Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Neul Raises $12.8 million for White Spaces

Neul, a start-up based in Cambridge, UK, has raised $12.8m (£8.0m) from DFJ Esprit-led syndicate for TV white space technology.

Neul aims to unify the fragmented world of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications with the world's first white space radio system and a new, open M2M communications standard, re-defining wireless data communications. Neul will shortly launch the new standard called "Weightless".

Neul said white space wireless technology will enable a range of services and applications, from the predicted 50 billion connected Machine-to-Machine (M2M) devices, through smart metering to local broadband delivery, transportation and personal health devices.

Neul Chief Executive James Collier said, "This investment will allow Neul to further expand its leadership position in fully compliant white space wireless systems. It is a real pleasure to be working with one of the leading investors in wireless technology in Europe, DFJ Esprit."http://www.neul.com/

Blue Jeans Network Raises $23.5 Million for Video Conferencing Bridge

Blue Jeans Network, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, has raised $23.5 million for its high-quality, cloud-based video communications service.

Blue Jeans Network said its goal is to make video conferencing accessible to everyone at any time, any place
and from practically any device.

Its service will bridge together business solutions from Cisco/Tandberg, Polycom, Lifesize and
others, with consumer solutions such as Skype and Google Talk.

By modeling itself after traditional audio bridging services, and making video as easy, interoperable and affordable as audio, Blue Jeans Network is expanding thevideo conferencing market for all players and tapping into the 80 billion minute audio conferencing market.

"Blue Jeans Network is tearing down the walls that exist in video conferencing," said Krish Ramakrishnan, Co-‐founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Jeans Network.

ViVOtech Raises $24 Million for NFC

ViVOtech, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, raised $24 million in an extension to its Series C round of funding for its near field communication (NFC) software and systems.

ViVOtech provides key building blocks of the NFC ecosystem: smart applications for enhancing the customer experience, wallet and trusted service manager (TSM) software, and point of sale systems.

New investors include Singapore's EDBI, SingTel Innov8, and Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, which were joined in the round by ViVOtech's current financial and strategic investors Alloy Ventures, Citi Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurveston, DFJ Gotham, First Data Corporation, Miven Ventures, Motorola Mobility, Nokia Growth Partners and NCR.

ViVOtech was founded in 2001.
  • Earlier this month, ViVOtech announced that Google is using its technology to give Android phone owners the ability to make payments and take advantage of real-time in-store offers and loyalty programs at the point of sale (POS).

SiliconBlue Raises $18 Million for "mobileFPGA"

SiliconBlue Technologies, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, raised $18 million in Series D funding for its "Custom Mobile Device" solutions for handheld applications.

The company is developing 40-nm, ultra-low power, standard CMOS process "mobileFPGA" device families. It currently offers 65-nm mobileFPGA products that provide custom sensor management, display management, power management and port expansion functions in mobile consumer products such as smartphones, tablets, eReaders, and digital still cameras. Series D funding will support the rollout of our next-generation 40-nm families targeting support of the explosion of sensors in handheld applications as well as support of DVI and MIPI interfaces designed for video, multi-display, and high-bandwidth memory interface applications.

Atlantic Bridge, a Dublin- and London-based private equity firm focused on domain-specific investments in late-stage and growth capital, led the financing, with the existing group of investors including BlueRun Ventures, Crosslink Capital, NEA and Apex Venture Partners all participating.

Basho Technologies Targets Big Data, Appoints CEO

Basho Technologies, a start-up based in San Francisco, announced a new round of funding and the appointment of Donald J. Rippert, long time Chief Technology Officer of Accenture, as President and Chief Executive Officer of Basho, effective July 1.

Basho's flagship open source database software product, Riak, is designed to free corporations from the constraints of traditional, highly centralized database architectures. Riak is an alternative to traditional relational database software. Applications running on Riak can sustain catastrophic server, data center, and network failures without outages while avoiding the complexity and expense that characterize applications built using traditional data architectures.

With respect to its Series D equity financing, Basho successfully completed raising $4.0 million in May 2011, following its initial raise of $3.5 million in February 2011.

Square Raises $100 Million for Mobile Payments

Square, a start-up based in San Francisco, raised $100 million in Series C financing for its mobile payment service.

Square launched in early 2010 as an innovative way for individuals and businesses to accept payments on their mobile devices using a free card reader and application.

Square currently offers three products; the Square reader, register and card case. The Square reader takes only minutes to set up and enables anyone to accept payments anytime and anywhere on their iPhone, iPad and Android phones. The Square register for iPad serves as a full point of sale system for businesses to accept payments, track inventory, and share menu and location information. The Square card case is the neighborhood way to pay
that enables individuals to open a tab at their favorite local merchants, store digital receipts, and browse nearby directory and menu listings.

The round was led by new Square investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers with participation from Tiger Global Management, LLC.

"Square is eager to continue our momentum and we are proud to have the support and expertise of KPCB among our team of investors and advisors," said Jack Dorsey, Square CEO. "Our goal is to empower everyone to accept payments anywhere, and we are on course to accelerate our growth in a meaningful way."http://www.squareup.com

Altair Opens in India -- TD-LTE chipsets

Altair Semiconductor, which is based in Israel, has opened a new office in India to be headed by industry veteran Salaj Sinha. The new facility will handle all Indian operations and provide business and technical support for prospective and current customers.

Altair offers one of the only commercially ready TD-LTE chipsets, including a single mode TD-LTE solution.

India is the third market, following China and Japan, where Altair has established a TD-LTE leadership position.

"We believe that India will be one of the largest and strongest growth markets for LTE and an on-the-ground presence in India will allow Altair to enhance support for our Indian customers, as well as enable us to effectively support the large scale field trials we are involved in, as we progress towards the commercialization of TD-LTE in India," said Eran Eshed, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing and Business Development at Altair.

Recently, Altair successfully demonstrated real-life over-the-air simultaneous throughputs of 58Mbps down and 14Mbps up, becoming the first chip vendor to achieve such high performance on a commercial TD-LTE USB dongle.

Zynga Signs with AT&T for Mobile Social Games -- 1st Carrier Deal

AT&T announced a deal to bring Zynga's mobile social gaming to millions of its wireless customers. Popular games such as Words with Friends and Zynga Poker, plus customized content, will be featured for download on AT&T's shelf in Android Market later this year. The agreement is the first of its kind between Zynga and a U.S. wireless carrier. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AT&T customers will find customized content available within online and mobile social games, plus benefit from free credits in select games and Zynga giveaways at AT&T sponsored events. The companies will also optimize the mobile gaming experience for AT&T customers.

"We're excited to be the first wireless carrier to collaborate with Zynga," said Ted Woodbery, vice president of wireless data, voice and ancillary services for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "Speed enhances playing experience on mobile. This agreement combines the nation's fastest mobile broadband network with a clear leader in mobile social games, ultimately bringing more value to our wireless customers' playing experience."http://www.att.com

Empirix Provides Greater Visibility into Dropped Calls

Empirix announced enhancements to the Converged Assurance Platform, which provides mobile operators with greater visibility into the measurement, understanding and improvement of customer experience. The new release features upgrades to its underlying components, the IPXPlorer probes used for network data collection, and E-XMS, the solution's management and analytics software.

This version of the Empirix Converged Assurance Platform includes added capabilities for monitoring the interface between the Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network's (UTRAN's) circuit and packet switching core network and the IP core network. Empirix said the result is greater visibility into dropped calls, high-speed data interruptions, poor voice quality, video streaming issues and other problems resulting from inconsistent communications between user equipment and base stations. When combined with existing capabilities, this new functionality enables operators to validate handovers throughout the mobile broadband network and fully assess Quality of Application (QoA) metrics by following each communication event from start to finish. In this way, Empirix provides more than a superficial, general value for customer experience; it can report accurate QoE metrics for each mobile application that a subscriber accesses, such as video streaming, voice calls, mobile email and more.

In addition, Empirix added the ability to import and correlate data from external sources, including OSS, billing and other network monitoring systems. This data feeds the analytics engine, which selectively layers multiple data points, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and industry knowledge to present actionable intelligence for strategically enriching QoE.

Zarink Delivers IEEE 1588 enabled SyncE Silicon

Zarlink Semiconductor introduced new single-chip timing products capable of delivering IEEE 1588 enabled SyncE synchronization solution.

Wireless network operators can use both SyncE and IEEE 1588 technologies simultaneously. SyncE delivers highly accurate and stable frequency references using the physical Ethernet connections. In combination with this, IEEE 1588 distributes time of day and time alignment functionality.

Zarlink's new ZL30342, ZL30343 and ZL30347 IEEE 1588 enabled SyncE devices deliver the required synchronization in a small form factor package. In comparison, competing approaches require external components to generate a reliable frequency reference or rely on expensive GPS systems to provide time of day information.

"Our new timing products are the industry's first single-chip IEEE 1588 enabled SyncE PLL devices," said Louise Gaulin, vice president of Zarlink's Timing and Synchronization product group. "Our complete approach provides carriers with well established synchronization from SyncE, together with time alignment provided by IEEE 1588. This approach is critically important for wireless operators as they plan a cost-effective migration to packet-based backhaul to support the huge increase in multimedia traffic generated by smartphones and tablets. These new solutions are a key addition to our product portfolio, and are winning designs with customers that will help drive continuing revenue growth for our timing business."

KT Plans LTE Launch in November

KT is gearing up to launch LTE service in Korea in November. SK Telecom and LG Uplus are expected to introduce their initial LTE data-only service in July in the Seoul metro market. KT said it plans to support both data dongles and LTE smartphones with its later service launch.http://www.kt.com