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German Chip Startup Raises $274M for Next-Gen Tech

Black Semiconductor, a trailblazing startup in next-gen chip technology, has secured €254.4 million (US$274 million)
June 13, 2024

Black Semiconductor, a pioneering startup focused on developing next-generation chip technology, has successfully raised €254.4 million (US$274 million). The majority of this funding, €228.7 million (US$248 million), comes from the German government, reflecting Europe’s growing commitment to advancing its semiconductor capabilities.

The investment includes substantial contributions from the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The remaining €25.7 million (US$28 million) was raised through equity funding, led by Porsche Ventures and venture capital firm Project A.

With this significant financial backing, Black Semiconductor plans to establish a pilot production facility in Aachen, Germany. The goal is to transition to mass production by 2031. Additionally, the company aims to expand its workforce from 30 to 120 employees by 2026.

This substantial investment highlights Europe's determination to compete with the U.S., which has been aggressively investing in semiconductor manufacturing. Although Europe hosts influential semiconductor companies like ASML in the Netherlands, it has traditionally lagged in manufacturing capabilities compared to Asian giants such as TSMC and Samsung.

Daniel Schall, CEO of Black Semiconductor, emphasized the strategic importance of this investment. He stated “Squawk Box Europe” that Europe doesn’t need to replicate everything domestically but should leverage its strengths, particularly in chip design. Schall pointed out that Europe’s expertise lies in the design phase of the semiconductor supply chain.

Black Semiconductor is focused on innovative technologies that enhance chip communication within devices and data centers. The company aims to use graphene to connect multiple chips, facilitating data transmission via light instead of electricity. This approach promises to significantly boost chip efficiency and speed. Graphene, a material known for its strength, lightness, and excellent electrical conductivity, is central to this innovation.

Schall's confidence in their cutting-edge technology and the substantial backing from the German government underscores Black Semiconductor's potential to lead the way in semiconductor advancements. With Europe keen to establish a stronger foothold in the global semiconductor industry, Black Semiconductor is poised to play a pivotal role in this transformative journey.

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