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Reva Systems Gets $5M Funding, New CEO

Reva Systems today announced a $5 million round of funding and a new CEO. The funding was provided by original investors in the firm. The new CEO, Bruce Berger, comes to the company from optical fiber solutions provider Verrillon, Inc., where he was president and CEO. Berger takes over from co-founder Ashley Stephenson, who will continue in his role as executive chairman.
Apr 14, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 14, 2009—Reva Systems today announced a $5 million round of funding and a new CEO. The funding was provided by original investors in the firm Charles River Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners. The new CEO, Bruce Berger, comes to the company from optical fiber solutions provider Verrillon, Inc., where he was president and CEO. Berger takes over from co-founder Ashley Stephenson, who was interim acting CEO and will continue in his role as executive chairman.

Reva manufactures what it calls RFID network infrastructure. Its flagship product, the Tag Acquisition Processor or TAP, is a network appliance that interfaces RFID readers and edge devices with an enterprise's wider system. This enables rapid and manageable scalability of an RFID deployment, according to the company.

RFID Update spoke with Reva's Stephenson, who said that demand is coming from a handful of verticals, with healthcare, postal, and retail being particularly good opportunities. Earlier this month, Reva announced an RTLS solution based on passive RFID (see Reva Launches RTLS Solution Based on Passive RFID). "The introduction of that product was a result of the work we'd been doing with the healthcare industry over the last 12 months," Stephenson said. "We're also seeing an increasing movement by postal services around the world from older proprietary RFID technologies to standards-based UHF RFID."

Asked how Reva appears to be doing well while the larger RFID industry has not escaped the economic downturn (the company saw 48 percent growth in 2008), Stephenson said his company is gaining a larger share of the market. "Even if the overall pie is about the same size, we must be growing our piece of it."

Stephenson also credits their growing business with dramatic improvements in passive RFID technology. The ubiquity and reliable performance of the Gen2 standard, increased read range, and, of course, lower price points have all contributed to a more fertile environment for RFID deployment. "These days we see more commonality and homogeneity in the way RFID is used. That's manifested itself in bigger, higher-performance deployments of RFID," Stephenson observed. "Quite frequently we'll have a customer running a 100-percent-read-rate installation.

"I'm not ignoring the negative effects of the overall economy. But at the same time, the economy can't reverse such technological advances."

Reva plans for this round of funding to be its last. "We have a business plan that takes us to financial independence based on this investment," commented Stephenson. The $5 million will be put toward product development and expanding the reseller channel.

Reva has installed TAPs at over 500 sites across 25 countries. Stephenson spent much of last year going back and forth from Asia, establishing a presence there. The company maintains an office in Guangzhou, China. It has about 35 employees worldwide, with the majority of them based at the company's headquarters in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
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