Growing Carroll County Tech Firm RFID Global Raises $2.5 Million

Company plans to use cash to bolster staff, sales of new products

A Carroll County technology firm lured to Maryland by government contracting opportunities has raised $2.5 million in venture capital, helping to build up a growing technology community in Eldersburg, Maryland.

RFID Global Solution Inc. has received the backing of WWC Capital of Reston, Va., and unnamed angel investors to grow its staff and sales. RFID technology uses radio waves to track electronic tags, used by companies and government agencies to track important equipment during shipping and moving.

The money will help the company add staff in a former manufacturing facility where other technology companies have also been growing. RFID technology has been the focus of some major deals and investments nationally, and RFID Global Solution is looking to help build the momentum.

The company was founded in Bentonville, Arkansas in 2004, helping to craft RFID technology for Wal-Mart to use in its supply chain. But as the opportunities to sell and apply the technology in the defense industry grew, leaders looked to get closer to Washington, D.C. They settled on Eldersburg in 2008 when Carroll County officials lured them with a space in the former London Fog manufacturing facility where other technology companies were growing, said CEO Diana Hage.

Hage wouldn’t disclose how many employees work there now, for competitive reasons, but said the company is looking to add a handful of new staff to develop and sell products. Some of that hiring will be in a new Palo Alto, Calif., office the company opened last month.

Competition in the industry is strong. Hage was reluctant to give details on her company’s finances and hiring. But, she pointed out, the industry is gaining in size and investment. Among larger RFID firms, Seattle-based Impinj announced plans in April to file for a $100 million initial public stock offering, for example.

Carroll County economic development chief Larry Twele said he is pleased with the growth happening at the London Fog facility. It has been three years since technology firm GSE Systems moved in, and it has nearly doubled from an initial staff of about 85, he said.

Twele said he hopes to continue marketing southeastern Carroll County as a good location for companies looking to be close to both Baltimore and Washington. That means the area is competing largely with Howard and Anne Arundel counties.