Losant secures $5.2 million in Series A financing to meet surging IoT solutions demand

Losant, a US-based startup that helps enterprises build IoT solutions, prepares itself to meet the surging demand for next generation connected solutions by securing a sum of $ 5.2 million in a Series A financing round.

Securing the amount, Charlie Key, CEO of Losant, said: “We’re excited to see our platform power intelligent solutions across a gamut of industries and use-cases. Our customers are pushing new boundaries in industrial equipment monitoring, asset tracking, smart buildings, and more. With endless possibilities, Losant is uniquely positioned to help thousands of companies in their IoT journey.”

The round was led by CincyTech. Revolution’s new Rise of the Rest seed fund, TechNexus, and Vine Street Ventures also took part.

Mike Venerable, CEO of CincyTech, said: “Connected experiences are going to transform business and personal experiences for all of us in the next decade. Billions, not millions, of connected devices are being deployed across all domains. Losant's reliable and scalable platform for IoT is being used in an accelerating number of scenarios that represent the connected future.”

JD Vance, Rise of the Rest seed fund managing partner, said: “Losant’s use of next generation IoT solutions has the potential to change every industry and business and the fact that it’s a promising Ohio-grown startup makes it that much more exciting. We are thrilled to invest in Losant alongside CincyTech, who has been helping entrepreneurs build successful technology companies in southwest Ohio for a decade.”

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Google announces intent to acquire Xively for $50 million

Google announces intent to acquire Xively for $ 50 million

Google announces intent to acquire Xively for $ 50 million

On February 15th, Google has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Xively, a division of LogMeIn, Inc.

By 2020, it’s estimated that about 20 billion connected things will come online, and analytics and data storage in the cloud are now the cornerstone of any successful IoT solution. This acquisition, subject to closing conditions, will complement Google Cloud’s effort to provide a fully managed IoT service that easily and securely connects, manages, and ingests data from globally dispersed devices. With the addition of Xively’s robust, enterprise-ready IoT platform, we can accelerate our customers’ timeline from IoT vision to product, as they look to build their connected business.

Through this acquisition, Cloud IoT Core will gain deep IoT technology and engineering expertise, including Xively’s advanced device management, messaging, and dashboard capabilities. Our customers will benefit from Xively’s extensive feature set and flexible device management platform, paired with the security and scale of Google Cloud. With Google Cloud’s deep leadership in data analytics and machine learning, our customers will also be uniquely positioned to build turnkey IoT solutions and focus on business value creation.

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Sigfox posts €50 million in revenue, reiterates plans for 60 country connectivity in 2018

Sigfox, the French-based Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity provider, has announced its 2017 results and 2018 roadmap, promising a network of 60 countries and more than a billion people worldwide.

Revenues went up to €50 million (£44.4m), a rise of more than 56% year over year, according to the company, while the total number of objects connected to the Sigfox network rose by 65% to a total of 2.5 million. Alongside this, the company’s network grew to 45 countries earlier this month, including Malaysia, South Korea, and Switzerland.

Looking at the company’s 2018 roadmap, alongside its network figures Sigfox is promising greater focus on its evangelisation strategy. To that end, the provider is launching Hacking House, a project that will ‘bring together students from around the world to learn about IoT and Sigfox’s pioneering technology’, as the company put it.

“There is tremendous value in IoT, which lies in the data that is generated by millions of connected objects across the globe,” said Ludovic Le Moan, co-founder and CEO of Sigfox in a statement. “It’s up to us to turn this golden opportunity into a multi-billion dollar industry, just like we did with petrol a century ago.

“Our challenge for the next few years will be to lower the cost of collecting that data to close to zero,” Le Moan added.

This makes for an interesting comparison when looking at Sigfox’s proclamations in November 2016. The company had just secured a €150m funding round and promised then what it promises today – coverage in 60 countries by 2018.

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Mnubo secures $16.5 million in series B funding round to accelerate expansion of IoT solutions

Mnubo, an IoT data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) provider, has raised $ 16.5 million in a series B financing round to speed up the global expansion of its SmartObjects IoT analytics and data science solution.

Throughout the world, SmartObjects aims to helping service providers and equipment manufacturers in furthering their data monetisation strategy. Johnson-Controls Hitachi is among the prominent manufacturers who are using SmartObjects. 

