InCore Semiconductors is building RISC-V processor cores in India, enabling companies to build cutting-edge semiconductor solutions
MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that Sequoia’s investment will encourage more investors to double down on the emerging opportunity in the semiconductor industry
Earlier this year, Sequoia invested in Mindgrove, an IIT Madras incubated semiconductor startup that designs innovative SoCs in the country
Sequoia Capital India on Friday (May 12) said it invested $3 Mn in InCore Semiconductors, marking its second fund infusion in a semiconductor startup in the country.
The investment was announced at the ‘SemiCon India FutureDesign Roadshow’ event led by the Minister of State for Electronics & IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar at IIT-Delhi. The roadshow, organised by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), was a part of the Centre’s initiative to promote the development of next-generation semiconductor designers in India, gradually making the country become a semiconductor powerhouse.
InCore Semiconductors, which is building RISC-V processor cores in India, raised the funding from Sequoia Capital India as part of its seed funding round.
G S Madhusudan, CEO and cofounder of InCore Semiconductors, said that the funding from Sequoia was a crucial step for the startup towards building a world-class RISC-V ecosystem in the country.
For the uninitiated, RISC or reduced instruction set computer is a microprocessor architecture that utilises a reduced number of computer instruction types, hence enabling systems to operate at higher speeds. ‘V’ signifies 5th generation.
InCore claims it enables companies to build cutting-edge semiconductor solutions with its comprehensive suite of customisable RISC-V core-generators, core-hubs, and SoC (System on Chips) platforms.
“Our vision is to make India a powerhouse in the RISC-V solution space, and we are proud to be part of a thriving startup ecosystem that is supported by both the government and venture capitalists like Sequoia Capital India,” Madhusudan added.
Earlier this year, Sequoia Capital India invested in Mindgrove, an IIT Madras incubated semiconductor startup that designs innovative SoCs in the country, for the world.
“The semiconductor industry is going through a cycle of disruption and change that will provide strong tailwinds for India’s chip ambitions. There’s a massive opportunity for deep tech startups to turn the country into a global centre for custom silicon IP and hardware innovation,” said Mohit Bhatnagar, MD, Sequoia India.
In December 2021, the Indian government approved the Semicon India programme, which has an outlay of INR 76,000 Cr and is aimed at developing India’s semiconductors and display manufacturing ecosystem.
SemiCon India FutureDesign Roadshow was first organised in Gandhinagar in October last year and the second roadshow was in Bengaluru in February. At the Bengaluru event, MoS Chandrasekhar announced the launch of the ChipIN Centre at C-DAC Bengaluru which will act as a one-stop hub providing fabrication access, semiconductor design tools, virtual prototyping Hw Lab, access to the domestic fabless chip designers.
“Semiconductors are the tech building blocks and a key catalyst to India’s $1 Tn digital economy goal. This will require joint commitment and collaboration from all sets of stakeholders – be it startups, investors or the government,” said Chandrashekhar on Sequoia Capital’s investment in the space.
“I would like to acknowledge the support of Sequoia Capital India for supporting the Indian startup ecosystem in the semiconductor design space with their investments in two important startups – InCore Semiconductors and Mindgrove. We hope this will encourage more investors to double down on this exciting and emerging opportunity,” he added.
Speaking to Inc42 recently, Chandrashekhar suggested promising growth in the semiconductor manufacturing and design industry.
“…we are seeing the contours of the semiconductor design and manufacturing startup ecosystem, as India today has about 21 startups, and we see this number growing to 50 by the end of 2023,” he had said.
The Indian government estimates that the country would consume semiconductors of around $70-$80 Bn to manufacture electronics products worth $300 Bn by 2026.