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Upfront: Venture capital war chest opens up

Wed, 09/11/2013 - 7:05pm
Brian Santo

The spigot on the venture capital pipe seems to be opening a little wider of late, with companies specializing in various technologies important to the communications industry picking up multi-million dollar infusions, including two companies that bagged $50 million or more each.

Workforce management specialist TOA Technologies just raised an eye-popping $66 million from Technology Crossover Ventures. TOA previously raised a total of $35 million from Draper Triangle Ventures, Early Stage Partners, Intel Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures.

TOA provides a cloud-based field service management software solution, called ETA Direct, designed to make sure field employee get to appointments on time with the right tools and the right information.

Customers are in a variety of fields, including telecommunications and pay TV, utilities, B2B services, healthcare and retail. Service providers who have used TOA’s products include Bright House Networks, Cox Communications, Dish Network, and Suddenlink.

Earlier last month, Kymeta closed a $50 million Series C financing.

The company designs and manufactures satellite communication antennas and systems using metamaterials.

The antennas have no moving parts, but can be dynamically steered.

Existing Kymeta investors including Bill Gates, Lux Capital and Liberty Global were joined in the financing by Osage University Partners and The Kresge Foundation.

The iPoint Television project just picked up $2.5 million from Walt Investment Capital. iPoint has created a device – basically a dongle – called TVuer that behaves like a generic Android device.

You plug it directly into an HDMI slot in your TV, turning your TV set into a display for anything that can be run on an Android tablet, specifically including streamed video.

iPoint said this capability is also available through Roku, OmniBox and Android devices, and it promised it would soon have applications for Apple devices.

A startup TV service founded specifically to provide multi-screen delivery of video on college campuses just picked up $6.3 million in investments from a coalition of investors that include HBO and Mark Cuban.

Tivli takes a live feed from a satellite or cable distributor (MVPD), or original university video, and encodes it to provide unicast streams to student devices on high-speed university data networks. The company claims its system’s unicast technology is unique in its ability to allow for seamless IPTV over a wireless network. The system can stream live, time-shifted and on-demand TV content.

Tivli has its own interface, built-in guide and DVR, and is rolling out integration with TV Everywhere and on-demand products like HBO GO, interactive content and social media integration.

The roster of investors in Tivli beyond HBO and Cuban’s Radical Investments, include New Enterprise Associates (NEA), which led the Series A funding round, Felicis Ventures, Rho Ventures, CBC New Media Group, and WME.

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