Told you we’d keep WiSilica on our radar

The Aliso Viejo, Calif. provider announced this week the closing of a $3.35 million Series A round led by FirstFloor Capital. Anchor Asia Management, Aurotek and several of the company’s original angel investors also participated.

WiSilica’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform and software fabric enables millions of devices to connect. 

It uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocols and mesh technology to work autonomously without bridges or connectivity to the cloud. The end-to-end IoT solution allows connected devices to understand their environment and use predictive intelligence. 

Company officials said the funding will enable WiSilica to support customer demand for its platform and support expansion across multiple applications and markets, including the smart home, lighting, energy management and across industries. 

WiSilica will also expand its team of 50 people, mainly focused on research and development with offices in Southern California and India, to continue developing its hardware, software and cloud IoT platform and technology, while broadening its compatibility, security and privacy features.

“WiSilica has great potential to transform the Internet of Things by creating more smart environments,” Fahmi Hamzah, principal and executive director of FirstFloor Capital, said in a statement. “Our fund strategy is to look at technology that provides simple and rapid platforms for customers, and WiSilica’s platform addresses this need at a global level.”

Infoblox Beefs Up Security for $45M

Network control provider Infoblox of Santa Clara, Calif. acquired a global cyberthreat intelligence provider for $45 million in cash. The acquisition of Tacoma, Wash.-based IID will make Infoblox the first enterprise-grade DDI vendor that combines contextual network data with federated threat intelligence and a threat research team, company officials said. 

Infoblox focuses on managing DNS, DHCP and IP addresses — the category known as DDI. 

“Life in enterprise networking and security is changing too fast, and it’s no longer enough to have set-and-forget perimeter protection,” Simran Sandhu, manager of network infrastructure at Adobe Systems, said in a statement. 

“Adobe is a customer of both Infoblox and IID, so we’re excited about how this acquisition can create a single platform for greater integration between devices, firewalls, network insights and threat intelligence in an open ecosystem.”

The combined solution will improve operational control, allowing network and security teams to prioritize threat response at scale, based on enterprise context and risk. Also, Infoblox can now go beyond helping protect on-premise devices to help protect company-managed devices that are off-premise, officials said.

Jesper Andersen, president and chief executive officer of Infoblox, said the acquisition brings “together the deep and very rich threat intelligence from IID with the context and the central control point that Infoblox has in the network through our DDI services.”

Viacom, Snapchat Partner

Viacom and Snapchat announced a global partnership that officials said capitalizes on and extends the expertise of both companies to speak to millennial and post-millennial audiences.

The deal brings two channels to Snapchat Discover: a Comedy Central International channel and an MTV Channel in the US, which will complement Comedy Central and MTV International Discover channels. The agreement also grants Viacom the right to sell Snapchat’s US owned and operated advertising inventory. In addition, Viacom also has agreed to provide Snapchat with expanded access so Snapchat can produce Live Stories covering more of Viacom's tent pole events.

Escape Pod Taps Veteran as CMO

mark andeer headshot

Chicago creative agency The Escape Pod named marketing and advertising executive Mark Andeer its chief marketing officer. Andeer is known for viral campaigns such as Kmart's Ship My Pants and Show Your Joe and OfficeMax's Elf Yourself.

Norm Bilow, managing director for The Escape Pod, said in a statement, called Andeer "that rare talent that can chart marketing strategy and also deliver award-winning creative."

Andeer will take on marketing of the agency's brand, leading client acquisition activities, supporting current client account teams with strategic input and participation in creative campaign development. 

Wade Davis, CFO of Viacom, said, “Snapchat captures young audiences on an intimate and immersive mobile video platform while Viacom is the leader in premium long- and short-form storytelling for these same audiences. Add in Viacom’s custom marketing solutions and commitment to evolve our global mobile strategy and you’ve got a partnership that is great for both companies, for advertisers, and is a real evolution of the marketplace.”

Ving Adds Engagement for HR 

Youngstown, Ohio-based communications and engagement provider Ving launched a new cloud-based offering that enables human resource professionals to make better data driven business decisions, company officials claim. 

Ving provides a dashboard to help HR managers better understand engagement levels of employees, create, distribute and track employee acknowledgement of policies and procedures and track and ensure HR compliance. Ving’s integrated platform combines file sharing, audio, video, surveys and message engagement tracking capabilities. 

“Information overload is creating an enormous communications engagement gap,” Tony DeAscentis, CEO of Ving, said in a statement. “The trick is to quickly get a grip on how big your gap is and close it before it's too late to mitigate corporate risk or take proactive actions targeted at ensuring employee engagement with critical company information."

Logitech Debuts Video Conferencing Tech

Newark, Calif.-based Logitech has announced Logitech GROUP. Officials claim the technology provides quality  audio and HD video conferencing for up to 14 people or up to 20 with the optional expansion microphones. 

“Until now, people looking to collaborate over video were faced with a choice between installing high priced purpose-built systems or crowding around a laptop that’s placed at the end of a table,” Scott Wharton, general manager of the Logitech video collaboration group, said in a statement. “This resulted in a poor experience with coworkers packed together like sardines or falling out of the frame.” Logitech GROUP includes a speakerphone with a metal case that helps improve acoustic performance and isolates the microphone and speaker. 

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