Sensor-based end-to-end IoT platform Cloudleaf snaps $13M Series A

Cloudleaf, an industrial IoT company providing sensors, gateways and cloud technologies raised a $ 13M Series A round. Seasoned investors like IndusAge Partners, Bold Capital Partners, Tandem Capital, and Mahindra Partners participated in the funding round.

Cloudleaf Sensor Fabric

The company was founded in 2014 with an undisclosed amount of seed capital. It markets its technology under the brand name of ‘Cloudleaf Sensor Fabric’. The fabric is just a mesh of location-aware sensors, end-points, gateways, and cloud-based platform for data analysis.

The Cloudleaf sensors and end-points collect location and contextual data and send it to the cloud platform. The cloud-based services of the platform let users access real-time metrics, historical trends, KPIs, and rule-based alerts.

Cloudleaf Business Rules Engines

The startup boasts having big-name customers such as Tesla Motors, Chevron, Mahindra, and McKinsey & Company. A key reason of Cloudleaf attracting customers across different verticals is that its sensor and end-point-based technology coupled with cloud-based analytics engine can be deployed in rugged environments as well.

As for use cases, the ‘Cloudlead Sensor Fabric’ can be used for asset utilization, factory floor operations, and condition monitoring of critical ‘things’. A close look at the company’s patents reveals that it holds three patents titled “Systems, methods, and devices for asset status determination”. The sensor devices collect data via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication signals from the leaf node device to the middleware and then on to the cloud-platform.

As the enterprise IoT gets heated, new companies have launched end-to-end platforms. The approach addresses a key problem of fragmentation between vendors and various systems as it gives rise to interoperability challenges. Particle, another full-stack IoT device platform banked $ 20M Series B in July this year. It also offers a cloud-based platform, device management console, cellular IoT SIMs, and asset tracking devices.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Comcast buys Stringify to consolidate its smart home product portfolio

Comcast, a cable and television conglomerate will acquire Stringify, an automation service for the IoT products and services. The app enables people to connect all their physical products and digital services in one place.

Stringify Android App

Stringify operates in a manner similar to IFTTT, a popular web-based service that people use to create chains of simple conditional statements to automatically trigger rule-based actions. The upstart app acquired by Comcast supports over 600 physical products and digital services through its platform.

Users can either search for ‘things’ that the app supports, such as fitness trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone, and smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Otherwise, the user may select ‘flows’ that combine different things around specific themes such as movie night, triggering the home, or smart alert. A typical flow may work this:

“Quick alarm system that turns on a light for 5 minutes and calls a phone number via IFTTT when your location is not at home and either a motion is detected or the door opens. Must be paired with the Stringify applet on IFTTT,” observes Stringify in its datasheet.

On the other hand, the acquisition of Stringify makes sense in Comcast’s case. The cable and telecom giant has been strengthening its smart home offerings with the addition of XFINITY Home and XFINITY xFi, a Comcast device that lets its internet customers set up their home WiFi and control it via a mobile app and an accompanying gateway.

Comcast also acquired iControl Networks in June last year. iControl provided smart home security solutions and was also used by Comcast to build its Xfinity Home platform.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

IoT Sensor analytics platform Sixgill banks $27.9M Series B

Sixgill, a platform-as-a-service for managing sensor-data raised a $ 27.9M Series B round at an unknown valuation. DRW Venture Capital led the round with participation from Mobile Financial Partners.

Sense brings the scattered pieces of IoT together

The company previously raised venture funding of $ 6M in March last year. Its total equity funding has reached $ 33.9M in two rounds from three investors. Existing investors led the previous round as well. The platform’s primary use case is helping to collect torrents of new sensor data, originating from multiple sensors, at one place.

“Cheap and plentiful sensors are penetrating every corner of the enterprise, generating valuable data and creating a vast opportunity to make any organization smarter and more responsive.” Sixgill is building the foundation data services that can help every industry tap the next leg of productivity growth,” said Harry Hopper, founder & managing partner at Mobile Financial Partners.

Sixgill Sense

Products include Sixgill Sense, Sixgill mobile SDK called Reach, an API, and a companion app called Sixgill Sync.

The Sense software has a sensor intelligence engine that collects sensor and location data. The platform’s mobile SDK can be added to an existing mobile app to provide the 3rd party mobile app with sensor data intelligence capabilities. Using the mobile app Reach, users can access data from multiple sources such as GPS, a cellular network, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and beacons.

Typical scenarios supported by the Sixgill platform include sensor data analysis, triggering rule-based actions, context-specific messaging, and track people and things via a cloud dashboard.

Sixgill markets itself as an end-to-end platform providing acquisition, analysis and action capabilities.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Itron to buy IoT networking company Silver Springs Network for $830M approx

Itron, a Washington-based technology company that installs smart meters for electricity, gas, and water announced yesterday that it will acquire Silver Spring Networks, an IoT networking company.

Itron will pay approx. $ 830M to purchase all outstanding shares of Silver Spring at $ 16.25 per share, a premium of 25% to Friday’s $ 13 closing share price of Silver Spring Networks. The deal is expected to complete by early 2018.

Silver Spring Networks Interpreter

The deal fits well with Itron’s overall market strategy of strengthening its smart city products and services. It also provides Itron with connections to some of the well-funded clients of IoT services. Silver Springs has clients such as the city governments of Bristol, Glasgow, Copenhagen, and Chicago.

Interestingly, Itron has gradually strengthened its IoT portfolio in both products and software. The company has used acquisitions as a growth strategy since 1987 when it first acquired companies in Europe. In May this year, it paid $ 100M in cash to acquire Comverge, a company selling demand management solutions for electric utilities.

In context of Silver Spring Networks, it gets to keep $ 118M cash from its existing earnings, reports Reuters.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

IoT device security startup Axonius closes $4M Seed capital

Axonius, a software startup that provides a platform to see and control mobile, compute and IoT devices, instances and machines raised a $ 4M Seed round. YL Ventures led the round with participation from Emerge Capital and Vertex Ventures.

Axonius Platform

The primary use case of the solution developed by Axonius is an organization having multiple devices, systems, and machines connected to their network on premise, remote, or in the cloud. As a result, security and IT team have a hard time gaining visibility and control over types and number of devices that can connect to the network. It also allows hackers to exploit the less-secure end-points. This is where Axonius comes and helps track all network devices.

The solution integrates with existing visibility solutions on the network via an adaptor API framework. Though companies traditionally use NOP (Network Operation Centers) to gain network visibility, Axonius promises to augment the capability of NOP with more granular data.

For instance, IT and security managers will be able to answer questions such as “How many devices do they have?” “Are they up to date and secure?

The Axonius consists of an extensible platform connected to 3rd party services/solutions via an adapter API and plug-in framework.

As organizations compete to add more connectivity to their existing and new solutions, there’s an influx of devices and the need to secure them from hacking and phishing attacks. Another IoT device security startup Cloudpost Networks also raised $ 4M see round in June this year.

The Postscapes IoT Security can be used to take a closer look at the technologies, companies, and products helping to secure the emerging Internet of Things.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things