Press Release

Echodyne Announces $15 Million Series A Led by Bill Gates and Madrona Venture Group

December 19, 2014 Bellevue, WA

Company spins out from Intellectual Ventures to bring metamaterials-based radar systems to market.

Echodyne Corp announced today its initial round of funding led by Bill Gates and Madrona Venture Group, with participation from Vulcan Capital, Lux Capital, The Kresge Foundation, and others. The fourth spin-out from Intellectual Ventures (IV), Echodyne will bring to market radar products based on metamaterials technology invented by IV in collaboration with Duke University and the University of California at San Diego. The company is led by co-founders Eben Frankenberg (CEO) and Tom Driscoll (CTO).

“Echodyne’s innovative use of metamaterials holds great promise for a wide range of new radar applications,” said Bill Gates.  “I’ve worked with Eben for almost a decade and I’m looking forward to what Echodyne will accomplish with his leadership.”  

Echodyne is the exclusive licensee of IV’s metamaterials technology for radar applications and represents the third spin-out from IV based on metamaterials, which are artificially structured materials used to control and manipulate a range of physical phenomena including electromagnetic radiation.

“The launch of Echodyne is an exciting new proof point for our Metamaterials Commercialization Center and IV will continue to invest accordingly in this very promising space,” said Nathan Myhrvold, CEO of Intellectual Ventures. “I cannot imagine a better founding team for Echodyne than Eben – a leader who’s earned my utmost trust and respect, and Tom – a gifted technologist steeped in metamaterials.”

Frankenberg, Echodyne’s CEO, played a crucial role at IV for nearly a decade leading the company’s efforts to create and spin-out companies, incubating and overseeing IV’s Lab and Global Good, and serving five years as IV’s COO. Prior to IV, Frankenberg spent nine years leading sales, marketing, and business development for Onyx Software as it grew from a basement start-up to more than 800 people and a NASDAQ listing. Frankenberg started out as a scientist with an MS in Geophysics from Stanford University and a BA from Dartmouth College.   

“I’m very excited about the market potential for our breakthrough metamaterials-based radars. They stand to be disruptive to existing radar markets, but also enabling for whole new categories of radars never before contemplated or thought possible,” said Frankenberg. “I’m grateful to our investors, who share our vision, to IV for inventing and incubating the technology, and to commercial and government customers and partners who are giving us a positive and welcome reception.” 

Co-founder and CTO, Tom Driscoll has been at the forefront of metamaterials technology for more than a decade. Most recently he was the Director of the IV Metamaterials Commercialization Center where he oversaw multiple research and development projects including the initial work in radar. Prior to that, Driscoll held research roles at Duke University, where he helped pioneer the technology behind IV’s second metamaterials spin-out, and at the University of California, San Diego. Driscoll holds a PhD in Physics from UCSD.   

“Madrona loves to invest in great entrepreneurs who are developing novel and innovative technology and attacking huge markets. Echodyne truly embodies all of these attributes. We are thrilled to be working with Eben and Tom, who are world-class, and bring a tremendous mix of product, business and research rigor and experiences to bear in building Echodyne,” said Tim Porter, Managing Director of  Madrona Venture Group and Echodyne board member.


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