The Finnish tech giant plans to integrate Unium’s software into its “end-to-end, whole-home WiFi solution.” The acquisition is part of the company’s new expanded WiFi offering. Nokia has more than 47 million “home gateways installed worldwide.”
Founded in 2002, Seattle-based Unium helps improve slow or dead WiFi spots in a home by creating a secure mesh network and recommending optimal locations for devices, ultimately re-routing traffic to provide better wireless internet connections. The company licensed its product to internet service providers and manufacturers of home entertainment, enterprise WiFi, and industrial networks.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed; the transaction is expected to close this quarter.
“The home networking market is booming and whole-home WiFi is a key enabler for this,” Federico Guillén, president of Nokia’s Fixed Networks business group, said in a statement. “Today’s WiFi solutions still have serious issues with sticky clients, interference, coverage gaps and capacity issues. With Unium inside, our Nokia WiFi solution will deliver an unmatched user experience, going beyond what standard mesh WiFi solutions deliver today.”
Unium CEO Martha Bejar wrote about the deal in a LinkedIn post Sunday:
“I could not be more proud of the Unium team!!! Our Seattle based company has developed a Wi-Fi solution like no other in the market today! It is simple, powerful, and revolutionary! Our CTO, Riley Eller lead this effort with the engineering team to deliver exceptional utility to Wi-Fi networks. Nokia is a global leader in creating customer-centric solutions and is at the heart of our connected world. Nokia is focused at driving a unique and innovative customer experience – making every customer-touch better. The Unium family is very excited to join Nokia – an outstanding company! Congratulations to both Unium and Nokia!”
Unium raised $3.3 million of a larger round this past September. At the time it employed 21 people and had raised more than $60 million to date.
We’ve followed up with Unium to learn more about the deal and will update this story when we hear back.
Unium originally developed mesh networking solutions for the Department of Defense, which needed help connecting people in areas that lacked proper wireless infrastructure. 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.
Since then, the company — previously known as Coco Communications — has been focused on selling in-home WiFi software to hardware manufacturers. The technology works across various wireless chipsets, processors, and operating systems.