By Jim Goetz
Published October 27, 2016
We’ve come to expect full HD video to stream through every device in our homes—like electricity from our power outlets or water from our faucets—but in 2006 it was a different story. The dream of reliable broadband multimedia video to multiple rooms in your house (let alone throughout your entire enterprise), seemed very far away. The growth curve for Wi-Fi was just getting started.
The team at Quantenna had a vision for superior Wi-Fi: with deep experience in noise reduction for DSL, they realized they could apply a similar approach to wireless. We partnered with Quantenna in 2006, at first incubating them in an unused conference room on Sand Hill Road, and later leading their Series A. The challenges were many—every step of the journey required perpetual innovation on all fronts, not just the technology.
The Quantenna team started by targeting a 4×4 MiMo Wi-Fi chipset, a challenged deemed impossible by many at the time. The company name came from “Quantum leap in antennas.” The results were higher bandwidth, better reliability and best in class coverage.
They went after both chips needed for WiFi—the baseband and the RFIC—which created extra complexity, but also extra defensibility—as the barrier to entry for competition now meant having very different types of engineers designing very different types of chips.
They also innovated in their go-to-market strategy. When everyone else was only going after device makers, they went upstream and targeted service providers and then bundled their chips with a robust software layer for remote monitoring and management.
As a result, service providers like AT&T, Orange, Telefonica, Bell Canada, and many others, don’t have to send trucks around to figure out what’s happening with their service—as the chips and software from Quantenna can remotely monitor for problems form afar.
Today, Quantenna is a global leader in leading-edge performance Wi-Fi solutions. Their products establish benchmarks for speed, range, efficiency and reliability, and have become an integral way for service providers to manage their services.
Congratulations to the founders, leadership and the entire team at Quantenna as they start the next chapter in their journey.