m8 Capital announces US$ 4.2 million investment in Schad
m8 Capital, the venture capital fund investing exclusively in mobile technology, announced today a US$ 4.2 million investment in German mobile technology company SCHAD.
SCHAD’s technology allows engineering staff of global enterprises to remotely access, monitor and manage their plants, systems and facilities from mobile phones (BlackBerry/iPhone/Android/Windows) and other mobile devices (iPads/tablets).
The technology frees maintenance engineers from centralised control centres, and allows them to monitor and manage their plants and facilities from anywhere. As a result, the system can significantly reduce unscheduled downtime, allows for shorter maintenance response times and reduces overall maintenance costs for the world’s largest businesses.
SCHAD will use the investment to further develop its product line and to expand globally.
High-Tech Gründerfonds of Germany, who had provided seed and start-up funding to the Company, will also participate in this new funding round, which is being led by m8 Capital.
Within the past two years, SCHAD’s technology has been implemented by leading global enterprises including Ford, BASF, Vanderlande Industries, FRoSTA, Deutsche Lufthansa, Volkswagen and the Airports of Cologne/Bonn, Munich and Berlin.
In recognition of its success, SCHAD was recently awarded the 2010 Innovation Award for “Transforming Enterprise Business Performance” by BlackBerry.“With an impressive array of international clients like Volkswagen and BASF, SCHAD has proven that its technology enhances profitability of global enterprises. With this investment from m8 Capital, we are confident that SCHAD will emerge as the leading company mobilizing large industrial processes around the globe,” said Joseph Kim, Partner at m8 Capital.
“We welcome onboard the m8 Capital team who bring a wealth of know-how and experience that can only aid the future growth of SCHAD GmbH,” said Alexander von Frankenberg, Managing Director of the High-Tech Gründerfonds.
“The significant investment from m8 Capital enables us to grow even faster and fully develop our product line. We aim to establish Extend 7000 as the global standard for mobile access to Factory Automation and to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). In m8 Capital, we have a strong and knowledgeable investor who believes in the high potential of our innovative mobile technology,” said Christian Schad, the founder of the company.
About SCHAD’s Extend 7000
Product functions of Extend 7000 include active notifications to service staff, mobile observation and operation of operations, mobile access to plant documentation to allow for better diagnostics and service, and detailed logging and reporting to enable future improvements to systems.
With Extend 7000, all available personnel can be informed of plant status and incidents immediately. Hence the closest workers are able to respond in real time, allowing potential problems to be addressed before serious issues occur. Further, as Extend 7000 provides control as well as monitoring, even if immediate site access is not possible, technicians have the ability to take corrective action remotely.
Extend 7000 meets the requirements of automation systems to provide constant real time plant information combined with the ability to take immediate action based on this information. The innovative use of mobile handset technology allows Extend 7000 to provide this. Extend 7000 enables plant technicians, maintenance personnel and management to always be in touch with plant status via the popular BlackBerry® mobile device.
Extend 7000 uses several key components to provide this real time overview. The backbone of the system is the system server, which includes the Device Manager and System Manager. These components provide communications to the BlackBerry wireless infrastructure while also exchanging information with the project server. The project server incorporates communication, notification and trend servers, who collectively handle communications with production equipment. The architecture uses proven Microsoft® SQL Server technology to operate the system and project information databases and runs under Windows Server operating systems. This ensures easy installation, configuration and maintenance. Finally, end-to-end 256 bit AES encryption assures security.
About m8 Capital
m8 Capital invests exclusively in mobile technology. Mobile technology is changing everything we do. Mobile technology is enabling services, products and information to be more pervasive, more relevant, and more convenient. m8 Capital looks to support entrepreneurs and their companies that are positioning themselves to be at the forefront of all things mobile. Previous investments include mobile train ticketing technology leader Masabi and trust-based recommendation platform provider Rummble.
SCHAD was founded by Christian Schad in Hamburg, Germany in November 2007. The company has developed a unique system for mobile operating and monitoring machine and plant system controls: Extend 7000. The innovative system uses public mobile networks and enables mobile access to control technology of machines, plants and buildings. With implementing Extend 7000 companies can reduce down times and thus save costs. Extend 7000 is applied in miscellaneous industries and business sectors – including logistics, automotive, chemical industry, facility management, food industry, energy supply as well as oil and gas. SCHAD offers its product on a global scale and cooperates with accredited partner companies from Europe and North America. The aim of SCHAD is to establish Extend 700 as the global mobile systems for operating and monitoring machine and plant system controls. The solution Extend 7000 shall be established as the standard for mobile access to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs).
Anne Bettina Jäger
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About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests venture capital in young, high-opportunity technological companies implementing promising research results in an entrepreneurial manner. The start-up companies are planned to lead their R&D projects to the production of a prototype or a “proof of concepts” or market launch by means of the seed financing of up to 500k EUR. The High-Tech Gründerfonds has a fund volume of around 272m EUR. Investors of the public-private partnership are the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, the KfW bank group as well as the six industrial groups BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss.