVEN Fund was launched in 2014 with a corpus of Rs 96.15 crore. It plans to invest in companies operating in the semiconductor, electronics system design & manufacturing (ESDM), and embedded systems space in Karnataka.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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