Weston Wires $16M to Purcell

The economic downturn that sent dot-com companies to the dustbin of history also put people in the wireless industry out of work. As Pete Chase tells it, wireless companies laid off important staff, which had been developing modular cabinetry, which is the equipment that surrounds and protects wireless devices.

Seeing an opportunity, Chase and co-workers William Miller and George Thompson at Northern Technologies set out on their own and founded Purcell Systems.

Being a company that makes the protective parts of wireless devices makes them a rarity; being a profitable company makes them rarer still.

The Liberty Lake, Wash.-based company says it raised $16.6 million in a Series B round of funding, which is expected to be announced Monday. Sole institutional investor Weston Presidio Capital Management led the round with $16 million. Previous individual backers invested the remaining $600,000. The post-money valuation of the round was between $30 million and $35 million.

Weston Presidio General Partner James McElwee and Principal Sean Honey have joined Purcell Systems’ board as a result the Series B.

The company raised its Series A round in 2002 with less than $1 million from angel investors, but found early success in hooking customers and generating sales.

Profitable since 2002 when it brought in $12.2 million, Purcell expects to reach revenue in the neighborhood of $40 million this year. Chase says that the company has no plans to raise a Series C round and would first consult with Weston Presidio if it ever needed more cash.

The company will use the latest funding to expand its reach to non-wireless segments of the telecom and communications market and to assist in its expansion into Europe and Asia.

Purcell Systems employs 75 and expects to have more than 100 employees by the end of the year. The company also outsources manufacturing work to local temp agencies and acquires sheet metal made in China.

Purcell’s CEO says that company expansion into Asia and Europe would happen through partnerships with existing companies already there.