BELLEVUE, Wash., May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Donuts Inc., the world's largest operator of new domain name extensions, said today the company has closed an investment in GeoFrenzy, Inc., a Tiburon, Calif.-based company that has developed a complete infrastructure for defining and managing smart geofences.
The first of several anticipated investments of this kind, Donuts is leveraging its capital and registry expertise to identify and invest in emerging technologies that promote new uses for domain names, leverage the domain name system (DNS), or otherwise are complementary to Donuts' interests.
Further terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Geofences and the DNS
A geofence is defined as "a virtual perimeter around a real-world geographic area" and is used by apps or connected devices to delineate borders of property, ensure privacy or security and to establish rules of use. Location-aware technologies, including drones, smart home appliances, driverless cars, "Internet of things" applications and other connected devices have more sophisticated needs for location context that help them make autonomous decisions.
In response to a developing marketplace need, GeoFrenzy developed the GeoNetTM, a patented technology that grids the entire Earth to a resolution of a square centimeter, maps longitude and latitude to a proprietary coordinate system and enables the creation and deployment of smart geofences. These smart fences contain metadata defining rules, permissions and device capabilities, allowing fence owners to control applications and/or devices operating in their geo space. The GeoNet is comprised of a geofence registry and a fence delivery network that operates over standard DNS, allowing fences to be cached locally for real-time and offline access, and the fencing agent, which is integrated into apps and devices.
"GeoFrenzy is the first investment to emerge from our Donuts Labs project, which was set up to foster innovation in and around our space," said Donuts co-founder and CEO Paul Stahura. "GeoFrenzy is a registry business that addresses a critical infrastructure gap in the rapidly evolving drone and Internet of things spaces. We look forward to leveraging our experience and core competencies in registry operations, DNS and policy compliance to help the company as it deploys its innovative platform in these interesting new areas."
"It's particularly exciting to have an investment from Donuts in this round of funding," said GeoFrenzy co-founder and CEO Sean Eilers. "Their expertise in managing a highly scalable registry and their experience with innovative DNS technologies makes Donuts an ideal fit as an investor and strategic partner."
The step forward was underlined by Patrik Fältström, a DNS expert and member of the GeoFrenzy advisory board. "A geofence registry will be important as emerging technologies like drones and Internet of things devices will require location context to make autonomous decisions. The DNS is a very useful and scalable infrastructure for such a registry, and this investment from Donuts will help further this innovative technology."
Additional investments expected
Stahura hinted at additional corporate development activity on the horizon for Donuts:
"As the new Internet namespace evolves and matures, we see a unique opportunity to grow both organically and through acquisition. Strategic investments are another important part of our overall strategy."
"There are outstanding opportunities available to put Donuts' abilities to work in companies that are similar to ours, use DNS technology, or simply are adjacent to our industry," Stahura said. "The Donuts team intends to be active in these developing areas."
Donuts securely operates the largest number of the Internet's top-level domain names and provides varied and relevant online identities, in multiple languages and character sets, to businesses, individuals, and organizations worldwide. Donuts is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, with offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and London. For more information, please visit www.donuts.domains.
GeoFrenzy enables applications and devices with geospatial context in order to make autonomous decisions. The company created the first end-to-end platform for the registration, management and delivery of "smart" geofences, and empowers virtual property administrators to establish entitlements for use of space. GeoFrenzy is headquartered in Tiburon, Calif. For more information, visit www.geofrenzy.com.
SOURCE Donuts Inc.