World Economic Forum Helps Burnish San Diego’s On-Ramp Wireless, a Specialist in Low-Power, Low Data Rate Technology

San Diego’s On-Ramp Wireless already seemed to have plenty of momentum before the World Economic Forum of Geneva, Switzerland, included the San Diego wireless startup on its list of 31 companies designated as 2011 “technology pioneers.”

The startup was founded in 2008 to develop a specialized, end-to-end wireless system for low data rate communication across very wide areas—the sort of network needed to monitor electric utility grids, aqueducts, and irrigation systems that extend over thousands of square miles. “The way we frame it is, ‘Many devices talking small amounts of information with low power,’ ” says Joaquin Silva, On-Ramp’s Founding CEO.

Silva says On-Ramp’s proprietary Ultra-Link Processing (ULP) system already is in production in Taiwan—and shipping to customers—and the startup is initially focused on markets in the United States and Asia. “Asia is a really important strategic market for us,” Silva says. “They’ve got a lot of energy problems, their utility infrastructure is being outstripped through growth, and they tend to be early adopters of wireless technologies in general.”

2011 Technology Pioneers

2011 Technology Pioneers

On-Ramp disclosed in a June 14 regulatory filing that it had raised $4.5 million in a combination of equity, rights, and securities out of a planned $18 million in new financing. Silva says On-Ramp has not identified its investors, although Babak Razi and Barak Bussel of Beverly Hills, CA-based Third Wave Ventures have joined the company’s board. (On-Ramp’s board also includes Don Telage of Boston’s Frontier Capital and former Texas Instruments executive Douglas Rasor, who now heads Rasor Advisors in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.) In its initial round of venture capital, Silva says On-Ramp raised $12 million in venture funding from an unnamed angel investor and Gemtek, a wireless semiconductor manufacturer in Taiwan.

When The World Economic Forum identified its 31 technology pioneers for 2011, the Swiss non-profit foundation said the pioneering companies “represent some of the most … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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