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June 28, 2016

Mist Reinvents the Wi-Fi Experience

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Private: Josh Goldman

We tend not to think too much about mobile services indoors. We walk in, we log on and, usually, the services work fine. But can they work better? The answer is yes, they can. They can work with Mist.

Mist helps businesses deliver amazing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth experiences via smartphones, tablets and laptops to customers and to their employees. Mist works for businesses, which want new ways to engage their customers to enrich their experiences. And it works for customers, who want connectivity wherever they are, along with services and information custom-tailored to their preferences.

We believe in Mist’s mission and that’s why we recently invested in the company, alongside Lightspeed Venture Partners for a total of $14.4 million in Series A funding.

Delivering Better Solutions


Mist leverages wireless networking, location services and machine learning to provide a wireless network that knows who you are, where you are and automatically suggests services that will improve your experience while you’re there. So, for example, you walk into a hotel, log into Mist and it presents you with options to find coffee near you and tell your friends where you are.

The two new Mist products being announced today are the company’s Wi-Fi service and its patented Virtual Bluetooth Low Energy™ (vBLE) service. Mist’s products are already in use by many medium-to-large organizations around the world, including Fortune 100 organizations.

We believe that Mist’s technology provides a new type of mobile experience that fits snugly in the new era of wireless communication at the junction of wireless networking, location service and machine learning.

Listening to a 16-Year-Old

What may be more impressive than the technology is the experience and vision that Mist’s co-founders bring to the table. Mist was founded by two serial entrepreneurs and former Cisco execs, Sujai Hajela and Bob Friday, who built Cisco’s Wireless & Cloud Business Unit into a multibillion-dollar business. While at Cisco, they discussed venturing out on their own and launching a new breed of wireless network built for wireless devices. (Let’s remember that most wireless LAN technology today was designed before the smartphone even existed.)

The two had an idea. One day Hajela ran it by his 16-year-old daughter who thought it was too technical. She suggested a network that would place information about her location at her fingertips. She wanted the place (mall, amusement park or social event) to “talk to her” about the services available. This idea of a network that “tells you more” became the core idea for their funding pitch.

Looking Beyond Connectivity

Today’s Wi-Fi connectivity market is greater than $6 billion and the growing indoor location services sector is a multibillion-dollar market. Mist is currently in commercial pilots with some of the world’s largest organizations in enterprises, retail, healthcare, hospitality and more.

In addition, we think Mist and its wireless connectivity proposition will turbocharge adoption of indoor location services and drive a new era of products that go beyond simple connectivity, empowering businesses to deliver better mobile experiences than ever before as we fully enter the lower power Bluetooth era and as Wifi continues to become increasingly the primary network for the enterprise.

Mist’s founders said they want to help their customers exceed the expectations of the mobile generation. And in doing so, they envision the network becoming a business asset that delivers an experience beyond just connectivity.