Meru Networks Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based WiFi company, has raised $30 million in fifth-round funding. Vision Capital Advisors led the round, and was joined by return backers Clearstone Venture Partners, NeoCarta Ventures, BlueStream Ventures, The D. E. Shaw Group, Evercore Partners, Tenaya Capital and Monitor Ventures. The company has now raised over $110 million in total VC funding since its 2002 inception.
Meru Networks has raised $30 million in a private funding round led by a new investor managed by Vision Capital Advisors, LLC, of New York City. Existing investors, including Clearstone Venture Partners, NeoCarta Ventures, BlueStream Ventures, The D. E. Shaw Group, Evercore Partners, Tenaya Capital and Monitor Ventures, also participated in the funding round.
“We are experiencing unprecedented enthusiasm for IEEE 802.11n solutions, and enterprises’ rapid adoption of the 802.11n standard presents us with the opportunity to accelerate our WLAN market share growth,” said Brett White, Meru’s chief financial officer.
“CIOs are looking for a wireless solution that is easy to deploy, secure and manage so their organizations can not only run all business-critical applications reliably over their WLANs but can do so with reduced budgets and more efficient utilization of precious networking staff. The latest round of funding will give us the resources to continue our mission of solving application performance problems over wireless while meeting the strong demand we’re seeing from the health-care and education markets and Fortune 2000-size companies.”
“In this difficult economic environment, our investment criteria limit us to choosing companies with a clear technological edge over their competitors,” said Firas Abi-Nassif, director of tech and telecom investments at Vision Capital Advisors LLC. “Their solutions must be essential to lowering costs and increasing productivity for their customers, as this provides those companies a financial advantage which offers strong protection against further deterioration in the market. We believe that Meru is a case in point, having established the dominant technological position in enterprise wireless networking by bringing the cost and performance benefits of virtualization to that arena. We are very excited to be an investor in Meru.”
“While both the economy and raising new capital remain challenging, the wireless LAN opportunity has never been more exciting,” said Craig Mathias, a Principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group. “We’re expecting accelerating market growth, driven by both customer demand and the continuing high level of innovation addressing some of the major challenges in deploying, securing and managing large-scale WLANs. Meru Networks is well-positioned to capitalize on this opportunity going forward.”
Leading information technology research firm Gartner positioned Meru in the “Visionaries” sector of its 2008 “Magic Quadrant for Wireless LAN Infrastructure”.
Meru’s award-winning 802.11n virtual cell WLAN products outperformed enterprise-class WLAN solutions from Cisco (NASD:CSCO) and Aruba (NASD:ARUN) in a competitive test recently conducted by technology analyst firm Novarum.
About Vision Capital Advisors, LLC
Vision Capital Advisors is a New York City-based registered investment advisor to private funds with over $700 million of assets under management.
About Meru Networks
Founded in 2002, Meru Networks develops and markets wireless LAN infrastructure solutions that use virtualization to deliver pervasive, high-fidelity wireless service for business-critical voice, video and data applications. The company first introduced its award-winning virtual cell wireless architecture in 2003, and Meru products embody a complete departure from typical hub-based WLAN approaches, offering a wireless solution with levels of performance, reliability, security and cost-effectiveness previously found only in wired networking environments. Meru’s solutions have been adopted in all major industry vertical markets, including Fortune 500 enterprises, healthcare, education, retail, manufacturing, hospitality and government. Meru is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has operations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. For more information, visit www.merunetworks.com