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.