RFID reader maker ThingMagic Inc said yesterday it had received an additional $6m of venture capital financing, which included new investor Cisco Systems Inc.
The addition tops up the first VC round for Cambridge, Massachusetts-based ThingMagic to $21m, which launched in 2000.
Cisco’s contribution was not disclosed. Cisco said in a statement that that it was a supporter of the RFID industry and had partnered with a number of RFID players that specialize in networked RFID technology.
Like the Internet, RFID is an infrastructure-driven technology. It requires easily managed network solutions that scale, are non-disruptive, and have low cost of ownership, said Cisco VP of retail-consumer products distribution Mohsen Moazami.
ThingMagic plans to spend the investment on RFID reader product development and R&D, said VP of marketing Kevin Ashton. As companies move from pilot to larger-scale deployments, readers need to become cheaper, easier to install and be able to work together in close proximity, Ashton said.
We’re gearing up for what we see as a real explosion in the marketplace in about two to three years from now, he said.
ThinkMagic chief executive Tom Grant said Cisco’s understanding of the enterprise networking market, as well as its approach to wireless networking in general and RFID in particular would be a boon for ThingMagic’s RFID-based network infrastructure.
Ashton said ThingMagic has been profitable since 2000.
Other new investors included Nicholas Negroponte, Wiesner Professor of Media Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Existing investors include The Tudor Group, The Exxel Group, Inventec Appliances, Morningside Technology Ventures and Top Line Capital.