Elve staff pictured in 2021 with an early version of their millimeter-wave amplifier. Credit: Elve

SAN FRANCISCO – Elve, a startup manufacturing millimeter-wave amplifiers for terrestrial and space applications, raised $15 million in a Series A investment round.

With the latest investment, announced Feb. 22, Davis, California-based Elve plans to expand its space business and increase manufacturing capability.

“Closing this funding round represents another significant milestone in our journey,” Elve CEO Diana Gamzina said in a statement. “It will enable us to continue our mission of expanding access to fiber-like wireless connectivity.”

Gamzina, who earned a PhD in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of California, Davis, founded Elve in 2020 with the goal of reducing the price of millimeter-wave amplifiers.

“We focused on making the price ten times cheaper,” Gamzina told SpaceNews in early February at the SmallSat Symposium in Mountain View, California. “As soon as we achieved that, we had customers lining up because it was a hole in the market.”

The key to reducing the price was redesigning the amplifiers, said Gamzina, who previously worked at the University of California David Millimeter-wave Research Center, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and the European Space Agency.

“My work was very scientific, but very much focused on how materials and manufacturing affect the performance of these types of electronics, which ended up being like the key to solving this issue,” Gamzina said.

Elve investors include Lockheed Martin Ventures, TomEnterprise Private AB, Green Sands Equity, Yu Galaxy and Cambium Capital.

Chris Moran, Lockheed Martin Ventures vice president and general manager, said in a statement, “Elve’s RF power amplifier technology has the potential to enable cost effective, resilient communications in both terrestrial and space domains.”

Thomas von Koch, TomEnterprise Private owner, said in a statement, “Elve has the potential to radically enhance speed and accessibility of connectivity.”

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...