Alien Tech nears proposed $40M deal

Alien Technology, the 14-year-old company that sells UHF Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) products and services, has raised $32.9 million of its proposed $40 million “Series 1 Preferred Stock Financing” round, according to regulatory documents.

Since 1998, the Morgan Hill, Calif.-based company has raised more than $290 million from investors, many of whom have stayed on board as shareholders throughout the comapny’s history. New Enterprise Associates, CMEA Ventures and Rho Ventures have returned to invest in multiple rounds, for example.

So has Advanced Equities Capital Partners, a Chicago-based investment bank and broker dealer that marries wealthy individuals with late stage venture deals.

In a capital call form to investors about the $40 million round that Alien is currently raising, Advanced Equities told Alien shareholders that it’s in their “best interest!” to “fully participate” in the financing, which “is structured to provide significant benefits to shareholders that purchase their pro rata shares of the financing (including an effective repricing of all of the [Advanced Equities’] equity securities of Alien to $1 per share).”

Alien may be the model for what will become an increasingly popular form of late stage financing as a greater number of companies pull their IPOs. Alien filed to go public in April 2006, only to withdraw its offering four months later. Not unlike some 39 companies that have withdrawn their proposed IPOs over the past nine months due to market conditions.

The company started raising money immediately after it pulled the IPO in August 2006. For example, in December 2006, the company proposed a financing round worth $144 million, broken into a $50 million Series I preferred stock financing, of which the company had already raised $15.3 million, and the sale of $93.75 million common stock warrants. It then closed a $13.2 million round in March 2007 and raised another $4.5 million in April 2007, records show.

That was the last time Alien had raised funding until the recent $32.9 million round.

A company spokesperson did not know if Alien had sold, or was planning to sell the $93.75 million in common stock warrants it had initially intended to sell. —Alexander Haislip and Constance Loizos