Weebit Nano Ltd (ASX: WBT), the Australian-listed semiconductor company developing and commercialising the next generation of ReRAM (Resistive Random Access Memory) technology, has raised an additional $3 million via a share placement to sophisticated and professional investors, and also plans to conduct a non-underwritten share purchase plan to raise a further $1 million.
“We are very pleased to have received strong support from our current investors who have been on this journey with us, where we have moved along the product development timeline much faster and at lower cost than many other companies, said Weebit Nano CEO Coby Hanoch.
The placement comprises an offer of 85.7 million fully paid ordinary shares in Weebit Nano at an issue price of $0.035 per share. The issue price represents a discount of 22.8% to the 5-day VWAP of $0.045 prior to the trading halt on 26 September 2018. These Shares will be issued within the Company’s Listing Rule 7.1 placement capacity. New shares issued under the Placement will rank equally with the Company’s existing ordinary shares on issue.
“This placement has also seen several new high quality institutional and sophisticated investors join our share register. This is reflective of the confidence the market has in our ability to continue to hit our development milestones as we head towards productisation, and in our attractive potential to tap into the ever-growing non-volatile memory storage addressable market that is estimated to be worth over US$60 billion.
“Certain directors have also agreed to invest a total of $150,000 in the share placement, subject to shareholder approval, highlighting their confidence in the company. Existing eligible shareholders have the opportunity to subscribe for up to $15,000 of fully paid ordinary shares at the same price as the Placement, ensuring that all our shareholders have an opportunity to participate in the positive outlook for Weebit Nano at this key stage of development.
Weebit Nano intends to offer the opportunity to each of its existing eligible shareholders to subscribe for up to $15,000 of fully paid ordinary shares, at an offer price of $0.035 per share (the same price as the Placement) to raise $1 million. This is expected to result in the issue of a further 28.6 million shares.
Placement proceeds will be used for working capital and offer expenses, and to progress Weebit Nano’s silicon oxide (SiOx) ReRAM technology to the next stage of productisation, including:
- Working with partners testing, evaluating and optimising Weebit Nano SiOx ReRAM memory chips to achieve robust technology parameters;
- Working with Leti to scale down the technology from the current 1Mb 40nm arrays (the form of existing memory chips being used by customers in phones, PCs or storage devices) to 28nm which will allow Weebit to offer a more competitive solution to the embedded memory market3; and
- Initiating work with production fabs, and planning the move to a production facility.
We expect to progress to commercialisation by the end of 2020. We are now improving baseline parameters, bringing them up to the level required for production. We are also preparing for the move to 28nm which we expect to start before the end of this calendar year.
2020 will be dedicated to transferring the technology to a production fab. In parallel, the company is very focused on signing its first cooperation agreement”, said Mr Hanoch.
This latest raise is on top of two recent milestones The first was in June this year where the company demonstrated a 1Mb (1 Megabit > 1 million bits) capacity ReRAM array at 40nm using SiOx. At that point Weebit Nano’s ReRAM technology was at the capacity of memory larger than what is currently being used across most of the embedded non-volatile memory (NVM) market, which is the first market segment the company is targeting. This market includes various applications such as Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable technology. In addition, with the introduction of faster and more energy-efficient memories like ReRAM, this market will soon expand to also be a cornerstone of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Most recently, last month the company produced the first packaged units containing memory arrays based on the SiOx ReRAM technology. These were packaged into devices known as chips, allowing the company to ship its memory technology to partners to start working with them. This enabled further testing and refining of the company’s memory technology. The first memory chips were delivered to universities to research the use of ReRAM technology in neuromorphic computing, which is used in the development of Artificial Intelligence, with additional chips planned to be shipped to commercial partners once they engage to explore the possibility to work with Weebit Nano’s technology.