Ruckus buys YFind, navigates its way into indoor-positioning market

In a terse announcement, Wi-Fi services provider Ruckus Wireless disclosed that it acquired privately held indoor-positioning company YFind Technologies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ruckus said it intends to use YFind's location-based services (LBS) and analytical capabilities in combination with Ruckus' Smart Wi-Fi technology, "transforming Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi networks into location-intelligent infrastructures."

YFind was founded in 2010 and based in Singapore, where the government initially granted it more than $600,000 in seed money. During June 2012, the company attracted around $1.2 million in additional funding from Innosight Ventures and Walden International.

The basis for YFind's business was its YFind Positioning System (YPS), which uses Wi-Fi to detect and position mobile devices. This past May, YFind announced TheRetailHQ analytics service, which tracks visitors with Wi-Fi active on their handsets as they move through a mall.

On its website, Ruckus described a suite of Wi-Fi enabled applications that will be part of its new LBS focus. These include provision of indoor navigation tools for both customers and employees in complex environments and geo-targeted advertising and couponing. The company said related analytics can help companies understand in-facility customer behavior and gauge how much of their in-person business stems from repeat customers.

"With accurate indoor positioning--that is cost-effective, simple to deploy and use--enterprises can now create the right indoor contexts for marketing campaigns, develop comprehensive footfall analysis and provide varied forms of digital concierge services to customers and employees," said Ruckus.

Verticals targeted for Ruckus' indoor LBS applications include retail, hospitality, schools, healthcare, warehousing, smart cities plus convention and event logistics.

Indoor positioning is climbing up the hype curve, with numerous companies touting technologies aimed at going beyond outdoor GPS positioning and tracking to bring LBS inside of buildings. Companies offering indoor-positioning products include Cisco, which is working with Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) to leverage the latter's IZat platform. Among the numerous other companies, big and small, that are getting in on the indoor LBS action are Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Aruba Networks, Euclid, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), IndoorAtlas, iSign, Walkbase and Wifarer. In addition, Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Qualcomm and Samsung spearheaded formation of the In-Location Alliance last summer.

For more:
- see this Ruckus release and webpage
- see this GigaOM article

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