SmartLink Radio Networks

announced that it has secured $12 million in its first round of institutional funding. The round was led by General Catalyst Partners and Highland Capital Partners.

SmartLink was attractive to investors because of its interoperability solution that enables interoperable communications between various first responders, according to Mark Hatten, the company’s founder and current chairman and CEO.

“There is a problem in this country, and that is public-safety entities lack the ability to communicate with each other. The problem is so pronounced that even common citizens are aware of it,” Hatten said. “Federal and state governments have made it a priority to fix the problem, they need a solution, and we have a viable solution.” At the core of SmartLink’s solution is a softswitch that ties into repeaters that are deployed in the field. The Softswitch takes a call from the repeater, breaks it down into its most basic elements, then rebuilds the call to match the frequencies and protocols being used by first responders who are registered in a pre-determined call group.