Temasek injects more money into UK start-up pureLiFi

SINGAPORE - Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings has pumped more money into an Edinburgh-headquartered start-up that delivers high-speed and secure Internet through light, instead of radio frequencies, which are used by existing technologies such as Wi-Fi and cellular.

The start-up, pureLiFi, on Monday announced its US$18 million (S$24.5 million) Series B round, which saw participation from Temasek and the Scottish Investment Bank, an arm of Scotland's national economic agency, Scottish Enterprise. Temasek had previously led pureLiFi's 2016 financing round, which brought the start-up's total fund-raising to over US$10 million at the time.

The fresh round of funding will be used to supply LiFi technology to mass-market mobile device and lighting manufacturers. The company will focus on developing gigabit LiFi components and make them suitable for integration into mobile devices.

pureLiFi is collaborating with Getac, a leading manufacturer of rugged tablets and laptops that are used in rough environments. The start-up has also worked with companies across several industries such as telecommunications company O2 Telefonica, and lighting companies Zumtobel and Wipro.

The LiFi market is projected to hit US$75.5 billion by 2023, growing at a rate of 80.8 per cent from 2016 to 2023, according to market research firm Global Market Insights. The growth will be driven by the rising demand for wireless connectivity as smart living, Internet of Things, autonomous systems and other technologies develop.

pureLiFi intends to lead the advancement of LiFi chipsets for consumer devices.

"Device manufacturers are looking for new ways to provide devices with faster, more reliable and secure connectivity. LiFi is the natural next step in the evolution of global wireless communications and pureLiFi is leading the way to provide this technology to the market," said pureLiFi chief executive Alistair Banham.