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Intel backs wireless sensor networking startup

Posted by iMark - 2006-03-30

SAN FRANCISCO — Intel Capital, the venture arm of the world's No. 1 semiconductor company, has joined with venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates and Shasta Ventures to provide a total of $5 million in Series A funding to Arch Rock, a startup founded in mid-2005 to provide Internet-enabled wireless sensor network technology.

Arch Rock, based here, bills itself as a developer of products that "enable wide adoption of wireless sensor networks within the broader context of Internet technology." The company says its products allow companies to apply business logic at all tiers of these sensor networks in order to capture new kinds of information from the physical world and harness that information through enterprise software and Web services applications.

Wireless sensor networks are collections of tiny computers that can monitor a wide range of data, networked by forming wireless meshes using low-power radio.

Arch Rock says its vision is to help customers create and manage billions of sensor-based touch points with the physical world of matter and space and generate new actionable intelligence that can be leveraged in a wide variety of new industrial and consumer applications. The company says it is already deploying tailored customer solutions across several industries and applications, including industrial automation, logistics and information technology.

Following the funding, Forest Baskett, a general partner with New Enterprise Associates, Rob Coneybeer, managing director at Shasta Ventures, and Judy Estrin, CEO of Packet Design LLC, joined Arch Rock's board of directors, the company said.

“By being able to measure anything, monitor it on the Internet and act on the information, businesses will be able not only to predict the outcome of a situation, but actually influence or control that outcome," Baskett said through a statement. "That’s the promise of wireless sensor and control networks.”

Arch Rock said it plans to use the funds to expand the company team and its sales and marketing capabilities. The money will also be used to develop Arch Rock’s portable operating systems, layered networking protocols and service-oriented architectures, the company said. Arch Rock's management team is led by President and CEO Roland Acra, a 20-year networking industry veteran who was President and CEO at Procket Networks and held several senior executive positions at Cisco Systems.

“Our vision is that sensors will far outnumber computers and that the Internet architecture and value system is the way to scale” Acra said. “Multi-vendor hardware, networks spanning diverse links, and distributed applications — these are the principles around which the Internet has thrived. We will bring forward these principles and look forward to building a healthy ecosystem in order to scale wireless sensor networks for the benefit of our customers.

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