Awarepoint Raises $10M to Accelerate Its Sensor Network for Hospitals

3/1/10Follow @bvbigelow

JAFCO Ventures of Palo Alto, CA, has stepped in as lead investor in a $10 million round announced today by San Diego’s Awarepoint, which provides wireless sensor systems to help hospitals monitor the real-time location of equipment and patients. Existing investors Cardinal Partners and Venrock Associates joined in the Series E round.

As I explained last year, Awarepoint uses ZigBee-based devices that plug into ordinary power outlets to create a wireless mesh sensor network that encompasses an entire medical center. The system provides real-time tracking of RFID (radio frequency identification) tags that are embedded in patient wristbands and attached to medical instruments.

Awarepoint says the capital infusion will be used to accelerate its development of new technology and products, and to help the company market its capabilities. The company was founded in 2002. As part of the financing, JAFCO Ventures general partner Tom Mawhinney will join Awarepoint’s board. The Palo Alto venture firm is affiliated with Tokyo-based JAFCO, the private equity firm previously known as Japan Associated Finance Co.

Awarepoint CEO Jason Howe told me last year the company has raise more than $24 million from investors, lenders, and in vendor financing. Awarepoint did not identify a previous investor, San Diego’s Avalon Ventures, as a participant in the latest round, and the company no longer lists Avalon’s Steve Tomlin as a board member on its website.

Tomlin tells me by e-mail this morning: “We do still have an Observer seat and stay actively involved. Avalon is always delighted when our companies attain a level of maturity that they don’t need us on the Board—and, to the delight of our investors and ourselves, it frees Avalon’s partners’ time to engage in more early-stage-oriented activities…”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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