KOCH INVESTS: Doubling 4G and 5G Spectrum Performance

February 23, 2022

min read

Koch Strategic Platforms is leading a $46 million Series D investment round into Cohere Technologies, a Santa Clara, California-based startup that helps cell phone companies send more data more efficiently through existing infrastructure.

The round will help Cohere finalize the commercialization of its Universal Spectrum Multiplier (USM) Open Radio Access Networks (O-RAN) software platform for any generation mobile network and scale international operations to support customer trials.

WHY IT MATTERS: Airwaves – or spectrum rights – are at a premium these days. Global data usage is skyrocketing – increasing by 30% from 2019 to 2020 alone, according to a recent PwC report.

  • Over the last 20 years, more than $500 billion has been spent on spectrum rights. And in just the last year, wireless carriers paid the U.S. government almost $100 million for the rights to certain 5G frequencies.
  • That means an increasingly crowded and expensive spectrum – and potentially slower data speeds for users on all kinds of devices. Cohere’s software aims to solve that problem by increasing the efficiency of existing mobile transmissions.

HOW IT WORKS: Cohere pioneered the USM software for O-RAN and 4G, 5G and emerging 6G mobile networks.

  • Its Delay Doppler channel engine is waveform independent, meaning it can handle multiple dissimilar waveforms on the same spectrum band – improving network performance for 4G and 5G without sacrificing performance.
  • The software can deliver up to 2X spectrum performance boost for both 4G and 5G networks on a shared spectrum, Cohere says.
  • Leading mobile operators have already seen marked performance improvements for 4G and 5G networks with the software, which network equipment suppliers can integrate into the network system and in the cloud.

Koch invests in Cohere Tech

WHY KOCH INVESTED: “KSP invests in companies that are transforming industries. We believe Cohere's disruptive innovation has great platform potential even beyond today's mobile networks,” said Adam DeWolf, managing director at Koch Strategic Platforms. “This management team has shown it can navigate a very difficult ecosystem and make its mark on the industry.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: “We are thrilled to have KSP lead this financing. They are a terrific partner that truly knows this space and are fully committed to our growth. The strategic investors provide strong operational and technology support as we deliver on the full benefits of Open RAN,” said Ray Dolan, chairman and CEO of Cohere Technologies. “Together, we will make a fully automated, programmable cellular network a reality, offering global operators the best CAPEX performance and the most agile network that will naturally evolve beyond today's 4G/5G capabilities.”

THE BIG PICTURE: Koch’s investment in Cohere is the latest in a series of next-gen communications-related investments, including Mavenir in April 2021.

GO DEEPER: Read more about the announcement here.