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Company: Network Chemistry

HQ: Menlo Park, CA

Founded:  2002

Management: Robert Markovich is CEO. He previously co-founded Visual Networks, a provider of network management software. He also founded The Hatch Group, an early stage venture capital firm. Dr. Christopher Waters is the chief technology officer. Prior to joining Network Chemistry, he co-founded Tazmen Technologies, a developer of personal firewall products.

Investors: On April 14, the company announced a $6 million Series A financing from Geneva Venture Partners, Innovacom, the investment arm of France Telecom, and In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA.

Business Model: The company develops monitoring and analysis systems that provide security and performance improvement of wireless local area networks (WLANs). Network Chemistry’s radio frequency appliances, which are placed at key physical locations in a network, monitor the wireless data that floats around a corporate network and look for unusual activity. The data collected by the radio frequency appliances is sent back to a central server for analysis and archiving. If intrusions or poor network performance are detected, alerts are sent out to network administrators. Network Chemistry claims it has 70 paying customers.

Competitors:  AirMagnet, AirDefense, AirTight

Dirt: Research firm In-Stat/MDR conducted a survey last year, which found that security was the number one concern for respondents that were considering deploying a WLAN. The same survey also found that security was the top priority for respondents that already had a WLAN. These findings cut both ways for Network Chemistry – companies clearly want WLAN security products, but they also need to achieve a level of comfort before they even establish a WLAN. Not to worry, Growth in the WLAN market hasn’t been a problem. The greater challenge for Network Chemistry will be to fend off the competitors that also see a burgeoning opportunity in helping enterprises secure their wireless networks.

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Tagged: Communications

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