Acuity Brands, an Atlanta based electronics manufacturing company announced its acquisition of Lucid Design Group, a provider of building analytics and business intelligence platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Acuity looks forward to unlocking the value of the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities in buildings by combining Lucid’s software platform with Acuity Brand’s networked sensors.
Based in Oakland, CA, Lucid provides a SaaS-based BuildingOS platform that enables users to gain insights into the operations of their buildings. Lucid has built integrations into over 180 different building data systems and services, including systems tracking utility data, building automation systems, work order systems, and property management solutions.
Acuity Brands, a leading provider of lighting and building management solutions hit $ 3.5 billion in sales in 2017. While the acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on the financial bottom line of the company this year, it will fuel growth for Acuity in years to come.
Over the past few years, Acuity Brands is transforming from a traditional lighting manufacturer into a state-of-the-art software solution provider within the IoT domain. In July 2016, Acuity made a similar acquisition of 100 percent equity stake in San Francisco-based DGLogik Inc., a provider of innovative software solutions for efficient energy usage and facility performance to enhance its portfolio of holistic IoT solutions.
Losant, an edge-to-analytics platform for enterprise IoT customers raised a $ 5.2M Series A round. It was led by CincyTech with participation from Rise of the Rest Seed fund, TechNexus, and Vine Street Ventures.
Losant’s backer $ 150M ROTR (Rise of the Rest) seed fund is itself backed by notables like Eric Schmitt, Jeff Bezos, Meg Whiteman, Michael Bloomberg, and Reid Hoffman. ROTR fund was launched by Revolution, a DC-based venture capital firm. ROTR is aimed at backing startups outside Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston area.
CincyTech, the main backer of Losant is a venture capital firm that invests in enterprise and business software apps, digital health, and life sciences.
Losant is among the nice portfolio companies being funded in ROTR’s current program. The startup’s core product is SaaS platform that consists of several modules including Edge, Helm, Aperture, Alloy and Kiln. For instance, the Edge consists of device libraries (helps in device connectivity & firmware dev), gateways, and edge compute engine. Losant also offers SDKs and APIs for industrial customers to build their own connected services using the startup’s platform.
The startup plans to use the funding proceeds to scale its IoT platform to serve more customers as it currently has several big clients like Verizon, Bosch, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Google announced yesterday that it will acquire Xively from LogMeIn for $ 50M. This marks Google consolidation in the managed IoT marketplace as the latter expects 20 billion connected things to come online by 2020.
Xively allows enterprises to activate ‘connected products’ whereby its platform offers several features such as device connectivity, data management, identity management, integrations, security, and analytics. Smart home, smart energy, and connected products are typical use cases of Xively’s platform.
The acquisition will allow Google’s customers to add connectivity to their devices from the beginning as opposed to adding it as an ‘after-thought’. This will make the connection between the cloud-mobile app and ‘connected product’ more efficient and easy.
LogMeIn sold Xively to focus on ‘unified communications’ market. Two popular products it owns in the space are GoToMeeting and Join.me. Thus, the sale will give LogMeIn the much-needed cash it needs to purchase Jive communications, a cloud-based phone services company for $ 357M. LogMeIn also plans to expand its AI-powered customer engagement portfolio. The deal is even better for LogMeIn considering it bought Xively for $ 12 million in 2014.
As for Google, it gets a well-established ‘connected products’ management platform that it will upsell to its existing and new customers of Google Cloud IoT. And, Xively can itself become a ‘billion’ dollar business unit within Google as the latter’s combined cloud business generates nearly $ 1B in revenues.
Another acquisition that took place last month was that of elnfochips. It was acquired by Arrow Electronics to consolidate its IoT market via elnfochips’ 1,500 IoT solution architects, engineers, and software development resources globally.
Xperiel, an Internet of Things Augmented Reality (IoT/AR) company raised a $ 7M Series A round. Investors include Scott Cook, Co-Founder of Intuit, Cyan Banister of Founders Fund, WTI and the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings.
The startup promises to help businesses reach customers via mesh-up of IoT and VR. It provides a platform called Real World Web (RWW) using Xperiel’s patented technology. It is also introducing a programming language called ROX for its RWW platform. ROX is itself based on ‘Pebbling’, a technology that Experiel claims can help build complex, multi-app, real-world services without complex coding requirements. The main goal of using this technology is to quickly create interactive, immersive digital experiences for consumers.
The closest comparison Xperiel makes is with Photoshop, Maya, or SimCity and other graphical applications. It also introduces the concept of ‘Triggers’ which the startup explains as follows:
Xperiel’s main application is in professional sports, entertainment, retail and the startup boasts having customers such as New York Jets, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pepsico. These brands use its platform to design immersive applications that work across any device or operating system.
As IoT and VR go mainstream, startups have meshed up both technologies to create superior and more engaging experiences. Another AR/IoT startup called RealWear also closed $ 17M in new funding. The startup provides wearables incorporating VR capabilities that industrial workers can use. Tesla, Walmart, and Amazon are reported to be among RealWear’s customers.
Vancouver based startup RealWear has raised $ 13.5M (17M CAD) and seeks another $ 3M, reveals the startup’s SEC filings. The company plans to use $ 20 million investment to get its product, head-worn computers called HMT-1, into the hands of more companies.
Founded in Silicon Valley, RealWear was headquartered in Milpitas, California and shifted to Vancouver in last summer with its presence in Shanghai, China. According to Silicon Forest standards, an early stage round of $ 20 million is a huge amount of investment.
RealWear’s product HMT-1 is a hand free wearable computer that connects industrial workers in the field and helps industrial companies implement the ‘Connected Worker’ program. It’s OS is an Android 6.0.1 (AOSP) and runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.0 GHz 8-core chipset. It supports Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS. The wearable devices come packed with microphones, speakers, cameras, and additional ports.
Andy Lowery, CEO of RealWear stated that the company has pilot projects in the pipeline with large enterprises like Tesla, WalMart, Amazon, and Boeing. One of the investors is another Vancouver based company, Columbia Ventures which has invested $ 8M in the startup.