Reality AI raises $1.7M to power IoT device products with artificial intelligence

Reality AI, a New York-based SaaS application for R&D engineers developing IoT products closed a $ 1.7M seed investment round on May 15, 2017. The round was led by TechNexus Venture Collaborative, angel investors, and family offices.

The startup will use the proceeds for sales, marketing, and business development. Customers can “use it to create signal classifiers and detectors that can be used with your own devices and distributed as part of your own products”, reads the company’s software specification document.

At its core, Reality AI is an AI-based (Artificial Intelligence) signal processing company for device products instrumented with sensors i.e. sound, voltage/current, vibration, and proprietary sensors. The software is used to create classifiers and detectors that identify events in the real-time sensor input.

The key use cases of Reality AI are predictive maintenance and condition monitoring in industrial equipment. Customers can also put up the sensors on their mixers, pumps, or a robotic assembly unit to track equipment health.

Another application area of Reality AI is customers looking to generate precision data on their map data collected by drones. In short, the software can be used to garner intelligence from signals captured by off the shelf sensors.

“Our technology solves extremely difficult detection and classification problems in messy, high-variation, real- world signal data – but does it in a package that is usable by a working engineer who is not an expert in signal processing or machine learning. Plus, our customers can deploy on hardware they are already using”, said Stuart Feffer, chief executive officer and of the co-founder of Reality AI.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Dor raises $3.8M for its sensor-based analytics platform

Dor, a Calif. based wireless, thermal-sensing people counter and analytics startup raised $ 3.8M seed capital on May 17, 2017. The round was led by Zetta Venture Partners and Vertex Ventures.

The solution consists of a foot traffic battery-powered sensor and analytics platform for retail organizations. “The data that comes out of the sensor looks like an audio stream. So we have to tell it that it’s a human vs. a gust of wind. We implemented a machine learning algorithm that was taught with known data”, said Michael Brand, CEO of Dor.

The plug-n-play solution is based on proprietary thermal sensing technology combined with machine learning algorithms. It can be used for retail use cases such as customer traffic forecasting, enabling retailers to optimize staffing, improve marketing and increase conversion.

The hardware component of Dor is a sensor hub that gathers foot traffic data. The analytics and API component helps in visualizing foot traffic data. The app incorporates real-time weather data to balance its effects on the store traffic.

A key differentiator of Dor’s solution is that it’s unlike the traditional foot traffic solutions that include mounting a camera, break-beam and Wi-Fi systems. Retail stores can integrate Dor with POS systems like Square and Lightspeed. It lets retailers automatically calculate and track conversion rates to help correlate revenues with foot traffic.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

IoTium Closes $8.4M Series A to compete in IIoT networking

IoTium, a Santa Clara-based network infrastructure company for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), announced on May 11th, 2017 that it has raised $ 8.39M in Series A funding. The round was led by March Capital Partners and GE Ventures. Other investors included OpenSource Ventures and Juniper Networks.

The NaaS (Network-as-a-Service) provider will use the proceeds to expand into new verticals such as building & industrial automation, oil and gas, transportation and smart city. IoTium aims to connect legacy on-site systems in industrial environments with cloud applications. The primary challenge that the startup promises to solve is deployment complexity related to security and scalability in IIoT applications.

The three main use cases of IoTium’s technology are secure remote connectivity, network infrastructure for smart lighting, and smart city app containerization.

The interest of large companies is IoT-based network providers has increased. It was only recently that Cisco announced to acquire Viptela, a networking technology startup based in San Jose for $ 610M. Another startup, Nevada-based wireless industrial networks provider Filament had raised $ 15M in new funding in April 2017.

Use the IoT Standards and Protocol guide to help clarify with IoT layer technology stack and head-to-head comparisons.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Soofa, Solar-Powered Bench Maker Raises $2.5M in Seed Capital

Soofa, an MIT Media Lab spin-off raised $ 2.5M in Seed Round. Led by Underscore VC, other participants included Accomplice and Pillar. Soofa had also raised $ 675K seed round before the recent round, The startup builds solar-powered hubs for smart and social spaces in cities.

