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Matrics Gets $20 Million in Funding

The company will use the money to expand into Europe and Asia and to bring a new high-speed antenna attachment system to market.
By Bob Violino
Jul 14, 2003July 15, 2003 - Matrics, a Columbia, Maryland, company that makes RFID systems, announced that it has received $20 million in new funding. The money, part of a third round of financing, comes from a group of financial and strategic investors led by The Carlyle Group, Novak Biddle Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners.
Matrics' Mora

"We are extremely happy with the way Matrics has performed," says Brooke Coburn, managing director of The Carlyle Group, which led the previous round of funding. "The company's product is functioning better than we anticipated when we originally invested. We have visibility to very attractive price points over time, so we think we are well positioned in the market, which is clearly reaching an inflection point."

The new financing brings Matrics total venture funding to a little less than $40 million. Matrics CFO Rick Mora says the company had adequate funding to carry it through another year, "but the market is exploding and we want to be there and not slow it down."

Matrics is a member of the Auto-ID Center, which is developing the Electronic Product Code and related technology. The company makes UHF tags and readers that are based on the center's specification for Class 0 EPC products. It has also developed a hardware and software product called the Matrics Visibility Manager, which helps filter and manage all the data coming from the readers.

Mora says Matrics plans to use the money to expand into Europe and Asia. The company is fine-tuning its tags and readers to work at 868 MHz in Europe and 950 MHz in Japan. He says that Matrics may establish sales offices in those regions, but would also work through distributors, integrators and value-added resellers.

Mora indicated that Matrics would also be investing some of the new funding in a high-speed attachment technology that the company has been developing with KSW Microtec and Mühlbaeur of Germany.

The conventional method of attaching a metal antenna to a microchip and mounting them on a substrate to create an inlay is slow and expensive. The three partners want to develop a machine that can speed up the process, reduce the cost and meet the needs of customers in the near term. Mora says much of the research and development has been done and that the new machines could happen within a year.

"This funding is indicative of the state of the RFID market," Mora says. "The Wal-Mart announcement clearly legitimizes RFID as a viable market."

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