High Financing for HiWired
HiWired, a Needham, MA-based provider of IT support and services for consumers and small businesses, announced today that it has received $9 million in a Series B financing. The round was led by North Hill Ventures and includes Series A investors Sigma Partners and Kodiak Venture Partners.
HiWired was founded in 2004 by Singu Srinivas and Michael Wexler, both veterans of IBM’s services operations, who share the title of HiWired’s president. “We just saw this opportunity about three years ago, where we wanted to be sort of the Cisco of the digital home space,” says Srinivas. The company, he says, provides “the picks and shovels” to “make the digital home a reality.” Such tools (which turn out to be helpful for small businesses as well) range from PC backup services to set-up services for wireless networks to trouble-shooting of common IT problems; HiWired offers some of these directly, and aggregates some of them from other companies.
The startup handles its customers’ requests through a New England-based 24/7 remote support operation. “We can address about 95 percent of the problems out there without doing what a Geek Squad does at Best Buy, which is get you to take your PC to a store or having someone come to your house, which is pretty intrusive,” says Srinivas.
HiWired will use the new funding to expand its sales and marketing efforts and increase its customer base, as well as continue development of the technology behind its offerings, Srinivas says. One important target market is the customers of retailers such as OfficeMax, which sells optional tech support services packages provided by HiWired. The Needham firm also provides a tech support platform for Cox Communications, a leading cable company. “We think the market is matured, where retailers and ISPs [Internet service providers] understand what we want to do,” he says. And since the funding actually closed on December 19, “our team enjoyed the holiday knowing we closed it and could go into 2008 with fuel in the tank.”