Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ember Raises $12 Million for ZigBee

Ember, a start-up based in Boston with R&D in Cambridge, England, closed an additional $12 million in funding for its ZigBee networking solutions.

Ember is seeking to promote 802.15.4/ZigBee technology to create an "Internet of things" by enabling billions of devices to support low-cost, low-power sensor and control applications, such as home and building automation, industrial controls, inventory management, automatic meter reading (AMR) and environmental monitoring. The market for 802.15.4/ZigBee devices is expected to reach $1 billion between 2008 and 2010, according to two research firms, In-Stat and Northern Sky Research.

Polaris Venture Partners, GrandBanks Capital, RRE Ventures, Vulcan Capital (the investment group of Microsoft's Paul G. Allen), DFJ ePlanet Ventures, DFJ New England, WestLB Mellon Asset Management (formerly West AM) and strategic partners such as ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures participated in the round.

Ember has raised $65 million to date.


  • Earlier this month, Ember announced the availability of its EM260 ZigBee co-processor with a new flexible, open source interface, called EZSP, that makes it easy to integrate ZigBee networking capabilities with any vendor's microcontroller, including those from STMicroelectronics, Atmel, Texas Instruments, Renesas, Freescale, NEC, Intel, Infineon, Microchip, Philips, Samsung, Toshiba and others. The EM260 integrates an IEEE 802.15.4 radio, network processor and onboard memory to run a full ZigBee network protocol stack.

  • In April 2006, Ember named Robert LeFort as its new CEO, taking over from Bob Metcalfe, who has served as interim CEO since June 2005 and continues as chairman. Metcalfe is a general partner at Polaris Venture Partners, a lead investor in Ember. LeFort joins Ember from Infineon, where he served as president of North American operations.

See also