Knoxville-based TrakLok attracts VC investment

Money has been tight in recent years, but Knoxville-based TrakLok Corp. scored big this week when Innova, a Memphis venture capital group, said it would invest in the developer of a security device for shipping containers.

Innova is providing “about 25 percent of the capital we’re looking for in this round,” said TrakLok CEO Eric Dobson. In return, Innova gets an equity stake in the Knoxville start-up.

Innova is a participant in TNInvestco, a state program designed to bring new capital to Tennessee and provide seed money for early stage companies based here.

Although terms of the investment agreement prohibit him from disclosing too many details, Dobson said Innova’s investment will be more than enough for TrakLok to launch a sales and marketing effort and begin production.

TrakLok’s product is a unique security device that tracks the location of a shipping container and ensures that it is not opened until it arrives at the intended destination,

Potential markets for the TrakLok device include high-tech equipment makers, pharmaceutical companies and others. Dobson said.

“We’d like to talk to (the Department of Energy) about some of the materials they ship out of Oak Ridge, Dobson said.

TrakLok continues to look for addition investors and is in serious talks with other funds, Hobson said.

“We’re beating the bushes as hard as we can,” he said.