Kumu Networks Raises $15M in Round Led by Third Point

Kumu Networks Inc., a provider of technology that boosts the capacity of wireless networks, said it has raised $15 million in a funding round led by Third Point Ventures.

The financing from the venture arm of Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC also includes previous investors New Enterprise Associates and Khosla Ventures. It brings the Santa Clara, California-based startup’s total funding to $25 million. The company declined to disclose its valuation.

Kumu, which was founded in 2012 and has 18 employees, came out of Chief Executive Officer Sachin Katti’s research at Stanford University. The company has filed 19 patent applications for a technology that can improve the capacity of wireless networks, ranging from cellular to Wi-Fi.

Katti said in an interview that the money will be used for product development and field trials, with tests with three carriers -- including one in the U.S. -- beginning in 2014. Kumu is also working with wireless industry organizations to incorporate the technology into standards for next-generation wireless networks, he said.

“Our goal is building the same kind of company as Qualcomm,” said Katti. Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) licenses its technology to handset makers and wireless equipment providers. Kumu expects to start booking revenues in late 2015, Katti said.

“In all likelihood, it’ll some day make it into next-generation wireless technology” because it can as much as double a network’s capacity, Ken Rehbehn, an analyst at researcher Yankee Group, said in an interview.

“Wireless bandwidth is becoming more and more precious,” Forest Baskett, a general partner at NEA, said in an interview. “The size of the market is gigantic.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Olga Kharif in Portland at okharif@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net

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