CoCo Communications scores $9 million, looks to build secure mobile networks for the military

CoCo Communications has nailed down $9 million in fresh financing, money that the 10-year-old Seattle company will use to enhance products that allow the military or first responders to easily set up mobile mesh networks.

The technology has not yet been deployed in a battlefield scenario, but CEO John DeFeo said a number of branches of the military are currently evaluating the technology. He said the new cash will be used to hire staff, add new features to existing products and roll out a new offering for first responders.

In the military scenarios, DeFeo said that the technology could be used to establish a network where packets of information can be more securely sent. For example, he said the network could allow chat functionality so that troops in the field could get real-time information from a command base.

Another example could be the U.S. Coast Guard needing to set up a network as they board a vessel to search for illegal materials.

Founded 10 years ago, CoCo has bumped along for a number of years. But the new cash infusion provides the 19-person company a nice boost as it looks to secure larger deals with the military.

DeFeo, the former head of USWest NewVector’s cellular business, declined to name the investors in the round. But he said angel investors provided the cash, an unusual situation given the amount of capital involved.

But DeFeo said that CoCo is an unusual startup company, in part because it must have the patience to sell into the military, known for its long evaluation and sales cycles.

Here’s a closer look at how CoCo works.