22 Dec Fluent Systems Acquired for $1 Million
Madison, Wis., — Fluent Systems, LLC, a start-up formed by two UW-Madison students, was acquired today by Raven Industries, Inc., for $1 million cash. The Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Raven is a manufacturing company, and Fluent Systems’ product, a wireless monitoring system for anhydrous ammonia for farmers, is expected to complement Raven’s existing line of flow control products.
“This is an exciting day for us at Fluent as it marks the culmination of over four and a half years of engineering and business development, which began while we were graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison,” said Chad Sorenson, Fluent Systems’ CEO. “The project was initiated to address problems encountered on an Iowan farm and led to the successful invention and later commercialization of the Fluent NH3 Monitor, a new wireless product for the application of a common fertilizer (anhydrous ammonia).”
Fluent Systems was founded in the spring of 2002 when the product’s inventor, Chad Sorenson, teamed up with fellow cohort, Jaume Villanueva. For the immediate future, Sorenson said he will be joining Raven to ease the transition and strengthen the prospects of its future success. Villanueva has no immediate plans, but will be staying on with Fluent through January.
“The decision to harvest the value created to-date by selling Fluent to Raven was motivated by our recognition that a larger corporation could diffuse this product into the marketplace much more efficiently and quickly than Fluent could alone,” Sorenson said. “The product’s niche market and seasonality made it a difficult basis of a stand-alone company; however, is almost certain to provide a compelling opportunity to another company in the context of a broader product portfolio.”
Jennifer Braico is a freelance writer and contributor to Wisconsin Technology Network. She can be reached at email@example.com.