ARM acquires eSIM company Simulity for £12m

ARM, paid £12m to acquire Simulity, an embedded communications, and related server-based applications.

Before its acquisition, Simulity was owned by private equity firm Foresight. It was only in Nov 2016 that Foresight had injected £4m in Simulity which followed the IoT connectivity company’s eight-fold increment in revenues leading up to 2016. At the time, Simulity had won over 45 customers from the mobile network operator industry.

Foresight, a venture capital firm having north of £2 billion of Assets under Management (AUM), was able to harvest a massive three-fold return in eight months of its investment in Simulity. However, it wouldn’t have been a safe bet if Foresight didn’t know a thing or two about the SIM market.

Prior to Simulity, the Foresight Group had also invested in Gemalto, the world’s largest manufacturer of SIM cards The Gemalto investment had returned “more than 30 times original investment,” notes the Foresight blog. The investment group injects between £1m and £5m in growth capital investments, management buy-ins and buyouts.

As for ARM, the company (Recently acquired itself by Softbank) has been expanding its presence in the IoT market. The chipmaker has acquired 10 startups including Simulity since Feb 2015.

“The institutional backing of Foresight allowed us to scale the business and continue to build our world leading team and technology, whilst also providing huge credibility in discussions with large global corporates,” said Stéphane Fund, founder and CEO Simulity.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Aira, smart eye-wear for visually impaired raises $12M Series B

Aira, a San Diego-based internet-connected eyewear that provides remote assistant services for the blind and visually impaired people. It consists of a tiny camera mounted on wearable devices (Google Glass and Vuzix) and Aira’s network of trained agents who assist blind and low-vision people in navigating the world. Assistance may take the form of guiding through the surroundings.

AT&T provides dedicated wireless bandwidth for the company’s certified agents.

The company recently raised $ 12M Series B to expand its services to more customers. The round was led by Jazz Venture Partners and Ann Arbor, MI-based Arboretum Ventures. The company’s solution is used by 100+ beta customers. The proceeds of the Series B round will be used for sales and marketing and develop new use cases by adding technologies such as AI and autonomous mode within the platform.

“People with low vision can use Aira to connect with a human agent who uses video feed from the headset or a phone’s camera to describe her environment for her and help navigate her through it. The agent also has access to a dashboard of data about her preferences, multiple maps, and information about her physical location”, wrote Michelle Donahue of PC Mag.

Aira’s wearable was tested during the Boston Marathon when one of the certified agents Jessica Jakeway remotely assisted Erich Manser In his first Boston Marathon using Aira technology. “The experience of “running” with Erich during the Boston Marathon will forever hold a unique place in my heart. Obviously, Erich and his sighted guide did all the heavy lifting, but knowing I played even a small role in making sure he got the most out of his race and made it to the finish line safely is an incredible feeling”, wrote Jessica on the company’s blog.

Below is a screengrab of Jessica’s view of the race from the agent dashboard.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things