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Skyhook Wireless Closes $6.5 Million In Venture Funding Round

Skyhook Wireless, provider of the industry’s first Wi-Fi based metro-area positioning system, announced this week it has secured $6.5 million in a first round of venture capital and new corporate financing. Series B participants included new investors Bain Capital Ventures, which led the round, and Intel Capital. Existing investors Innovent, an entrepreneurial innovation unit in Nokia, and CommonAngels also participated in this round which brings total funds raised to $8.3 million. Ajay Agarwal, venture partner with Bain Capital Ventures, will join Skyhook’s Board of Directors.

“The market for reliable and easy-to-deploy location technologies is enormous, ranging from E911 and local search to personal navigation and asset tracking,” said Ajay Agarwal,. “We were attracted to the Skyhook positioning approach that relies on industry standard Wi-Fi technology which is being built into a myriad of devices from laptops to digital cameras to wireless VOIP phones. We are excited to lead Skyhook Wireless’ first round of venture funding and look forward to contributing to its success.”

“Intel has played a pivotal role in the explosive growth of Wi-Fi enabling new applications for service providers, enterprises and consumers. Our investment in Skyhook Wireless underscores the continued evolution of this technology,” said Scott Darling, vice president, Intel Capital. “Through our research work with Place Lab we have explored next-generation location technologies for several years and our investment in Skyhook Wireless is an extension of that focus.”

“Skyhook’s location technologies enable the creation of innovative and valuable user experiences as the next generation of Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices come to market,” said Stephanie Keller-Bottom, director, Innovent. “We are proud to continue our support for Skyhook Wireless by participating in this round and look forward to collaborating with the team at Skyhook to explore the evolution of these exciting new market opportunities to deliver mobile location-based services using their unique capabilities.” “This round of funding, with significant contributions from a top-tier venture capital firm and two of the world’s most prestigious corporations, further validates the uniqueness of our technology and ability to deliver reliable location capabilities today,” said Ted Morgan, founder and CEO, Skyhook Wireless. “This new funding allows us to accelerate our coverage expansion in the United States as well as to begin our expansion into Europe and Asia. Attracting high-quality investors is a strong testament to our ability to deliver significant value to device makers, application and service providers, and search engines.”

The Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) from Skyhook Wireless is the first indoor-outdoor positioning system that utilizes Wi-Fi rather than GPS or cell towers to accurately pinpoint location. The Skyhook solution includes a national location network covering the top 70 cities in the United States that can accurately pinpoint location on any Wi-Fi enabled device. Because WPS requires no specialized hardware, works inside or out and acquires a location in less than a second, it solves the problems associated with existing location systems. The Skyhook system also integrates both GPS and IP location technologies on top of its core Wi-Fi positioning in order to provide the optimal location readings at all times.