Deeptech startup Si-Ware Systems raises US$9m in funding round led by Sawari Ventures

EGYPTCairo-based microelectronics startup, Si-Ware Systems, has announced that it had recently closed a funding deal of nearly US$9 million led by the Cairo-based Sawari Ventures, with Egypt Ventures being also a major contributor.

Emboldened by the development of a unique sensor that founders believe can revolutionize the field of material identification around the globe, Si-Ware aspires to eventually emerge as the region’s first deeptech unicorn.

According to Bassan Saadany, one of Si-Ware’s three co-founders, semiconductors and electronics, which are not well established in Egypt or in the broader MENA region.

“We aspire to become a success story in this field and can eventually inspire others in the region,” he said.

Since its inception in 2004, Si-Ware has raised a total of US$19 million in funding.  With bootstrapping over the years, founders have also been able to raise another US$20 million from the company’s side business in microchip design.

Hesham Haddara, the company’s CEO and co-founder, noted that this is very rare in a Silicon Valley company, where startups are purely funded by VCs. “A side business is widely seen as a waste of time and resources. But the situation in our region is very different from that in the Silicon Valley.”

With its unique sensor that Si-Ware’s founders think can revolutionize the worldwide field of material recognition, the company is poised to emerge as the first deep-tech unicorn in Africa.

“We started from scratch to build our own technology,” said Saadany, “This is something that usually takes place in big companies in Silicon Valley. We have always wanted to do something quite distinguishable on the global level.”

Lofty ambitions indeed, but as a self-proclaimed fabless semiconductor company aiming to foster silicon innovation, they believe that their innovative NeoSpectra Sensing Solutions can achieve it.

The low-cost spectral sensors and scanners can be used in a wide variety of material sensing applications and is so small that it can only be seen via an electronic microscope.

The device circumvents the challenges of traditional large lab-based spectrometers, so the sample needn’t go to the lab – the lab comes to the sample.

The device can and has been customised to suit the needs of various sectors, including food production, quality control in manufacturing and precision agriculture. The company currently serves clients in Saudi Arabia, North America, Europe Australia, India and Japan.

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