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DUST SECURES $7 MILLION IN FINANCIAL COMMERCIALIZATION WIRELESS MESH NETWORKS

Feb. 2004

Foundation Capital Leads Investment with Participation from Institutional Venture Partners and In-Q-Tel

Dust Incorporated (www.dust-inc.com), the leader in low-power wireless mesh sensor networks, raised a total of $7 million.  The Series A round was led by Foundation Capital, with participation from Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) and In-Q-Tel.

The company’s technology is based on more than 10 years of UC Berkeley research into wireless sensing solutions. In 1997, Dr. Kris Pister, PhD., now Dust CEO and founder, led an ambitious project at the University of California Berkeley to develop a complete autonomous sensing and communication package in a cubic millimeter-sized device with a sensor, coined Smart Dust.

Since then, multiple generations of Smart Dust hardware and software have been developed, tested and refined. As the world’s experts in wireless mesh networking and low-power systems, the Dust team is leveraging a tradition of innovative research and experience in bringing new technologies to markets to commercialize low-powered, robust wireless sensing networks in building automation, industrial monitoring and homeland security applications.

“Dust promises full access to information by bringing together the ease of wireless systems with the inherent robustness of mesh networks,” said Paul Koontz, General Partner at Foundation Capital. “There is broad agreement that the expense and complication of current network technologies has limited data collection applications. By dramatically lowering the cost of networking infrastructure, Dust technology will open up applications that dramatically increase our ability to gather and utilize data in industrial and commercial environments.”

“Dust brings a revolutionary wireless sensing platform that resonates across a wide range of customers,” said Reid Dennis at IVP. “At IVP, we look for home-run potential in large and growing markets, and we see a grand slam opportunity in Dust. The Dust team has the vision, the technology, and the experience to bring highly innovative technology to market and solve critical business problems.”

“Kris Pister is known as the most aggressive technologist in wireless sensor platforms, pushing for extremely low-power and reliable networks,” said Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel. “Dust’s low cost, low energy, miniaturized solution makes possible new applications that were never before feasible. For people who want to know more about the environment, Dust is the indispensable piece of the solution, be it for situational awareness in an office building or a government application.”

“We are extremely pleased to gain the support of top-tier venture investors, Foundation Capital, IVP, and In-Q-Tel,” said Kris Pister, Dust CEO and founder. “Dust helps customers achieve visibility and control critical to their success. The backing and support of our investors will allow Dust to continue leading the next wave of the information revolution.”

About Dust
Based in Berkeley, California, Dust develops hardware and software for low-power wireless mesh networks. Dust networks enable reliable, unattended monitoring of critical processes and assets. Patent pending mesh networking software teamed with battery-powered wireless communication nodes, form a resilient, self-healing network that can operate with zero maintenance for years at a time on standard AAA or coin cell batteries. Unlike traditional wired control systems, Dust networks require no cable runs for power or data communication — greatly reducing the cost and complexity of connecting, maintaining and retrofitting installed sensors and actuators. Dust brings reliable, comprehensive monitoring and control within reach, enabling more informed decision making and better process control. For more information please visit www.dust-inc.com.

About Foundation Capital
Founded in 1995, Foundation Capital is a venture capital firm committed to supporting entrepreneurs and their companies, targeting innovative opportunities in telecommunications and networking; Internet infrastructure; and enterprise software. Foundation Capital funds total over $1.1 billion and include Harvard, Yale, CalTech, the Hewlett Foundation and MacArthur Foundation as investors. Paul Koontz is a general partner and also led investments in, and serves on the boards of, United Online, Financial Engines, Apexon, Oberon Financial Technology, Pacific Edge, Vivecon and CloudShield. He also serves on the board of the Stanford University DAPER Fund. For more information, visit www.foundationcapital.com or contact: Tim Turpin (415) 392-8282, tim@outcastpr.com.

About Institutional Venture Partners
IVP was founded in 1980 and manages over $1.3 billion of committed capital. Throughout its history, IVP’s partnership with innovative companies has led to the creation of market leaders in technology industries such as enterprise software, wireless infrastructure, communications equipment, semiconductors, storage and technology-enabled services. The firm has financed over 200 companies and recorded more than 80 IPOs.  IVP is currently investing IVP X, a $225 million expansion-stage venture capital fund.  IVP’s website is located at www.ivp.com.