Soofa is led by founders Jutta Friedrichs and Sandra Richter. The three main products of the startup are Soofa Bench, Soofa Sign, and Soofa Pro Sensor. The bench charges people’s phones and has space for 3 people to sit. The primary customer of the bench are parks, bus stops, downtown plazas and city governments.

Soofa Bench sensor, also known as Soofa Pro, measures activity in outdoor public spaces. You can see how people are using the spaces in your city, neighborhood, or mixed-use real estate project. It brings benches into the internet era and gives you detailed insights into space utilization. The City of Las Cruces, New Mexico used Soofa’s technology to measure pedestrian traffic and analyze the patterns of public WiFi use.

Companies can use the Soofa Bench backrest for marketing by sponsoring the bench.

Soofa Sign is the solar-powered Eink sign for smart parks and bus stops. Its main use cases are branding and wayfinding which can also be used to communicate bus arrival times and event programs.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

DMI Acquires Lochbridge to Enter IoT Market

Lochbridge, a Detroit-based IoT services company developing solutions for the automotive, healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing sectors was acquired by DMI (Digital Management Inc.). The acquisition was announced on 8 May 2017. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

DMI is an end-to-end mobility services company which provides enterprise mobility solutions. The acquisition will help DMI augment its mobility, commerce, analytics, and mobility platform offerings with IoT capabilities. Furthermore, the company will extend its current offerings to the connected car and IoT market where Lochbridge already has a strong presence.

On being asked if tech giants such as Apple and Google pose a threat to connected car companies as the former enter this industry, Lochbridge’s VP Raj Paul said that “Last year we commissioned a study which shows a huge gap in the consumer needs versus industry offerings. Nearly half of the respondents, including two-thirds of the Millennials, want to access the same apps on their phones. Unless the automotive industry satisfies this need, the door will be open for technology players, such as Apple and Google, to capitalize on the opportunity”.

DMI, the company which acquired Lochbridge has customers in multiple industries including retail, energy, government, and wearables. DMI and Lochbridge have collectively worked with the world’s top five automobile OEMs, Tennant Company, and Covenant Transport.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

IOTAS Snaps $5.3M to Fast Track Home Automation Solutions

IOTAS, a Portland, Oregon-based home automation platform raised $ 5.3M in new funding. The funding round was led by Oregon Angel Fund and Rogue Venture Partners.

The startup offers an integrated solution consisting of hardware (switches, outlets, thermostats, and sensors) and software (the IOTAS app) to Multi-Family-Homes (MFH) for making apartments smart and intelligent. The software lets users manage up to 30 devices through one unit via IOTAS mobile app while neatly integrating with third party apps like Nest, Amazon Echo, August, and others.

The complete IOTAS (IoT-as-a-Service) solution consists of hardware, software and Android and iOS apps.

The hardware consists of IOTAS Hub, Smart Switches, Smart Outlets, Door sensors, Motion Sensors and Smart Thermostats. The platform also integrates with third-party hardware like door locks, ceiling fans, garage doors and voice control apps. The hardware “plugs right into the standard light switch and power outlet fittings”, wrote Klint Finley of Wired.

The system works through central online services where user profiles are saved and their usage patterns are recorded. IOTAS is aimed towards property managers and renters. Residents can move in a new apartment and download the app to start using the smart home devices (motion sensors, light switches, and power outlets).

A key differentiation of IOTAS is its ability to use its machine learning algorithms to build ‘user stories’. A typical user story is a routine that a user follows during the weekdays, weekend, or when on a holiday. “We can create software for [an apartment] that would automate what we call ‘stories,’ like a ‘welcome-home’ story, or an ‘out-for-the-day’ story. That’s where it becomes really interesting, to be able to essentially copy and paste your stories from one apartment to another”, says Sce Pike, IOTAS founder, and CEO.

Use the Postscapes Smart Home Guide to filter based on product type (Energy Savings, DIY Systems, etc).


