BelAir Builds War Chest

How much does money does it take for a wireless mesh vendor to get off the ground? BelAir Networks Inc. , which today added a further $21.4 million to its coffers in a Series D round of funding, is hoping the answer is around $65 million.

In addition to investments by Venture West Management Inc. and Trilogy Equity Partners, the Kanata, Canada-based firm also got a $5 million "venture loan" from MMV. The firm will not necessarily need to use this line of debt financing though, according to Jim Freeze, SVP of marketing and alliances at BelAir.

"We're pretty confident that this is our last round of funding," he says. Mr. Freeze, however, is cagier about what might happen after that. "At some point, we may look to take the company public."

The increasing role of wired and wireless service providers in the mesh market is driving the cost of entry, according to BelAir officials. "We believe the market is heading towards a service provider-led market," Freeze says. "Service providers can be pretty demanding in what they want in terms of reliability and scaleability."

To that end, part of the VC money will go towards R&D and increased support for cable and cellular operators. Freeze also says the company will gain an "extended sales reach" from the cash.

BelAir's rivals have similar amounts of cash in their corporate back pockets. Strix Systems Inc. has raised $54 million. (See Strix Strikes $12M to Make Mesh.) Tropos Networks Inc. has not provided funding details but has raised around $40 million to date. (See Tropos Pairs With HP, Bags $15M.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

meyerjr 12/5/2012 | 3:39:02 AM
re: BelAir Builds War Chest Not mentioned here is Skypilot that added $21 million in July 06 for a total of $68 million.
joset01 12/5/2012 | 3:39:01 AM
re: BelAir Builds War Chest Hey, I'm curious, do you know how many operational deployments SkyPilot now has? They were kind of later to the game than BelAir, Strix, or Tropos, no?

-- DJ
wirelessmesh 12/5/2012 | 3:39:00 AM
re: BelAir Builds War Chest I read many muni victories for SkyPilot in the last few months or so. I would think that they have many deployments by now. Then again, Google critisized SF for their slow progress just a few weeks ago. I think we need to rely on local people to spot SkyPilot's equipment and let us know.
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