Jiobit raises $6.5 million to ramp up production of its child tracker

This article was originally published on Crain’s here, and written by John Pletz.

Jiobit is ramping up production of its wireless device for keeping track of children with $6.5 million in new funding.

The company, founded three years ago by former Motorola Mobility executives John Renaldi and Roger Ady, raised capital from Netgear, a Silicon Valley maker of wireless-networking equipment, as well as Math Venture Partners, Techstars Ventures, Wakestream Ventures, Sandalphon Capital, former Motorola and Google executive Lior Ron, Cartavi founder Glenn Shimkus and angel investor Sam Guren. Jiobit has now raised $11 million.

Renaldi launched the consumer-electronics company after his son was lost briefly in Maggie Daley Park. Jiobit started shipping the product, which sells for $99, plus $8.99 monthly for connectivity, a year ago. “The core business has really taken off,” said Renaldi, who plans to step up marketing and sales. But first it has to crank up production. The tracker is currently sold out and has a waiting list. “The fundraising allows us to catch up with demand.”

The company was accepted into Amazon’s Launchpad program, which helps startups ramp up to sell on the giant e-commerce site. Jiobit also has developed a pet tracker, which it plans to launch soon. It has 22 employees, up from about 18 a year ago, and will continue to hire.