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RFID pioneer ThingMagic purchased by Trimble

RFID pioneer ThingMagic, in the midst of a high-profile 10th anniversary celebration, upped the ante today. The firm announced that it has been sold to California-based and publicly-traded Trimble.

ThingMagic was born out of the former Auto-ID Center at MIT. According to the press release issued by Trimble, ThingMagic will continue to offer high-performance fixed and embedded RFID readers and services to customers in a wide range of industry verticals from construction to transportation.

It was not immediately known if ThingMagic will remain in its Cambridge, Mass., headquarters, or the fate of its management team, which includes four original co-founders, including Yael Maguire.

The sale likely represents an exit plan for the investors who have put more than $30 million in venture funding into the firm since its inception. ThingMagic’s last funding occurred in 2008 in a deal with In-Q-Tel thought to be worth about $3 million. In-Q-Tel is the strategic, not-for-profit investment firm that works to identify, adapt, and deliver innovative technology solutions to support the mission of the U.S. Intelligence Community

“Adding ThingMagic’s RFID technology and system integration expertise will allow Trimble to build more comprehensive and capable solutions for its existing markets and potentially provide entry into new markets,” said Jürgen Kliem, vice president of Trimble’s strategy and business development. “Similar to the widespread integration of GPS into today’s positioning solutions, we believe RFID can transform markets and is a natural complement to our existing technology portfolio.”

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