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23 November 2016

M87 connects with $5m

The US-based wireless infrastructure technology developer and University of Texas spinout has also named board member Cole Brodman as its new chief executive.

Author: Nicole Idar Lee, reporter

M87, a US-based wireless infrastructure technology developer and University of Texas spinout, has completed a $5m series C round and named board member Cole Brodman as chief executive.

Venture capital firm Madrona Venture Group led the round, which included returning investor Qualcomm Ventures, the corporate venturing vehicle for mobile semiconductor maker Qualcomm, and investment firm Trilogy Equity Partners.

Founded in 2010, M87 provides software used by wireless carriers and app developers to improve mobile phone connectivity in areas where coverage is weak.

The technology creates a “proximate internet” in the same physical location, so that nearby mobile devices can connect with one another directly to share their bandwith and apps. M87 did not disclose how the proceeds from the latest fundraising would be used.

Qualcomm Ventures, data centre service provider 21ViaNet and various angel investors provided $3m in series A funding for M87 in 2014. University of Texas venture fund UT Horizon Fund invested $500,000 in the second tranche of a $1m seed round that had closed in 2013.

M87's disclosure of the funding was made alongside the announcement Cole Brodman, a 25-year veteran of the wireless industry and an M87 board member since 2014, has been promoted to chief executive.

Brodman was previously technology and innovation chief and chief marketing officer at mobile network operator T-Mobile, where he spent 10 years. He left T-Mobile to join investment firm Trilogy Equity as a partner in 2012.

Supporting articles: UT sees Alafair on the horizon

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