AmberWave Systems Shut Down After Raising $91M in Venture Backing—New Company Formed With Its Assets

8/23/10Follow @xconomy

Earlier this year, Salem, NH-based semiconductor company AmberWave Systems Corp quietly shut its doors, and a new company called AmberWave, Inc. has been formed with its assets, according to multiple sources close to the companies.

The news comes to light after an SEC filing on Thursday revealed that AmberWave, Inc., incorporated this year, had raised $800,000 in equity-based funding from one unnamed investor. When I called to follow up that lead, multiple sources noted that AmberWave Systems, whose technology involved “strained silicon” that makes silicon chips faster and more efficient, had closed several months ago. One source then indicated that a group that included at least some employees from the defunct company had purchased the assets of the original firm and used them to reincorporate AmberWave, Inc.

If this is true, it is a likely a significant write off for the original company’s venture backers. The AmberWave Systems website says it raised $91 million and that its investors include 3i, Adams Capital Management, Arch Venture Partners, The Hillman Company and TeleSoft Partners. Our sources did not reveal how much the new owners paid for the assets of AmberWave Systems—but if the new funding amount is any indication, it was likely a tremendous markdown on previous valuations.

While none of these details were immediately confirmed on the record by company leadership or one of its venture backers that we tried to contact, the SEC filing for the newest AmberWave funding lists the same address in Salem as AmberWave Systems, which was started in 1998 by MIT professor Eugene Fitzgerald. The only website I can find on the company still lists the firm name as AmberWave Systems Corp.

Leadership changes have also occurred at AmberWave in the past months. Mass High Tech first observed that the regulatory filing for the new funding lists Anthony Lochtefeld as AmberWave’s president and CEO and Richard Faubert as a director. Lochtefeld was previously vice president of research of AmberWave Systems, while Faubert served as president and CEO—titles still on the company’s website. MHT says Lochtefeld confirmed both the name and leadership changes, but he did not comment further on the state of the company.

I could not immediately reach Lochtefeld for comment, but I’ll be sure to report more on this story if I learn anything new.

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