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Intelleflex Partners With Motorola, Secures $15.5M in Funding

The provider of battery-assisted passive UHF tags will work with Motorola Enterprise Mobility's RFID division to launch new high-performance RFID hardware.
By Beth Bacheldor
Dec 13, 2007Motorola's Enterprise Mobility unit and Intelleflex, a provider of battery-assisted passive (BAP) ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID technology complying with EPCglobal's proposed Class 3 standard, have announced plans to jointly develop, market and sell RFID products for a variety of applications.

The companies will combine Intelleflex's experience developing BAP UHF inlays compliant with the proposed Class 3 standard, with Motorola Enterprise Mobility's expertise in passive EPC RFID interrogators and antennas. Enterprise Mobility's RFID division traces its roots to RFID pioneer Matrics, which in 2004 was purchased by Symbol Technologies, which in turn was purchased by Motorola in September 2006 (see Symbol Acquires Matrics and Motorola Acquiring Symbol).

"This is a marker of the maturing and growth of the RFID market in general," says Richard Bravman, Intelleflex's chairman, president and CEO. "This is going to expand the range of offerings that both companies can bring to customers. We'll combine our products and technologies and do collaborative work that neither company could do as well, or as quickly, on its own."

Christopher Shaefer, Motorola's director of RFID product marketing, says the partnership will benefit customers by providing solutions for companies "looking for new and different ways to utilize RFID to drive more value from their businesses."

Details are not yet being released about specific products. However, the partners say they plan to focus their efforts on cold-chain management and tracking, yard management, the tracking of reusable containers and other processes requiring what Intelleflex calls extended-capability RFID. These include tags that offer long-distance read ranges, increased memory and the ability to function in challenging environments and overcome RF interferences caused by metal (see Agricultural Company Tracks Equipment Loaned to Farmer and Intelleflex Demos Long-Distance Cattle Tags). The companies have already trained each other's engineers on their product lines, and expect to launch new products in the second half of 2008.

In addition to forming the partnership, Intelleflex received $15.5 million in its Series C financing round from Motorola Ventures, the company's strategic venture capital arm. Motorola Ventures has provided financing to other RFID companies as well—in November, for instance, it invested an undisclosed amount in RFID and mobile-phone payment technology developer ViVOtech. A new investor, Arcapita Ventures, also contributed to the $15.5 million round, as did existing investors Morgenthaler Ventures, Woodside Fund, Alloy Ventures and Selby Venture Partners (see RFID News Roundup: Intelleflex Secures $15.5 Million in Funding).
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