A Seattle startup has its sights set on becoming a standard for robust in-home WiFi software.
Unium, previously known as Coco Communications, just reeled in an additional $1.4 million as part of a larger $12.3 million investment round.
The company’s technology helps improve slow or dead WiFi spots in your home by creating a secure mesh network and recommending optimal locations for your devices, ultimately re-routing traffic to provide better wireless internet connections.
Unium originally launched in 2002 as a result of what happened during 9/11, when emergency workers had trouble communicating during rescue efforts. The company first developed mesh networking solutions for the Department of Defense, which needed help connecting people in areas that lacked proper wireless infrastructure.
Then in 2013, it entered the commercial space via a spin-out called OpenRoute, which sells WiFi solutions to construction companies that required better connections and networks for on-site workers that often work above or below ground, and in between thick concrete.
Now with a new name that signifies the company’s shift in direction, Unium is focused on selling in-home WiFi software to hardware manufacturers. The technology works across various wireless chipsets, processors, and operating systems; it is sold via license or as an all-in-one product.
Google Fiber is one of Unium’s customers, using its software to improve the networking performance of Google Fiber in homes.
Unium, which employs 25, has raised about $56.5 million to date, a majority of which came in when the company developed solutions for the Department of Defense.
“Like many people, we had difficulties with the WiFi in our homes including dead spots, buffering of movies, and music that stopped mid-song,” Unium CEO John Stachowiak said in a statement. “In 2013, we decided to solve these problems based on our decade of experience working with the U.S. Department of Defense to solve their wireless and security problems. People deserve better WiFi. That’s the mentality that Google Fiber and our other customers have, too.”
Editor’s note: Total funding to date for Unium has been updated to reflect the accurate number.