First up this week is Clearwire, a wireless-networking provider whose ambitions include someday replacing the existing cellular network. Sounds like an expensive proposition, right? You bet it is. That's why, in May, the company filed a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise at least $400 million from an IPO.
But I wrote then that it wouldn't be nearly enough to grow the business and, at the same time, cover its existing $250 million in debt. Now it seems I may have been right. Clearwire has canceled its IPO plans in favor of accepting -- wait for it -- a $900 million private equity investment led by Intel's venture investing arm, which will contribute $600 million of the total. Motorola (NYSE: MOT ) is also in on the deal and, according to VentureWire, will purchase Clearwire's hardware business for an additional undisclosed amount.
I've still my doubts as to the veracity of an entirely new network, but many said the same of Craig McCaw before he helped to build the first nationwide cellular system. Now, as co-chief executive of Clearwire, he's got more than double the money that most expected he would have to work with. And it just might be enough to shatter some long-held beliefs about what Wi-Fi and its younger, stronger brother, WiMax, are capable of.
Next up this week is EcoSMART Technologies, a company dedicated to creating environmentally safe pesticides. Recently, the company raised a $9 million in a series B round of funding to help it bring more of its products, which are based on plant oils, to the market.
It's certainly a compelling idea. Pest control is big business. Consider Terminix, a unit of Motley Fool Income Investor selection ServiceMaster (NYSE: SVM ) . It recorded $1.1 billion in sales during 2005 and grew operating profits by 10%.
Most interesting to me, though, is that the company was founded 14 years ago when then-lawyer Steve Bessette couldn't find an organic pest-control alternative to appease his wife, who didn't want their house sprayed while she was pregnant with twins, reports VentureWire. Entrepreneurship built on personal inspiration is often Rule Breaking, and it can be remarkably rewarding. Just ask the shareholders of Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM ) , which was born of a challenge from Web creator Tim Berners-Lee to find a way to make the Internet more efficient. Today, those shareholders are sitting on multibagger gains.
And that's all for now. See you back here next Friday, when we continue the quest to find the next ultimate growth stock.
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Fool contributorTim Beyersis still toying with VoIP. He's not yet ready for a Wi-Fi phone. Tim owns shares of Akamai, and you can find out what other stocks he owns by checking Tim's Foolprofile. The Motley Fool has an ironcladdisclosure policy.