ByteLight Emerges from Stealth Mode with $1.25 Million in Funding for “GPS-Like” Indoor Positioning System

in Alumni, News-ISS, Research, Research-ISS
October 16th, 2012

The company, founded by Boston University alumni, can pinpoint indoor location and movement in real-time with market-leading accuracy using LED lighting, creating a new mobile-based services platform for retail, commercial, and corporate enterprise customers.

Bytelight LogoCAMBRIDGE, MA, October 16, 2012 – ByteLight, a provider of LED (light-emitting diode) based indoor positioning technology, today announced that it has received $1.25 million in funding from individual and institutional investors, led by VantagePoint Capital Partners. ByteLight will use the funding to build its team, deploy at pilot locations and expand its ecosystem of lighting partners. Using ByteLight’s LED lighting-based indoor positioning solution, commercial and enterprise building owners, public safety officials, retail outlets and public spaces such as airports, museums and convention centers can target customized information, special offers and other data directly to users based on their precise location inside a building.

Aaron Ganick (ECE '10), Co-Founder of Bytelight

Aaron Ganick (ECE '10), CEO and Co-Founder of Bytelight

“Accurate indoor positioning has been described as the ‘holy grail’ of location-based services,” said Aaron Ganick (ECE ’10), CEO and Co-Founder of ByteLight. “We provide an enabling, breakthrough technology for the next generation of indoor-location applications. Our platform makes it easy for shoppers to navigate retail stores and find products, manages and optimizes enterprise employee operations, turns mobile devices into tour guides within a museum or public building, and helps people find colleagues and booths while attending trade shows or other events – the applications for this technology are truly endless.”

ByteLight’s patented solution turns LED light sources into positioning beacons. “ByteLight-enabled” lights transmit proprietary signals which can be picked up by camera equipped mobile devices. Once signals are detected, the device then calculates its position without the need for an active network connection – ByteLight’s market-leading indoor positioning solution is accurate to less than one meter and takes less than a second compute. To enhance the functionality of their solution, the company also offers tools that make it simple to provide location-based digital content, analyze traffic patterns and measure engagement.

Dan Ryan (ECE '10), CTO and Co-Founder of Bytelight

Dan Ryan (ECE '10), CTO and Co-Founder of Bytelight

To bring the technology to market, ByteLight is partnering with innovative LED lighting manufacturers who license and incorporate its technology directly into their lighting products. The value proposition for LED lighting has traditionally been centered around greater energy efficiency and longer life cycles. ByteLight is enhancing the commercial value of LEDs by turning them into more than just sources of illumination, thereby accelerating adoption of LED technology in the market.

“In the evolution of mapping and navigation, indoors is the next frontier,” said Michael Boland, mobile analyst with BIA/Kelsey, an analysis firm focused on local media. “A wide range of applications and verticals can benefit, such as leading retail customers to the right product, and ultimately to the cash register. It’s the ‘last inch’ problem in local commerce, and ByteLight is literally operating on that level of location granularity.”

In the same way that GPS revolutionized the outdoor world, creating new business opportunities and mobile applications alike, location based services are poised to disrupt the indoor world. By offering a solution which overcomes cost, accuracy, and latency barriers, ByteLight is building the platform for the next generation of indoor location.

“ByteLight’s beauty is in its simplicity,” adds CTO and Co-Founder Dan Ryan (ECE ’10).  “The technology delivers unprecedented, sub-meter accuracy and is extremely responsive when compared to other indoor positioning solutions.  It works on existing smartphones, and the best part is that we are leveraging one of the most ubiquitous technologies found inside almost every building in the world – lighting.  By transforming lighting into a platform, ByteLight enables venue owners and tenants to turn an infrastructure cost into a valuable source of data and a means by which they can communicate to customers and employees indoors with pinpoint accuracy.”

About ByteLight:

Based in Cambridge, MA, Bytelight is a provider of market-leading indoor positioning solutions using an innovative LED lighting based technology. ByteLight’s solution leverages the existing lighting infrastructure to deliver unprecedented accuracy and responsiveness. This enables venue owners with the ability to offer information to people at precise locations inside buildings through smart phones and other devices. For more information visit www.bytelight.com.

About VantagePoint Capital Partners:

VantagePoint Capital Partners is a global leader in financing and supporting transformative companies primarily focused on energy innovation and efficiency. With a best-in-class investment team of business and scientific experts, a broad network of corporate Strategic Partners, accomplished Senior Advisors, and more than $4 billion in committed capital, the Firm has the resources and talent to build important, industry-leading companies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Hong Kong and Beijing, VantagePoint has active investments in over 70 companies, including Liquid Robotics, SWITCH Lighting, Bridgelux, Genomatica, Solazyme, Trilliant, Tendril and Better Place. For more information, visit www.vpcp.com.

This article was first reported on Bytelight.

Related links:
“BU Startup, Bytelight Receives Funding from U-Launch”
“Bytelight Featured in MIT’s Technology Review”