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

People Power Raises $3.2M to Induce Smart Home Solutions

The Palo-Alto-based People Power, an IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) software company raised $ 3.2M Series B-1 led by Innogy SE (ETR: IGY) and Origin Energy (ASX: ORG). The successful round brings People Power’s total investments to $ 14 million since the company started in Jan 2009.

Security, energy and home care services are key areas where the company sells its white label IoT solutions. The two core products of the company are People Power IoT Gateway and the People Power IoT Suite.

The AI-based gateway learns and enforces expected patterns of network traffic. The gateway is capable of flagging abnormal network activities and anomalies making it an intelligent device. The connectivity device incorporates ZigBee 3.0 and Green Power, BLE 4.1, WLAN 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n, Z-Wave (optional) and cellular connectivity technologies. For storage, the device uses local Micro SD storage and USB 2.0.

The People Power IoT Suite lets OEMs and service providers connect, learn, and manage their IoT devices using the IoT suite. It contains:

• Presto, an open source SDK

• Virtuoso, an app framework for iOS, Android, and Web for IoT application deployment

• Bot Services

• Symphony, a carrier-grade cloud server

• Analytics engine

People Power adds artificial intelligence to the system. It does so by letting different bots within its platform talk to each other to prioritize tasks. A user’s Smart Lighting Intelligence Bot will directly communicate to the Security Intelligence bot in order to prioritize whether to save energy by switching off lights or keep lights switched on for security purposes at a given moment. The system lets bots optimize tasks for an optimal outcome for the user.

Led by Moss and CEO Gene Wang, the company boasts a number of global consumer service brands, including the world’s largest telecom company China Mobile.

The Artificial Intelligence & IoT-based startup is operating in an ever competitive niche of connected home products, though it white labels its solutions letting it partner with other companies vying for the same market.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

IIoT Security Company Mocana Nets $11M Series F

Mocana, a software and services provider of IoT security solutions for industrial control systems, embedded systems, and the Internet of Things raised $ 11 million Series F on May 16, 2017. The new funding round was led by Sway Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Trident Capital Fund and GE Ventures.

The company which started out in 2004 and boasts more than 200 industrial automation and IoT customers provides a full-stack IoT security engine that can be embedded into endpoints, gateways and cloud servers all the way up to authentication of users. The integrated solution composes of software modules and advanced services.

It secures the industrial control systems through several services including pre-boot verification of firmware; strong cryptography to validate the BIOS, certificates based signing and verification, and platform attestation.

Mocana also launched an IoT Trust Engine which is “an abstraction layer that leverages new security features from chip makers like ARM Ltd. and Intel Corp., coupled with automatic certificate management”, wrote Duncan Riley of Silicon Angle. From system boot up to control system operations, the platform is a unified cyber security solution for IIoT.

The company’s Total Equity Funding $ 76.26M in 8 Rounds from 10 Investors. It also includes a debt-financed round of $ 4.47M in Jan 2015. Postscapes IoT Security Guide can be used to find and compare companies offering IoT security services. Other companies that recently launched their IoT security solutions include Cloudflare Orbit, an IoT security alliance, and Homeland Security Department investing in five IoT security startups.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Avnet unveils Visible Things Kit to fast track Industrial IoT application development

Avnet, a global technology distributor launched the new SK002 Visible Things Industrial IoT Starter Kit consisting of integrated hardware and embedded software. It can be used to design, test, and deploy IoT projects and systems. The company will showcase the kit at the Internet of Things World Santa Clara Convention Center.

The company already sells a wide variety of IoT products from capacitors, embedded devices, gateway solutions, low-power wide area networking technologies, and microcontrollers to wireless and GPS modules.

The kit includes:

• Smart pressure and energy-harvesting sensors

• Controller area network (CAN)

• NFC connectivity

• Embedded vision and audio

• Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Avnet will also sell an industrial version of the IoT development kit. It will include a smart sensor board with Bluetooth connectivity which lets it send data to a Wi-Fi gateway board. The sensor data is then connected to the cloud services for visualization and analytics.

Use the Postscapes IoT Hardware Guide to compare leading IoT boards/kits to get reviews and pricing info.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things