Meraki scores $20M in VC money

WiFi mesh operator Meraki scored $20 million in financing that it says will partly be used to finance the cost of creating a free WiFi network across San Francisco. Meraki has been experimenting with the notion of a massive free WiFi network in San Francisco throughout 2007 and apparently sees a big opportunity now that San Fran's city government pulled the plug on muni-WiFi plans after EarthLink bailed out.

The premise of Meraki is using ad-hoc networks that are formed using shared broadband connections and Meraki's WiFi repeaters that users place in their windows, balconies or roofs. The free San Fran network will be "part of an effort to showcase for other communities around the world how the company's technology can allow the creation of city-wide access networks at a fraction of current costs," said the company.

The second-round $20-million infusion came from Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures, Northgate Capital and other existing investors. It has already received an undisclosed amount of capital from Google and $5 million in first-round financing last year.

To read more about Meraki's plans for San Francisco:
- check out this article from TelecomWeb