WASHINGTON … Wireless communications provider InPhonic, which has acquired two Research Triangle-area startups over the past 18 months, has landed a $56 million investment from Technology Crossover Ventures of Palo Alto, Calif.

InPhonic also announced several high-profile additions to its board of directors, including former congressman and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, co-founding partner of TCV Jay Hoag and RAF Industries Chief Executive Bob Fox.

Two months ago, InPhonic acquired mobile marketing company Avesair, and in December 2001, it purchased GadgetSpace. Both firms were based in Cary.

InPhonic is a full-service provider of wireless voice and data communication solutions for enterprises, online businesses, national retailers and their end-users. In addition to its online device activation and distribution business, the company helps businesses and carriers develop and deploy new revenue-generating opportunities, including private-label wireless services.

“We have built a significant business as a leading provider of wireless distribution on the Internet with a network of over 5,000 clients and affiliates,” Chief Executive David Steinberg said in a statement. “This investment validates the success of our current business while demonstrating TCV’s confidence in our future growth potential and that of the wireless market. With this investment, we are well positioned to continue that growth and own the wireless distribution space.”

A large percentage of the $56 million invested by TCV is structured as the purchase of existing, privately held shares of InPhonic, with a smaller portion of the funding pending the approval of a Hart-Scott-Rodino filing.

InPhonic: www.inphonic.com