How Cradlepoint's wireless networks fit into "the internet of things"
Cradlepoint CEO George Mulhern said the Boise tech company is positioned to keep growing fast after securing an $89 million venture-capital investment.
The company, which began by making mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, now makes wireless routers and cloud-based services for businesses and government. It has hired more than 400 people in the past four years, bringing total employment to 450, including 350 in Boise.
With help from the investment announced Thursday, Cradlepoint is on its way toward hiring 100 employees in 2017, Mulhern told the Idaho Statesman.
Last year, Cradlepoint consolidated its six Boise offices into the Boise Plaza office building on West Jefferson Street two blocks south of Boise High School.
Cradlepoint’s systems allow organizations with employees in many locations — such as police departments or retail chains — to remotely access data and software. The wireless routers and web-based services allow customers to forgo expensive investments in computer networks in each location.
“If a customer wants to build a wide-area network, now they don’t have to buy all of the individual pieces of software and hardware like they did in the old days,” Mulhern said. “We provide all of those services in the cloud.”
Mulhern said Cradlepoint has a chance to cash in as customers shift to cloud-based systems and as the nation anticipates upgrading from 4G LTE wireless networks to 5G in coming years.
“We were first-to-market with LTE, and we want to be first-to-market with 5G,” Mulhern said. “We see it as a massive opportunity.”
The latest fundraising round was led by TCV, a growth equity and venture-capital firm with offices in the Bay Area, New York and London.
Cradlepoint also raised $48 million two years ago in an investment round led by Sorenson Capital, a private equity firm in Salt Lake City. Cradlepoint used part of that money to buy smaller companies in Los Gatos, California, and in British Columbia .
Cradlepoint said it has more than 15,000 customers around the world, including 75 percent of the world’s top retailers, half of the Fortune 100 companies and 25 of the largest U.S. cities. The company has sales teams in the United Kingdom, the Middle East, South Africa, Australia and Japan.
Mulhern declined to disclose the company’s sales. He said Cradlepoint has recorded sales increases of at least 60 percent per year since 2011. Its Boise payroll is about $50 million per year, he said.
Zach Kyle: 208-377-6464, @ZachKyleNews