RFID Talk Blog

Alien raises $10.9M in venture capital; investment total just shy of $340M

There might be a menu upgrade in store for next week’s Alien Technology User Conference after Morgan Hills, Calif.-based Alien hauled in another $10.9 million in venture funding on Wednesday. The cash infusion is the company’s first since it raised $38 million in October 2008 during one of the mist difficult financial periods in U.S. history.

The additional funding can only be seen as a positive for Alien and the RFID sector, which has continued to draw venture capital better than most industries during the recession and its slow recovery. Alien says that it established an all-time record volume quarter for RFID IC and inlay sales for the quarter ending December 2009. Alien’s inlay and IC volumes have been growing at a rate of approximately 50 percent quarter over quarter for the past two quarters.

With the new cash, Alien has now raised just shy of $340 million since it was founded in 2004. The firm has landed some mega investments, including the $66 million it raised in 2005. The recent round was led by existing investors Advanced Equities, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Sunbridge Partners. One has to wonder if investors are getting antsy about their opportunity to cash in on their investment. Their chance to do so in 2007 fell apart when a proposed initial public offering at $6 was tabled after it didn’t draw enough interest. The company went back to investors for $33 million in capital in October 2008.

Investors typically look for an exit strategy once a company begins to hit maturity. Those exits can take the form of an IPO, which is unlikely for Alien, at least for this year. More often, investors recoup their investment by initiating a merger or buyout. Five members of Alien’s board of director’s represent venture investment firms holding a stake in the company.

Next week, more than 100 partners and end users from around the world will gather at the 2010 Global Alien User and Partner Conference in Dayton, Ohio, next to its RFID Solutions Center.

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