Airgo Networks – Profile
HQ: Palo Alto
Founded: 2000, but in stealth mode for 2 years — originally Woodside Networks
Management: Chairman Bob Wall and CEO Craig Raleigh’s previous company, Clarity Wireless, was acquired by Cisco in 1998 for $190M. Eric van Nee, one of the originators of WiFi standards is the director of product engineering and thanks to that he gets to manage the Airgo engineers from his home in Breukelen, the Netherlands.
Investors: $52M over three rounds from Oak Investment Partners, Accel Partners, Nokia Venture Partners, Sevin Rosen, OVP Venture Funds.
Business Model: WiFi needs to be faster for companies to care. Airgo says its new chipsets have an effective throughput of between 72 Mbps and 108 Mbps, well over the 30 Mbps mark required by many enterprises. Not only is transmission faster, but Airgo’s flavor of WiFi can deal with audio/video and pass through walls. In June 2004, Airgo announced its first four customers, although the company offers no revenue estimates.
Competitors: WiFi speed improvement has been targeted by a number of companies, including: Atheros Communications, Broadcom, Conexant and, of course, Intel and Cisco.
Additional Dirt: At this point, Airgo enjoys some speed advantages, but is not breaking away from the pack. Broadcom’s current offering is at 54Mbps, which may be sufficient for most companies. Airgo needs to make quick headway with its remaining war chest, otherwise they’ll be evaluating offer sheets from Broadcom and others this time next year.