Shoof Technologies, a startup providing wireless technology for the Industrial IoT raised $ 4.5M in seed funding. Kleiner Perkins and Modiva Japan led the round.
Shoof’s manufacturing and logistics customers will be able to use the solution for indoor and outdoor asset monitoring and tracking in early 2018. Shoof Tech’s solution consists of a cloud platform and equipment – including base stations and tags. With the current funding, Shoof plans to focus on manufacturing and transportation sector.
The startup’s primary focus in tracking indoor assets as the current wireless technologies such as GPS and cellular connectivity put a lot of strain on sensor battery. The batteries die out in a few hours making the solution inadequate to withstand the ruggedness of industrial settings. This is where Shoof Tech’s solution can fill the gap and provide round the clock industrial-grade internet connectivity to expensive assets.
“We are excited to partner with such reputable firms who share our vision of empowering the supply chain and logistics industries with efficient asset-monitoring and tracking connectivity technologies,” said Ra’ed Elmurib, CEO, Shoof Technologies. The startup operates on a ‘subscription-based’ business model whereby its customers incur a monthly recurring fee hence saving the latter from significant infrastructure set-up costs that any industrial-grade IoT solution requires.
Another asset intelligence startup Alchemy IoT recently raised $ 4M in seed investment.
NUMA, a Paris-based international technology, innovation, and startup incubator with presence in more than 11 cities throughout the world has launched NUMA Angers IoT, the manufacturing and business acceleration program dedicated to IoT startups. The accelerator has called for applications, open until February 21st, for the first program that begins from Mid-April 2018.
The five-month program is aimed at European startups with a functional prototype. The admitted startups will get help from entrepreneurs and experts in residence in design, sales and marketing. NUMA Angers IoT will also provide full-time access to industrial-grade machines and specialized staff to help with design, sourcing, manufacturing, specs, certifications, etc. to build a pre-series during the program. Each five-month program will have eight startups with an investment of €80,000 for each of the 8 selected startups.
“NUMA’s expertise in acceleration is orchestrated here with intense technical support. Precious resources to develop an industrial pre-series and a solid business approach”, said Romain Amblard, Partnerships Development Director at NUMA. The expansion of NUMA accelerator’s footprint in west France indicates its objectives to make the region a European reference in connected objects.
While the US has numerous IoT product startup incubators and accelerators, from Alchemist IoT Accelerator in San Francisco and Bolt in Boston to the New York-based/GA Connected Devices accelerator, it is NUMA that’s bringing silicon-valley style discipline in accelerating the European startups. With French president Emmanuel Macron as the cheerleader-in-chief for the French startup incubation, we will see more number of connected-products startups churned out by NUMA every five months.
C3 IoT, an AI and IoT software platform for digital transformation last week raised $ 100M in new funding. The company, formerly known as C3 Energy, previously raised $ 70M in Sep 2016 followed by a Series E round in Feb, 2017 that valued the company at $ 1.4B. Its total funding has reached $ 223 million since it was launched in 2009.
C3 IoT’s latest investment came from the founder Tom Siebel and Pat House, Tom’s co-founder at Siebel Systems. Existing backers TPG Growth, Breyer Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures also participated in the round.
C3 IoT’s core product is a platform as a service (PaaS) for rapidly developing and operating big data, predictive analytics, AI/machine learning, and IoT software as a service (SaaS) and apps. The company also offers configurable and extensible applications on top of its platform.
Some of the core applications C3 IoT has built on its PaaS include apps for predictive maintenance, energy management, sensor health management, and fraud detection.
Vdoo, an IoT cybersecurity startup that aims to become “Security Authority (SA) for connected-devices” raised $ 13M, capital it will use to develop and commercialize Vdoo’s IoT security platform. The funding was led by 83North (formerly Greylock IL). Other backers include Dell Technology Capital and individual investors, including David Strohm, Joe Tucci, and Victor Tsao.
Recent cyber attacks including the Mirai botnet and other IoT malware have brought endpoint security at the forefront with the most vulnerable being the ‘smart home’ devices.
Vdoo’s solution works by automatically classification and analysis of multiple aspects of the IoT device (such as device manufacturer, device type, network interface, OS, and software vendor). It then creates a device-specific threat landscape and generates actionable security requirements. The last leg of the solution involves verification of the device security level and providing a visual and digital seal to indicate the state of security to all other systems.
2017 saw an uptick in startup funding for the IoT-aimed cybersecurity startups. Nanolock, an IoT malware protection startup raised $ 4.5M in Oct last year, however, SparkCognition stole the show by raising a handsome Series B round of $ 32.5M for its AI-based cybersecurity platform. Dedicated startup funds were also launched with cybersecurity giant Trend Micro announcing a $ 100M fund for IoT startups in June last year.
Arrow Electronics, a supplier of industrial and commercial electronic components announced it has acquired eInfochips, a product engineering, and software R&D services company.
The acquisition will provide Arrow with some key IoT capabilities as eInfochips has 1,500 IoT solution architects, engineers, and software development resources globally. The acquired company is experienced in chip design, to product and IoT solution delivery, and across many industries.
IoT, cloud, and connected devices is a major practice area of eInfochips. Within the domain, it offers CloudOpS, DevOps, and IoT IPs and Frameworks. The company serves home and industrial automation, medical devices, logistics, retail and automotive industry.
