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Carrier WiFi

Colubris Grabs $14M

WiFi vendor Colubris Networks Inc. has scored an additional $14 million in venture funding as it makes another run at the enterprise wireless LAN market, specifically targeting verticals such as healthcare and manufacturing.

All of the current Colubris investors participated in the new round. The company has gathered $50 million since it began operations in 2000.

Colubris's co-president and VP of worldwide sales and service, Chris Koeneman, told Unstrung this afternoon that the firm, which is headquartered in Waltham, Mass., will use the money to expand its sales and marketing efforts.

Colubris has been pursuing a dual roadmap of supplying WLAN gear to enterprise customers and wireless Internet service providers for the last two years. Koeneman says the wireless Internet service business has helped to sustain the firm, but the company is now well-placed to go after healthcare and manufacturing businesses in the enterprise market.

"Our aim is to be the company that handles voice... but also that handles 802.11n applications," Koeneman says.

Colubris has a slightly different take than many of its rivals in the managed WiFi business when it comes to "thin" versus "fat" access points. The company has a family of security and management controllers but teams these boxes with fat APs that are designed to support a number of different applications and services. (See Colubris: Fat Is Back.)

Koeneman says the recent move by Trapeze Networks Inc. to support both types of APs on one system verifies this strategy. (See Multi is the New Black.)

"We got a nice validation from Trapeze," he claims.

Despite the new funding, Koeneman says that Colubris needs to continue to work with this retooled enterprise strategy before it can start to talk about an IPO or any other type of market exit: "We need a year of working in this market before we can talk about a liquidity event that's beneficial to us."

The company continues to search for a new CEO. (See Colubris CEO Leaves.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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