Airbiquity Inc., a Seattle-based provider of wireless data communications solutions for product suppliers and service providers in the M2M and telematics industries, has raised $25 million in fifth-round funding. Ignition Partners was joined by return backers Acorn Ventures, Kirnaf LTD and Shell Internet Ventures. The company previously raised around $52 million between 1999 and 2001.
Airbiquity Inc. today announced it has closed on $25 million in new funding that will help to support the company's rapid growth. The growth is being spurred by industry demand for its wireless data communications solutions currently deployed in more than eight million vehicles, enabling applications such as airbag notification, remote diagnostics, vehicle tracking and offboard navigation. The new funds will be used primarily to support Airbiquity's new and existing customers in their global expansion initiatives. Airbiquity will also use the funding to enter into the personal navigation device (PND) market and to bolster the development of the company's VIAaq managed data service which they announced in May 2007. The VIAaq service will launch with an automobile manufacturer in mid-2008.
For the latest round of funding, Airbiquity's current investors, Acorn Ventures, Kirnaf LTD and Shell Internet Ventures have been joined by Bellevue-based Ignition Partners. With extensive experience in the global wireless industry, Ignition Partners will provide important industry insights as Airbiquity continues to expand its international partner and customer portfolio.
“We've been monitoring Airbiquity's momentum for years,” said Steve Hooper, a founding partner of Ignition Partners. “Their recent performance and growth plans created an ideal opportunity for Ignition Partners to add another emerging technology leader to their investment portfolio.”
Ben Khudair, President of Kirnaf LTD said, “We're happy to welcome Ignition Partners to the Airbiquity family. 2007 proved to be an exciting year for Airbiquity, and we are looking forward to an even more eventful 2008.”
Airbiquity's leadership team began to pursue new investment opportunities after a successful year that included major partnership and customer deals with industry players from around the globe looking to use Airbiquity's aqLink software in their telematics solutions. The aqLink technology uses the digital wireless voice channels for data transfer rather than relying on conventional wireless data transfer channels, expanding coverage areas and making data transmission more cost effective. Airbiquity's recent progress includes:
The extension of Airbiquity's long-term contract with telematics leader OnStar to provide aqLink in all future OnStar-equipped vehicles.
BMW of North America, LLC's integration of Airbiquity's technology into its BMW Assist system for time-critical emergency applications that include automatic collision notification.
Use of aqLink in the successful pan-European eCall Feasibility Trial, opening the door to major automotive safety programs across Europe in the coming years. Partners in the trial included ADAC, Continental Automotive Systems, T-Mobile, Adam Opel, Automobile Club d'Italia, and the