Menlo Micro Raises $44M in Funding for Development of its “Ideal Switch” Technology

November 07, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

Menlo Micro received funding which will help up-scale production of its existing products and new Ideal Switch technology. 

Menlo Microsystems, Inc. (Menlo Micro) is a leading expert in the development of micro-mechanical relays. The switch is a fundamental building block for a wide variety of electronic systems. Menlo Micro has aimed to push forward through challenges and limitations facing products utilizing out-dated electromechanical relay systems by creating the “Ideal Switch.” 

Menlo Micro’s Ideal Switch technology is its own light-weight, cost-effective, and efficient category. In early October, the company announced that it had secured $44 million in Series B funding to support further development of its Ideal Switch technology.


Menlo Micro acquired $44 million in Series B funding for its Ideal Switch technology. Image used courtesy of Menlo Micro 
Menlo Micro acquired $44 million in Series B funding for its Ideal Switch technology. Image used courtesy of Menlo Micro 


What Does This Funding Mean For Menlo Micro?

Menlo Micro’s genesis and growth were initiated by two men, co-founder, and CTO Chris Keimel and co-founder and SVP of worldwide marketing Chris Giovanniello. Prior to Keimel’s current role, he was Senior Research Scientist at GE Global Research Center and headed the development of Metal micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) Technology development for more than 12 years. 

Co-founder Chris Giovanniello has over 20 years of experience in semiconductor industries and electronic systems and heads Menlo micro’s product development and technology innovation. 

“This is a major milestone for Menlo Micro and the deployment of the Ideal Switch, which we firmly believe to be the most important technological innovation in the electronics industry since the transistor,” said CEO Russ Garcia in a news release from early October. “This round of financing will enable us to significantly accelerate our product development and the scaling of our production lines. It is an incredible validation that our investors are standing behind our truly disruptive technology and our team at a time of so much uncertainty around the world,” Garcia added. 


CEO of Menlo Micro Russ Garcia. Image used courtesy of Menlo Micro
CEO of Menlo Micro Russ Garcia. Image used courtesy of Menlo Micro


Funding for Menlo Micro came from companies including 40 North Ventures, Tony Fadell’s Future Shape, San Francisco-based Piva, leading global investor Paladin Capital Group, and Vertical Venture Partners


What to Expect

Menlo Micro’s Ideal Switch Technology combines features of both solid-state relays and electromechanical relays. For many years, the lack of certain capabilities unique to these technologies respectively have been limiting the performance of various products and electronic systems. Menlo Micro aims to provide customers with a 99% reduction in key metrics including size, weight, performance, cost, and power consumption with its Ideal Switch technology.  

The Ideal Switch is designed with a metal-to-metal contact. This is actuated with an electrostatic voltage on the gate electrode which forces it to close. When the voltage is released, it opens the relay to give a zero leakage path for when the switch is open. 

Menlo Micro’s customer community includes those within the 5G mobile network, aerospace and defense, and test and measurement market groups. With its ability to handle kilowatts of power, Menlo Micro envisages that the Ideal Switch will allow them to access new markets such as home automation, industrial internet of things (IoT), medical instrumentation, quantum computing, electric vehicles, and more.