Friday Funding Roundup

RFID gets cash, Carl Icahn thinks big with mobile content, and a fixed/mobile convergence pioneer adds to its coffers in this week's funding roundup.

Money tags: Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)-favorite AeroScout has grabbed $21 million in a Series C round of funding led by Menlo Ventures . The RFID startup intends to use the cash on building out its sales and marketing team.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based startup is popular with vendors like Cisco because it has developed active WiFi tags that can be used to track items within range of a corporate wireless LAN network. This has proved particularly popular in vertical markets such as healthcare. (See Tech Roundup: Broadcom & VLSI.)

Cisco took a minority stake in the startup in September 2005. (See Cisco Invests in AeroScout.)

Please sir, Icahn have some more? Not content with pursuing more of a stake in Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), billionaire investor Carl Icahn pumped $50 million in equity funding into mobile content player Motricity Inc. this week, describing the company as poised for dominance in this market.

Indeed, Durham, N.C.-based Motricity already supplies major carriers and media companies in the U.S. with mobile content. It counts AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) amongst its customers.

The firm has raised a massive $215 million in funding since it was started by CEO Ryan Wuerch in 2001.

Convergence cash: Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) pioneer Kineto Wireless Inc. has been in the news recently as BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) rolls out one of the first cellular-to-WiFi convergence systems using this software.

This is, no doubt, partly what has prompted InterDigital Inc. (Nasdaq: IDCC) to close out a $10 million round for Kineto with its own $5 million investment. The new cash infusion takes the company to around $70 million in total funding.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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