SAN FRANCISCO Startup RFID provider Alien Technology announced the completion of a $66 million round of financing, led by SunBridge Partners.
The $66 million funding round is among the largest that EE Times has seen since the introduction of the venture capital counter (VCC) in January 2004.
It is also the eighth, or H, round of funding that Alien Technology has received, bringing the total capital invested in the company to more than $200 million.
Alien Technology (Morgan Hill, Calif.) said it would use the funding to continue expansion and drive new market opportunities in the face of accelerating global demand for RFID technology.
In addition to SunBridge Partners, participants in the latest funding round included Equities, Digital Bandwidth, Equitek Capital, Lago Ventures and Miami Valley Venture Fund.
The size of the investment underscores the growing interest in RFID technology, which is pegged as an eventual replacement for the UPC bar code, enabling retailers to more dynamically manage inventory.
Last month, Texas Instruments Inc. and Philips Semiconductors agreed to collaborate to ensure global interoperability with the emerging Generation 2 ultrahigh frequency RFID standard, which is currently being developed.
Alien Technology is the only company that currently supplies RFID chips that comply with the Electronic Product Code's first-generation, Class 1 specification.
Alien Technology, which was founded in 2001, scored a coup in 2003 with the sale of 500 million RFID tags to Gillette. Earlier this month, the company announced an alliance with Microsoft that established Alien as one of the key partners in Microsoft’s RFID Initiatives, meaning that Alien RFID reader and tag products will be supported by Microsoft’s RFID technology.
“The success of this latest round of financing underscores investor interest in the RFID arena and reinforces Alien’s ongoing market and technology leadership,” said Stav Prodromou, Alien Technology CEO, in a statement.
“Alien has established itself as the clear leader in RFID technology, from the development of proprietary manufacturing technology that allows the offering of the lowest-cost RFID tags available to refining the highest-performance RFID reader products,” said Allen Miner, a general partner at SunBridge.