Wibhu Becomes Airtight Networks; Secures $10.25 Million To Deploy Industry’s First WiFi Firewall
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, Nov. 15, 2004 – Wibhu Technologies today announced it has changed its name to AirTight Networks and has obtained $10.25 million in financing led by Walden International and joined by three other prominent venture capital companies: Blueprint Ventures, Granite Ventures and Trident Capital. The Series A funding will allow AirTight to ramp up sales and marketing efforts to support the launch of its new WiFi Firewall, which will be unveiled November 30, 2004, at the WiFi Planet show in San Jose, CA.
AirTight also announced the expansion of its management team with the arrival of veteran WLAN industry leader David C. King as CEO, and experienced security industry sales executive Brad Taylor as vice president-worldwide sales. In addition, AirTight has added Danial Faizullabhoy, managing director of Walden International, Eric Zimits, managing director of Granite Ventures, and Mark Smith, former vice president-worldwide sales for NetScreen Technologies, to its Board of Directors. Joining the company as advisors are Bart Schachter, founding and managing partner of Blueprint Ventures, and Christopher (Woody) Marshall, managing director of Trident Capital.
“We have carefully chosen the name AirTight Networks because our solution provides corporate data networks complete protection from over-the-air attacks,” said King. “We firmly believe, and will prove through comparative testing, that the AirTight solution represents a turning point in security – a WiFi firewall that provides ‘air-tight’ protection against intruders.”
King, the former chairman, president and CEO of Proxim, Inc. has been the driving strategic force behind AirTight since joining the company earlier this year. He joined Proxim in 1992 as vice president of marketing, and was appointed president and CEO in July of 1993. He took the company public in December of that year as the first publicly traded WLAN company. During his tenure, Proxim grew from $4 million to more than $100 million in annual sales. Before Proxim, King was vice president-marketing and customer services at Vitalink Communications Corp., a pioneer in wide area data networking. He also served as a senior manager at McKinsey & Co.’s San Francisco office, leading the consulting firm’s high technology and health care practices.
Taylor, AirTight’s new vice president-worldwide sales, has 18 years experience in sales force development, operations and venture funding. He was most recently executive vice president- sales and marketing for Digital Evolution, a software provider for web services management and security. Before Digital Evolution, Taylor spent eight years at RSA Security, initially as director of sales and then as founder of RSA Security Ventures.
Seasoned Executives Join Board
New AirTight board members Faizullabhoy, Zimits and Smith bring both investment and management experience to the company. Faizullabhoy, who has been with Walden International since 1997, previously served as vice president and general manager of Adaptec, Inc. He focuses on communications and semiconductors, and serves on the boards of Ikanos Communications, Broadlogic Network Technologies, Inc., and Sierra Atlantic, Inc., among others.
“Walden International is always on the lookout for innovative security companies and we were extremely impressed with AirTight’s groundbreaking approach to WiFi security,” said Walden’s Managing Director Danial Faizullabhoy. “We have known David King since he took Proxim public in 1993. His track record is outstanding and we look forward to helping AirTight grow and succeed.”
Zimits has been a managing director of Granite Ventures since July, 2000, focusing on early-stage communications companies. He joined Granite after spending four years in the Research Department at Hambrecht & Quist (and later Chase H & Q), where he was a managing director and head of the communications research group. Previously, he was a general partner at Volpe, Welty & Company, where he launched the research effort in telecommunications and wireless. He also serves on numerous boards, including Britestream Networks, IXI Mobile, RF Magic and Speakeasy.
Smith brings more than 20 years sales and management experience in network security, networking, computer systems and client/server software. He was vice president-sales for two highly successful start-ups, Network Peripherals and NetScreen, which was recently acquired by Juniper Networks. Prior to Network Peripherals, he was with Digital Communications Associates and Zenith Data Systems.
Schachter, a new addition to AirTight’s advisory board, boasts 17 years of entrepreneurial, venture and operating experience in communication semiconductors, wireless and infrastructure software. As founding and managing partner of Blueprint, he has served on the boards of more than 25 emerging technology companies, including Covad, Copper Mountain, Media4 (EchoStar), LANDesk and KeyEye Communications. Previously, he was with Intel for eight years.
Marshall, the other new AirTight advisor, joined Trident Capital in 1996 and has been a managing director since 1998, focusing on the payments and communications technology markets. From 1992-94, he was with the Leveraged Capital Group of Banque Paribas, and earlier served in the Corporate Finance department of Chase Manhattan Bank. He currently serves on the boards of EveryPath, MegaPath Networks, Scan Direct and Xata Corp., among others.
“Trident Capital is excited to be adding AirTight to its portfolio companies,” said Marshall. “We look for security companies with two fundamental qualities – extraordinary technology and the potential for gaining competitive advantage in their space. AirTight clearly has the technology chops and its management team has already demonstrated an impressive ability to execute. With the WiFi security market ready for prime time, AirTight is strongly positioned to secure an ‘air-tight’ lock on the market.”
About AirTight Networks
AirTight Networks grew out of Wibhu Technologies, an early thought leader in live radio frequency (RF) mapping solutions for wireless LANs. After developing a suite of products in security, planning and monitoring for WiFi systems, it turned its expertise to developing the industry’s first WiFi Firewall. AirTight is a privately held company based in Mountain View, California. For more information please visit www.airtightnetworks.net.
About Trident Capital
Trident Capital (www.tridentcap.com) is a leading venture capital firm with over $1.2 billion of capital under management, including $519 million in its most recent fund, Fund V. Trident has invested in over 100 companies since its inception in 1993. The firm invests in information services and software companies with a focus on business outsourcing, financial services, security, marketing services and infrastructure software markets. Trident is an active investor across multiple stages, with experience in both traditional venture capital growth financing as well as management buyouts, spin-outs and roll-ups. Past successes include American Cellular, CSG Systems, Pegasus Solutions, Mapquest, Montpelier Re and Vality Technology. The firm has offices in Palo Alto, CA: Lake Forest, IL; Los Angeles, CA; and Westport, CT.
About Blueprint Ventures
Since 1996, the principals at Blueprint Ventures (www.blueprintventures.com) have invested in more than 100 venture-backed start-ups. Blueprint focuses on seed and early-stage IT infrastructure companies led by exceptional entrepreneurs. The firm’s capital efficiency and corporate IP-spinout focus provides unique value to its limited partners. The firm brings operating and investment experience coupled with an extensive network of corporate relationships to bring tangible value to its portfolio companies.
About Granite Ventures
Granite Ventures (www.granitevc.com) is a leading early-stage venture capital firm focused on communications and software investments. It was formed in 1998 as a spin-off of Hambrecht & Quist’s venture capital business, and changed its name to Granite Ventures in August, 2000. Based in San Francisco, Granite manages over $650 million in committed venture capital and has invested in over 80 private companies in the software and communications sectors. In addition to Granite Ventures, L.P., a $150 million fund raised in December 2000, Granite manages a series of venture capital funds in dedicated partnerships with Adobe Systems Incorporated and Texas Instruments Incorporated.
About Walden International
Established in 1987, Walden (www.waldenintl.com) has established itself among the top-tier global venture capital firms. With more than $1.5 billion under investment, Walden invests in companies with the ability to gain a competitive advantage in their markets. Its investments are focused on communications, electronics, software & IT services and semiconductors. Headquartered in San Francisco, and with offices worldwide, Walden’s team of multicultural investment professionals provide capital, technical expertise, industry knowledge, operating experience and global knowledge.