Aquabyte, a fish-farm monitoring startup developing a smart camera system and web dashboard raised $ 3.5M seed funding. The round was co-led by NEA and Costanoa Ventures. Princeton University and the US and Norwegian investors also participated in the round.
The startup, founded by Amit Mukherjee in 2017 and headquartered in San Francisco will use the proceeds to build a team of developers and to refine its machine learning software.
Aquabyte’s solution consists of a smart camera system and web dashboard that utilizes computer vision technology. The camera is installed on a fish farmer’s net pen, and real-time farm metrics can be accessed via the web dashboard. Underwater 3D cameras and gauge parameters of temperature and oxygen help track the critical data. Typical metrics that Aquabyte’s cameras and machine learning algorithms will track include lice count, biomass estimation, appetite detection, and feed calculations.
Global fish trade was expected to hit an all-time high, and expected to rise more than $ 150bn last year, according to The Financial Times. One of the major costs incurred in fish farming is that of the feed, hence the company aims to control the feed cost using machine learning algorithms. If successful, it will help farmers to save up to 20-30% of the feed cost. The company is set to expand operations to Norway as the fish farming market is bigger in the Nordic countries as compared to the United States.
Mnubo, a company offering IoT analytics and artificial intelligence solutions to connected product manufacturers raised a $ 16.5M Series B led by HSB Group, part of Munich Re. Existing investors White Star Capital and McRock Capital also participated in the round.
Mnubo started out with a seed round in June 2012 and later raised Series A investment of CA$ 6M in May 2015.
Mnubo serves two market segments, namely the consumer and industrial segments. It sells three plans including data-as-a-service, analytics-as-a-service, and intelligence-as-a-service. The company helps its customers to make sense of their connected equipment data using its SmartObjects SaaS solution. The software solution performs key activities including data storage, clean up and enrichment, visualization and reporting. It also provides integration with Mnubo’s API. The SmartObjects solution is available on leading cloud environments such as Azure, AWS, and Google.
Product manufacturers can track sensor-based data of their products that are running in beta version and for products in advanced stages (such as early deployment and growth stage); they can track product usage statistics such as product location, feature usage, engagement trends, and downtime and lifecycle analysis.
It appears Mnubo also aims to establish itself in the HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) market. It boasts Johnson Controls and Hitachi Air Conditioning as its customers. “Through our partnership with Mnubo, we are pioneering a data-driven strategy in the HVAC market to improve customer experience, empower our channel partners, and build out new after-market services,” said Dr. Hank Marcy, Vice President of Global Product Development at Johnson Controls – Hitachi Air Conditioning, Inc.
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.