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Liquid Instruments Closes $12 Million Round

ELECTRONICS: Testing Equipment Company Will Expand Australian Facility

SAN DIEGO – The testing equipment manufacturer Liquid Instruments, which has offices in Carmel Valley and Canberra, Australia, has secured a new round of funding totaling $12 million.

The company will use the funding to expand its manufacturing operations in Australia, establish a new office in Melbourne, and scale its global operations while supporting regional economic growth in the state of Victoria.

Daniel Shaddock
CEO
Liquid Instruments

“We are super excited to expand into Victoria,” said Daniel Shaddock, co-founder and CEO of Liquid Instruments. “This investment will allow us to strengthen and grow our manufacturing partnerships in Australia and forge new collaborations with researchers from world-class institutions at the forefront of technology development, including the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, and Monash University.”

Company officials also hinted that a new product is on the horizon.

The funding round was led by a $10 million investment from Breakthrough Victoria, with other investors including Lockheed Martin Ventures, Acorn Capital and Powerhouse Ventures.

The new office in Melbourne, in the Australian state of Victoria, is being established as part of the funding agreement with Breakthrough Victoria, said Matt McArdle, marketing communications manager with Liquid Instruments.

Liquid Instruments is already working with Victorian partners to manufacture its products, and the company plans to expand production considerably in the next 12 months, both by onshoring existing manufacturing activities from abroad, and developing new manufacturing lines for its next-generation device coming next year.

The company’s manufacturing plants are in Malaysia and Australia. It previously manufactured one product in Texas but moved production to Australia earlier this year to be closer to its engineering team and its planned new office in Melbourne, where they will hire more engineers.

Liquid Instruments closed a $28.5 million Series B funding round in 2022, and it has not started a Series C. McArdle said the latest fundraiser is considered a bridge funding round.
The Series B round brought the company’s total funding to around $50 million, adding to previous funding from a convertible note financing and an $8 million Series A round.

All-in-one Testing

The company’s flagship product is Moku:Pro, a device that can be reconfigured to access 14 different test and measurement instruments for applications ranging from optics and photonics to aerospace and defense.

Moku:Pro is the company’s highest performance product, while the Moku:Lab is mid-level and Moku:Go is an introductory product, McArdle said.

The full-suite Moku:Pro costs $25,000, the Moku:Lab is $9,900 and Moku:Go costs about $2,200.

The devices design and test technology products from electronics to telecommunications, and high-profile users include NASA, Google, Qualcomm, Intel, Lockheed Martin, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, CERN European Organization for Nuclear Research, Analog Devices and L3Harris.

The Moku products are especially affordable for companies that do a variety of testing because of the many different functions built into one device. In April, the company added its latest tool, a time and frequency analyzer that can be used by companies that work in optics and photonics.

Matt McArdle
Marketing Communications Manager
Liquid Instruments

As McArdle explained, the versatility of the devices comes from using field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), a type of configurable integrated circuit that can be repeatedly programmed after manufacturing.

“Our device can function as a range of instruments,” McArdle said. “The user can switch the functionality due to the type of processing chip that we’re using. The old way was to use a dedicated device with a fixed function that does one thing. Ours is almost like a multi-tool because the user can reconfigure their setup digitally. They can change it around to be something else as their experiments evolve or as they realize they need to take a different turn in what they’re doing.”

Apple Vision

In March, Liquid Instruments announced its Moku devices are compatible with Apple Vision Pro, the first interactive 3D test system for optics researchers.

Users wear a headset and interact with instruments using hand and eye gestures, giving a 3-D experience for optics and photonics research. A user also can modify and monitor experiments from multiple screens embedded in the real world, and run Moku alongside other applications to share data with colleagues or reference key documentation to boost productivity.

In announcing the news, Shaddock called Moku for visionOS the ultimate setup for optics labs and a great example of how quickly software-defined instrumentation can adopt or integrate with new technologies in a way that conventional instruments cannot.

Liquid Instruments
FOUNDED: 2014
CEO: Daniel Shaddock
HEADQUARTERS: Carmel Valley
BUSINESS: Manufacturer of test and measurement hardware and software.
WEBSITE: liquidinstruments.com
CONTACT: 619-332-6230
NOTABLE: Liquid Instruments’ tech was first developed at the Jet Propulsion Lab.

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