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The 2006 10 Start-ups To Watch

With cool technologies and growing business opportunities, these start-ups may one day be eligible for the NW200.

By Network World Staff, Network World
April 19, 2006 05:20 PM ET

Page 8 of 10

Reva Systems
Chelmsford, Mass.

What does it offer?

The Reva Tag Acquisition Processor, a rack-mounted network appliance and Java software to manage large numbers of RFID readers, capture and process lots of data from RFID tags, and push this data into line-of-business applications.

Why is it worth watching?

Reva's product gives a system-wide view of an entire RFID network, collecting not only tag data but also data about the behavior of the readers and the state of the radio waves. The software can adjust the radios, bring readers online or offline, assess data quality continuously, and pinpoint problems and their locations. A variety of APIs link Reva to back-end databases, messaging services and enterprise applications. Cisco validated Reva's approach last fall when it unveiled a Catalyst 6500 blade featuring an embedded version of RFID middleware from ConnecTerra (now BEA Systems). In this rival infrastructure, the blade filters raw RFID traffic at the network edge and passes it to the data center and on to applications.

How did the company get its start?

It was founded in April 2004 by Ashley Stephenson and Dave Husak, with backgrounds, respectively, in high-speed Internet access equipment and network processor design. Looking at the RFID market, they concluded that what customers would need to make large-scale deployments possible was an RFID infrastructure that would integrate with existing enterprise nets and applications.

Who's leading the company?

CEO Ashley Stephenson, who also founded Xedia, a maker of high-speed Internet access equipment acquired by Lucent in 1999.

How much funding does it have?

$6.5 million, raised in a first round that closed April 2004. Currently raising a second round, with $10 million pledged so far; lead investors are Charles River Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Who's using the product?

Accenture and HP are publicly announced customers, though Reva says several others also have installed the appliance and software in production mode.

How did the company get its name?

One of the first employees suggested Reva, which is a Sanskrit word meaning "new beginning," as well as the name of a river in his native India. It met co-founder Husak's non-negotiable criteria: two syllables and an available Internet domain name.

- John Cox

Founded: April 2004
Funding: $14 million
CEO: Ashley Stephenson
Customers: Accenture, HP
The name: This Sanskrit word, which means “new beginning,” met a co-founder's non-negotiable criteria: two syllables and an available Internet domain name.
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