Spatial Wires $10M Series C Deal

Wireless network and switch company Spatial Wireless received some financial breathing room with a $10 million Series C round. All of the Richardson, TX-based company’s investors re-upped, says spokesman Rick Glew. Investors include Dali, Hook Partners, Austin Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Genesis Campus. Dali Hook led the round.

The latest round brings the total raised by Spatial to $30.9 million since being founded in 2001. Company founders would not disclose the pre-money valuation of the company nor its burn rate, but said the money should last Spatial through projected profitability in 2004.

The money will be used for market expansion and building a customer support team for its two products says Glew. Spatial has 90 employees. “We’re looking to grow to about 100 by end of the year,” Glew says. Spatial was born in the technology incubator Genesis Campus, founded by well-known tech investors Wu-Fu Chen and Roman Kikta.

Spatial has three unnamed customers for its two products and is in trials with others around the globe, Glew says. The Portico, which is Spatial’s first commercial offering, is designed as an overlay to an existing GSM/GPRS network. It allows users of the wireless networks to switch between data and voice sessions without having to end the previous session. So, for example, someone could switch between a map of a destination and talking to a person at the place they want to go without hanging up. The Portico started shipping over the summer.

Spatial’s other product, a mobile core switch called the Atrium incorporates the services of the Portico, allowing networks to optimize their existing networks as they roll out high-speed packet data access and new voice, data, and other mobile services. Atrium is expected to ship commercially in Q1 2003. Glew would not say whether a customer had actually signed up only, “we are in serious, serious discussions on Atrium,” Glew says.

Mobile wireless operators are desperate to offer new data services over their existing networks, to boost revenue. While the gambit is catching especially in Japan and Korea, the rest of the mobile wireless world has been slower to catch on. Lagging far behind is the United States.

In March, Spatial Wireless brought in 16-year Ericsson veteran Kjell Andersson as president and CEO. While at the Swedish-telco. Andersson oversaw the development of the various European mobile standards, and was responsible for product development, production, support and distribution of Ericsson technology in 70 subsidiaries in 60 countries. Andersson replaced co-founder Pardeep Kohli as CEO. Kohli has continued with Spatial as CTO and VP of Engineering.

Contact Michael Copeland