Advent leads £16m broadband funding

Advent Venture Partners, the private equity firm, has led a £16m third round funding of Radiant Networks, a company developing mobile broadband technology.

Advent Venture Partners has invested alongside Intel Capital and Sandler Capital in a £16m third round of financing of Radiant Networks, a company developing mobile broadband technology. The round takes the total invested in the company to £31.7m.

Frederic Court, one of the dealmakers, said Radiant had developed well in the last few years and that this latest investment would enable the company to fulfil its current order book, which had grown in 2001.

Radiant, formed in 1997, has developed a wireless broadband technology known as Meshworks, which network operators expect will improve the speed of internet connections available for business customers. The company also believes that it can help operators generate positive cash flow in less than half the time it would take with a conventional broadband network. This is an important lure to cash-strapped operators, who will be looking to regain some of the money they heavily invested in 3G mobile technology licenses 2000.

Indeed Radiant has already secured a number of trial and commercial contracts. These contracts include BT running an evaluation of Meshworks on a network in Cardiff starting in February, and US operator Nsight Telservices commercially deploying the technology later this year. Radiant has also signed an evaluation contract in Spain with Banda 26, a subsidiary of Jazztel Group, and has signed an agreement with Star 21, a German broadband wireless operator with a national licence.

Nadeem Siddiqui, COO at Radiant said that securing funding at a time when there has been increasing volatility across the high technology sector proves the company’s worth. “In fact, given the level of interest there has been from both European and American investors during this round of funding, we expect to be able to expand this investment round further during 2002,” he said.

Court added that Advent was already looking to add more funding to the round and that the firm had been talking to other investors.

Based in London, Advent Venture Partners makes technology investments across the UK and Europe. The firm commits to companies that develop software, hardware, communications, and IT services. It also invests in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical device development investments. Today the firm has around £475m under management, and since 1981, has funded more than 150 companies, investing between £5m and £20m each time.