Tantalus Raises New Financing for Smart-Grid Wireless Technologies

[Updated 1/20/10, 10:10 am. See below.] Cleantech wireless networking firm Tantalus, based in Burnaby, BC, has raised about $13.5 million in new equity financing, according to a regulatory filing. The round was led by the Silicon Valley firm Redpoint Ventures, and other existing investors also participated, according to a press release issued by Tantalus after the initial publication of this story. The company says the new funding round is worth a total of $14 million. [Previous two sentences modified on 1/20/10 with new information from the company—Eds.]

Tantalus makes wireless communications and networking technology that helps electric, gas, and water utilities monitor consumption and manage their resources. The company’s wireless network is used in parts of North America, and is meant to help both utilities and consumers manage their electricity use more efficiently by connecting devices like smart meters and thermostats to utilities’ control systems.

Tantalus was founded in 1989 and originally focused on radio frequency engineering for industrial automation and process control. In 2000, the company shifted its strategy to develop a wireless communication network for utilities, according to a company analysis in GigaOm. In 2007, the report says, Tantalus raised more than $18 million from European investors.

In 2008, the company formed a partnership with Itron (NASDAQ: ITRI), the Liberty Lake, WA-based energy technology company that makes smart meters for electricity, gas, and water, and other data collection and communication systems. The partnership combines Itron’s meters with the Tantalus wireless network, to support smart-grid and energy-efficiency applications.

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