It is fair to say that Wi-Fi has changed the world. In fact we have become so spoiled by it that people are now getting stressed out if they do not have Wi-Fi on airplanes.
Oh and when it fails, it gets even worse. That dropped Skype call or a bad network connection at an event can make us really anxious. Now imagine if that Skype call was actually important, life or death kind of important.
This is what happens everyday in Hospitals, where they increasingly rely on technology. You would be surprised to find out that nowadays even some IV pumps are “online”. Nurses and doctors use tablets to communicate with each other and their patients. Some hospitals have emergency buttons operating through Wi-Fi and in others nurses have voice-over-ip devices connected to it.
So in that kind of environment – you can not afford any networking errors. In fact, it becomes mission, and life, critical.
The originally Finnish company, 7Signal, solves the problem through the use of hardware sensors and software. We have not written about them previously, other than a quick mention in an article about TEKES, and it is interesting to note that the company has now raised a total of over $6.1 million in funding, moved the HQ to the US of A, has a product and revenues, so should definitely be on our map.
They have first started in 2006, but when they received a $2 million investment in 2011, decided to make the flip and move the headquarters to the US, in order to be closer to their biggest market.
Their solution involves sensors that are strategically placed to measure the network, and software that measures all Wi-Fi communications in the area at all times. 7Signal states that this allows for a high degree of accuracy in their reporting and can help to detect problems before they happen and to improve the network.
The currently have over 20 Hospitals and Universities as their customers both in USA and in Europe.
ArcticStartup got in touch with Jeff Reedy, the current CEO of the company and Tapio Heikkilä, one of the founding Angel Investors to talk about the latest $4.1 million round of financing led by Allos Ventures and Mutual Capital Partners Funds.
Reedy commented that the company is “in a process of trying to expand [their] presence. We focused on midwest and now we want to go more national in the US and more international in the EU. There is clearly a demand for reliable wifi.”
They are different from hand-held devices, that can measure the strength of a network in a particular spot as they are able to measure the whole network. They also seem to be doing a slightly different job than Ekahau, another successful Finnish company, that focuses on network design.
There is definitely a need for good wifi, especially in organizations that run critical services on it. That being said, it is a somewhat dangerous market as networking has been changing so rapidly in the last couple of years, I think it is difficult to predict as to what will happen in the next 5 years. Still, the company is on a good track, has a decent patent portfolio and paying customers.
Top Image Courtesy of Shutterstock // Wifi