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Summary:

[qi:045] Meraki Networks, the startup that makes mesh networking gear and is building an ad-hoc San Francisco Wi-Fi network, says it has raised $20 million in a Series B round. While San Francisco’s official Wi-Fi network is MIA, Meraki has been building out a distributed Wi-Fi […]

[qi:045] Meraki Networks, the startup that makes mesh networking gear and is building an ad-hoc San Francisco Wi-Fi network, says it has raised $20 million in a Series B round. While San Francisco’s official Wi-Fi network is MIA, Meraki has been building out a distributed Wi-Fi network by providing residents with free, low-cost repeaters and funding the network out of its own pocket.

And initiative like that needs funding, as does Meraki’s main goal of selling its Wi-Fi hardware. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s backers in this latest round include Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures, and Northgate Capital. Back in February of last year, Sequoia led a Series A round investment of $5 million, and Google and angel investors gave Meraki a seed round in November 2006.

Last October the company launched a three-tiered business model that could boost revenues but also effectively alienated some of its existing customer base. The problem was a doubling in price of some of its gear, to $150 per wireless router. Sanjit Biswas, co-founder and CEO of Meraki, explained to us that the price increase was just “part of the business evolution of the company.”

Though we understand that the company needs to charge enough to make enough margin off its products, perhaps these funds can help Meraki, which has morphed from the open-source MIT Roofnet project into a well-funded startup, keep its lower price tag.

  1. Wasn’t there another company that went toes up that did the same thing. Wanted you to buy a router, share the air, went out of business?

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  2. Privacy Please Thursday, January 3, 2008

    I think you’re talking about Fon, the spanish company that gave away a bunch of routers through GigaOm a while ago.

    Some of the other blogs seem to have more news than here:
    http://wifinetnews.com/archives/008108.html

    Sounds like they’re going to WiFi the whole city of San Francisco with solar powered routers and 15,000 free repeaters.

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  3. whatever happened to the destined for failure OOma? I know its not the same, but I recall thinking….boy do they have this business model wrong.

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  4. [...] Meraki, 5min, Next2Friends, Sugar gets more sugar, BetNow [...]

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  5. [...] Meraki Raises $20M Series B – GigaOM. Η “Meraki” παρέχει υπηρεσίες wifi, σε πολλές περιπτώσεις παρόμοιες με το fon.com. Αξίζει να παρακολουθήσετε την πορεία της εταιρείας, το δωρεάν wifi θα είναι από τα θέματα που θα συζητηθούν πολύ μέσα στο 2008 -νομίζω. This entry was written by Panayotis, posted on 5|Jan|2008 at 02:45, filed under asides and tagged fon, meraki, wifi. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. [...]

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  6. Who is going to be able to remember a name like “meraki”.

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  7. lo and behold people..we are launching a meraki city wide free wifi in apopka florida….over 100,000 pageveiws a week and growing with our fresh launch in apopka florida on march 28th..with two large sponsors and so far about 50 local businesses we have already grown to a few thousand users..in six months time we hope to have all of the surrounding areas broadcasting our community owned free wifi service.go to http://www.rsrwireless.com and become a sponsor now..ps meraki the name is associated with “free”,everyone knows what free means…..

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  8. Meraki (freethenet) are doing a great job since this was written, currently around 105k and growing rapidly…stay tuned for bigger things! :)

    Billy.
    http://www.merakeye.com (Meraki Enthusiasts)

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