This Israeli startup based in Singapore is providing the backbone of mobile communications and just raised $24.5M in Series A funding to expand its reach
Imagine an ambulance trying to move through a congested highway where the airwaves are being taken over by phone calls, data transfers, and even smart devices, bringing communication to a virtual standstill. Cellwize’s solution is capable of knowing which type of business profile on the busy road is the ambulance and give it priority access to the network — and they just raised $24.5 million in Series A funding to do so.
Singaporean-headquartered Israeli startup Cellwize announced on Wednesday that they have closed a Series A funding round with an impressive $24.5 million in the bank. Leading the round were Carmel Ventures and Vintage Partners who together raised $14.5 million for the investment. Viola Credit also took part, contributing a credit facility of $10 million.
Following the round, the company intends to grow its global operations into new markets and further expand their team.
CTO Daniel Dribinski and Chief Strategy Officer Sasi Geva founded Cellwise in 2012. The team had previously developed solutions for radio frequency optimization needs before building the platform at the center of their operation.
Over 300,000 million mobile users in South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe are now being served by Cellwize’s technology through their local carriers. They are currently in discussions with companies in North America with hopes of branching out into that market.
How Cellwize makes communication possible
The mobile industry’s explosion over the past 10 years has irreversibly altered how human beings consume information, speak with each other, and manage an increasing segment of their lives. The convenience provided by these devices has demanded that networks take on even heavier loads of users and data, forcing them to find innovative ways to order their networks and remain operational.
Many providers have turned increasingly to Self-Organizing Networks (SON) as a solution. Services like Cellwize allow carriers to manage their networks better, optimizing it for enhanced performance under high demand.
In basic terms, SON is like the gears on a bicycle that shift between different settings according to the needs of the rider. If the user must access internet data, it will know to shift to LTE, then 3G for calls, and finally 2G to carry out IoT functions. The ability to switch between these various frequencies is essential for carriers in keeping their customers on the air.
After the success of their elastic-SON service, which focuses on improving network operations, Cellwize has started to branch out to address consumer experience concerns. They have developed advanced Big Data learning capabilities with their Value-Driven SON product that is able to identify different segments of user profiles and enable the operator to create business policies that will enable them to deliver them optimal service, such as the ambulance example given at the beginning of this article.
Customers can utilize the SaaS cloud platform through virtual computing. This can be advantageous as opposed to bulky onsite programs since it provides flexibility for carriers working in multiple locations, saving additional costs.
Stacking up to the competition
Cellwize has found itself in a challenging market, going up against some major players. Cisco (Intucell SON solution) and Nokia’s Eden Rock/Alcatel-Lucent compete with them from the vendor side of the equation. Then there are the Network Equipment Providers like Nokia who along with Huawei and Ericsson all have their own in-house SON solutions.
In 2013, Amdocs acquired Actix and Celcite, also putting them in the game as stiff competitors.
However, Singaporean Cellwize brings some important advantages to the table. First, as an independent SON provider, they are able to work across different network equipment providers. Second, they offer customers the option of either taking their turnkey solution or hiring Cellwise to run the entirety of the operation, SONaaS. This can be ideal for a carrier that does not have the engineering capacity to run the system and often lacks the knowledge of technologies like 2G, which is the standard for IoT (M2M) communications.
Viola’s decision to extend a $10 million line of credit is an interesting move that I believe speaks volumes about the future of this sector. While straight up funding is good, credit shows belief that the company will grow.
Geektime has written extensively this week about the expansion of IoT, with companies like Nokia working hard to build their capacity to handle the mass of traffic that will come with the growth of this industry. Cellwize is well placed to enter this space with solutions for connected vehicles, faster data transfers, and an overall smoother mobile experience for users.
With a solid global reach that appears to be growing, Cellwize appears to be based on solid technology and led by an exceptionally talented team that can only grow from here.
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