Stoke Inc , a fixed-mobile convergence comapny, has successfully closed its Series D funding with $15 million from existing investor Reliance Technology Ventures Ltd (RTVL) as well as Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Japanese service provider Net One Systems, DAG Ventures, Presidio Financial Partners, Integral Capital Partners and Pilot House Ventures. All in all, its high profile investors, who have brought the company $65 million in funding to it till date.
This latest investment will be utilised to support its expanding customer base and to fuel more trials with carrierss. In India, Stoke has set up a subsidiary Stoke Networks Private Limited headed by Ashim Roy.
What Stoke Does
Stoke’s products in the mobile broadband gateway space are attracting interest as more and more ISPs are choosing to launch high speed wireless broadband Internet, new applications and looking to convergence as the future. Its gateways are expected to help network operators cut costs, manage thousands of subscribers over different types of networks such as WiFi and WiMAX using common IP session management and enable them to adapt to 3G and 4G networks. Its platform will be used by Netone in Japan.
It is headed by Vikash Varma, who took over from Stoke founder Randall Kruep in 2007. Vikash was previously President – Worldwide Sales, Marketing & Field Operations at CloudShield Technologies and before that, of P-Cube. Two other Indians managing the California- headquartered company are Venkat Prabhala, VP Finance and Nishi Kant, VP Technology. The company has on its board of directors Gaurav Garg of Sequoia Capital, Dan Warmenhoven – CEO of Network Appliance (NetApp) and Harshal Shah – CEO of RTVL. Shah is also on the boards of eWaveWorld Ltd (now, Reliance WiMAX World), Stoke, Yatra and Telsima Corporation.
On Reliance ADA Group’s Telecom Investments
Stoke is a part of the Reliance ADA Group’s bigger telecom play; the group has made a number of telecom investments, based on the advice of Reliance Technology Ventures Ltd (RTVL):
— Acquired managed Ethernet company Yipes Holdings for around $300 million. Yipes has now been merged into Reliance Globalcom in July 2007
— Invested in WiMAX chipmaker Sequans Communications in Feb 2008
— Acquired WiMAX operator eWave World in April 2008
— Acquired Struggling UK based MVNO Vanco in a $76.9 million deal.
On the services front, the group has invested in Suvidhaa Infoserve, an e-commerce company, which also received funding from Norwest Venture Partners. RADAG also invested in location based services company Pelago, which has the product Whrrl. Their portfolio also includes travel portal Yatra.com. Download a presentation on RTVL from here.
We noticed that these investments are either supporting their Reliance Communications business, or are at the adjunct of the BIG Entertainment business and Reliance Communications.