May 17th, 2013
Finding their way to Aruba: Portland startup Meridian acquired by Aruba Networks
Another Portland company has had a successful exit—and that also means another successful exit for the Oregon Angel Fund. Indoor mapping startup Meridian has been acquired by Aruba Networks. And it will remain in Portland as a wholly owned subsidiary.
What’s Meridian do? Well, the Portland Business Journal summed it up quite nicely:
Meridian’s apps provide services such as turn-by-turn directions, highlighting points of interest at venues, among other things. It has more than 40 brands using its platform, including the Venetian and Bellagio resorts in Las Vegas, the New York City subway system, and Macy’s, which is using it to improve its own app with indoor GPS functionality.
Which is a little more difficult than one might think.
I don’t think everyone realizes is how challenging simulating GPS indoors can be,” said Jeff Hardison, Meridian’s vice president of marketing. “It’s not like you just build an app and it magically has a ‘glowing blue dot’ on the map.
“Outdoors, we have freely available satellite GPS. But, for indoors, our software developers had to spend years learning the ins and outs of wifi hardware. They’d be building beautiful software one second, and fiddling with metal boxes in server rooms and access points on venues’ ceilings, the next. If we want to achieve our dream of being able to learn more about the world around us through our phones, we needed a hardware partner we could trust.
“That turned about to be Aruba. They’re ethical, super-smart, hardworking and fun. Now, we can focus on what we do best—build amazing software—while providing input on the hardware.”
And of course a company named after Aruba would have unlimited vacation.
“I’m looking forward to taking a week off,” said Jeff. “Something that’s not always easy when you’re wearing multiple hats in a startup!”