Arrow’s acquisition of eInfochips makes sense in that the former is three key IoT verticals including agriculture, cities and medical. One of its flagship program for its customers is Sensor to Sunset which represents Arrow’s comprehensive portfolio of technology from sensors, wireless connectivity, gateways to cloud platforms, data ingestion, aggregation and visualization, analytics, and security. Acquiring eInfochips helps the company in expanding its services of ideation, design, integration, monitoring and managed services.
Yonomi, a mobile app and an enterprise cloud platform that lets users integrate their existing smart home devices raised a $ 5M Series A financing. It was led by led by Gentex, a leading supplier of connected car and digital vision features for the automotive industry.
The investment from Gentex is a ‘strategic’ one as the company is looking for ways to enhance its ‘connected car’ offerings by integrating them with smart products. Gentex launched HomeLink Connect, an in-vehicle home automation control. The control allows vehicle owners to trigger smart home Routines remotely from their car’s center console and/or rearview mirror. “The investment and partnership with Gentex further cements Yonomi’s position as a leading IoT platform,” said Kent Dickson, co-founder, and CEO of Yonomi.
Using Yonomi’s SaaS platform called Yonomi One, users can remotely control and integrate smart home products like Amazon Echo Dot, Sonos Play, and Philips Hue Color bulbs.
The company announced it will use the funding proceeds to expand its business and further promote its ThinCloud platform, channel partnerships, and sales and marketing.
Fieldin, an end-to-end pest management software using sensors to automatically record field data to make any tractor smart raised $ 4M in new funding. The round was co-lead by Gal Ventures and Germin8 Ventures.
Fieldin operates in the AgPest (Agricultural Pesticide) market and monitors pesticide and sprays used by professional specialty crop farmers. Designed essentially for perennial crops and primarily aimed towards for orchard, grove and vineyard growers.
The startup uses its sensor-based device appended to tractors to provide real-time speed, location, coverage and efficiency logs. It then uses the data to recommend spray methods and routine helping to correct spraying mistakes. The cloud-based software of Fieldin can be used to gain a situational view of pest levels, spray history and hotspots.
One of the key factors that are helping Fieldin gain a leg up over its competitors is the number of ‘sprayed acres’ it has monitored over the past two years (which according to the startup’s own estimate equals 1 million). This has helped the startup create a vast ‘AgPest Dataset’.
There’s been an uptick in the number of AgTech startups using a combination of hardware and software to provide farm data. Farmobile that raised a $ 18.1M Series B in Nov last year also uses a small device called PUC that installs on farm machinery. It then collects data wirelessly and relays to its cloud platform where it uses analytics to help farmers take corrective actions.
Similarly, the Australian startup The Yield raised $ 6.5M Series A funding in April last year where by the startup provides on-farm sensors and hardware with an advanced data analytics platform for farmers to improve crop yield and reduce weather-related uncertainty.
Smart Kitchen company Drop raised $ 8M in Series A funding. The round was led by Alsop Louie Partners with participation from Frontline, WI Harper and Irish celebrity chef Ross Lewis. The latest funding brought Drop’s total funding to $ 12M.
Drop’s core products are smart scale and the Drop mobile app. The weighing scale is a wireless gadget that can be used for accurate weighing from 6kg to under a gram. The scale’s battery is said to last up to a year of normal use. The app, on the other hand, is used to access interactive step-by-step recipes. It also proposes ingredient substitutes. In fact, the startup touts recipe rescaling and ingredient substitutions as one of the two differentiating factors of Drop’s smart kitchen products.
The startup plans to use the current funding to further develop its software platform called the Drop KitchenOS. The OS is intended to support other smart kitchen products from companies such as Bosch and GE.
The celebrity chef Ross Lewis praised Drop’s technology. “When I saw Drop’s app, I knew it was the future and I wanted to integrate it into our kitchen here. I am working closely with the team to share my culinary expertise to guide all future developments, and look forward to adding recipes myself,” said Lewis.
Akita, an IoT device watchdog station raised approximately $ 700,000 crowdfunding on Kickstarter. With 7000 plus backers, the startup promises to provide instant privacy for connected products.
The device performs three core activities i.e. scans connected gadgets/devices, blocks compromised devices and notifies the users of known issues. Akita comes with full support and help desk monitoring powered by Axius.
This device connects to a LAN port on users’ home router (not inline). The startup describes the device working as follows:
Akita’s Kickstarter received significant backing (both in terms o the number of backers and funds raised from the campaign), though, it only aimed to raise $ 30,000 initially.
The rise in popularity of privacy and network security devices is understandable. A home network, with several connected devices, need robust protections. That’s where other startups like Dojo and F-Secure also promise to secure network traffic and identify rouge devices.
Triggi, an IoT device connectivity startup from the Netherlands raised $ 1.3M. The investment round was led by Pim Schmitz, the CEO of Talpa.
Triggi helps Philips Hue, Fitbit, Amazon Alexa, Next Thermostat, and other connected devices talk to each other. The founding team previously launched Toon, a European equivalent of Next Thermostat. Triggi will use the funding proceeds to fast-track the development of the platform.
Customers can connect online services and smart devices to each other using Triggi. For instance, one can set the alarm automatically if not at home. Or switch on the lights when the sun goes down.
The startup defines a ‘Trig’ as a “personal selection of conditions and actions to make something happen through the Triggi app. A condition is a thing that should happen for the trigg to start. A trigg consists of at least one WHEN condition and one THEN action”.
There are other connectivity services as well, like IFTTT and Zapier primarily for connecting web services. However, Trigg is aimed towards ‘connected devices’ that might need multiple conditions and triggers to be able to connect to each other.