The Wireless Registry, a Washington, D.C.-based Internet of Things (IoT) analytics startup with offices in Dupont Circle, has raised a $1.7 million seed round from a cohort of venture capital firms and prominent D.C.-area tech company founders, Patrick Parodi told DC Inno.
The funding will be used to further develop the company’s product line and to hire several sales and engineering professionals.
Founding members from IT security firms BlackBird (acquired by Raytheon) and Sterling, Va.-based NeuStar are now investors. More specifically, Neustar’s Jeff Ganek, Mark Foster and Robert Poulin along with Blackbird’s Steve Pann and Peggy Styer have provided funding, Parodi revealed.
The institutional investors in the seed round were American Family Ventures, New Atlantic Ventures, and Point Judith Capital.
The Wireless Registry has developed an advanced API for application developers that is capable of analyzing and aggregating realtime information related to the massive amount of bluetooth and WiFi signals that touch a smartphone, everyday. In other words, clients will integrate WireLess Registry’s software to build apps that are capable of accurately detailing a user’s location, among other things, so as to architect more effective services. Advertisers, large corporate employers and retail stores are among potential customers interested in the product, said Parodi.
On any given day, thousands of WiFi and bluetooth signals detect most people’s smartphones without their knowledge—smartphone owners who download an app that uses Wireless Registry’s API must opt-in to a location tracking agreement, Parodi explained.
The majority of the time, this invisible and yet chaotic web of signals results simply in a gathering of unorganized, bulk information. Hardware like fitness wearables, other telephones, internet routes and even internet-enabled cars, like Tesla, constantly emit these signals.
What Wireless Registry’s API does is that it translates all of these signals that are interacting with a smartphone and then makes sense of them by providing an analytical framework. Over time, the API is able to understand and ultimately define a unique identity for that specific device—and thereby the person carrying it. In the future, Parodi said that this carefully molded “identity” could be used to augment two-factor authentication logins so that databases are more secure from hackers.
“What we are creating is the Google Analytics for the physical world of wireless things,” Parodi said.
At the moment, Wireless Registry is running in a sort of quasi-pilot mode, with a few demo clients already using what it calls its “proximal intelligence” service.
Interestingly, The Wireless Registry shares a co-founder, Stillman Bradish, with D.C.-based internet beacon company Radius Networks. Bradish originally filed for a number of patents related to various internet proximity detection projects. He, in broad strokes, organized each of his two companies to pursue two different types of projects using the IP he filed.
In short, whereas Radius focuses on beacon infrastructure, Stillman founded The Wireless Registry to explore infrastructure-agnostic IoT services, notably around identity (authentication, mobile engagement and exchange) and intelligence (big data and analytics).
For reference, The Wireless Registry’s first product was a MAC-ID tracking opt-out tool that is now used by several large brands like Verizon to help customers decide whether they want an app or other service to tracking their device identity.