Greg Barats, president and CEO of HSB Group, a Munich Re arm that led the financing round and also a strategic commercial partner of Mnubo, said: “We’re thrilled about this strategic partnership with Mnubo to bring to market a suite of financial and insurance related products based on artificial intelligence and machine Learning on IoT equipment datasets. HSB can help Mnubo’s customers realize meaningful results from their IoT investments."

Frederic Bastien, president and CEO of Mnubo, said: “We are spearheading the transformation of the IoT landscape by enabling a data-driven versus a connectivity-driven business model. Companies must focus on business outcomes through IoT insights in order to stand-out in a crowded and confusing market. HSB has 150 years of experience in insuring commercial and industrial equipment; this alliance with Mnubo enables the next-generation of IoT manufacturers and enterprises to benefit from a portfolio of IoT-based, data-driven financial products to accelerate RoI by enabling IoT data monetisation.”

In another funding raising story, cybersecurity enterprise VDOO has secured $ 13 million to formulate and commercialise its IoT security platform. According to VDOO, its first-of-its-kind IoT platform can provide security certification for a wide array of connected devices via an automated, end-to-end process that analyses the devices, gives the most accurate security requirements and implements guidance based on that analysis.

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Smart speaker sales set to race past 50 million in 2018

Smart speaker sales set to race past 50 million in 2018

As the smart speaker market matures, Amazon and Google will face more competition and homegrown players will seek to ignite demand in China. 

“Alexa, tell me how many smart speakers there are in the world?”

By the end of this year, the answer to that question will be around 56.3 million, if recent predictions from research firm Canalys come good. By way of contrast, that’s up from an estimated 33 million sold in 2017.

Analysts at the company expect Amazon and Google to continue to lead the market, with their Echo and Home devices respectively. The two are fierce rivals in this market, which has meant that consumers have benefited from ruthless price-cutting. At the same time, smart speakers are quickly gaining in popularity as smart home ‘hubs’, providing a voice interface by which occupants can control lighting, heating and entertainment.

But Amazon and Google will likely face increased competition in 2018, says Canalys, as new vendors enter the race. These include Apple, which announced its HomePod speaker in mid-2017, before later admitting that the device wouldn’t ship until early this year, because it needed more work to make it ready-for-market.

Smart speaker sales set to race past 50 million in 2018, Canalys

Read more: Amazon onboards new recruit, Alexa for Business

2018: A defining year

All this means that 2018 is set to be “the defining year” for smart speaker adoption, according to Canalys research analyst Lucio Chen. “Smart speaker uptake has grown faster than any other consumer technology we’ve recently encountered, such as AR [augmented reality], VR [virtual reality] or even wearables.”

While 2017 may have been a banner year for smart speakers in terms of hardware sales, he adds, vendors will this year be looking to monetize the installed base in the US and beyond, with speaker-based services for which they can charge a fee. “The possibilities to do this are endless, be it discreet advertising, content subscription bundles, premium services or enterprise solutions,” says Chen.

Read more: IKEA to launch smart light compatibility with Alexa, Siri and Google

A question of ‘stickiness’

In terms of geography, the US is the largest market for smart speakers and looks set to stay that way into 2020. That’s down to high broadband penetration, low prices and “a keen proclivity” to adopt new technologies.

And once adopted, smart speakers demonstrate what some market watchers call ‘strong attachment rates’; in other words, this technology doesn’t wind up in the back of a cupboard or abandoned in a drawer after the honeymoon period. Smart speakers have a ‘stickiness’ that mean that users keep using – and fresh tie-ups with smart home tech are likely to strengthen attachment rates.

“Alexa’s multiple smart home integrations, Google’s partnership with Nest and Apple’s HomeKit initiatives will continue to excite consumers of the smart speaker and fuel sales in 2018,” says Canalys analyst Vincent Thielke.

In China, however, success could elude Amazon and Google. Instead, local vendors seem likely to prevail, with Alibaba, JD.com and Xiaomi all having launched their own versions to test the waters.

“Market dynamics in China can change very quickly,” says Lucio Chen. “Traditional hardware vendors have been cautious at the beginning, but with deep-pocketed Alibaba ramping up investment in the category, and Xiaomi launching lower-priced skews of its XiaoAI smart speaker, the market will be ignited in no time.”

Read more: Apple joins race for smart home supremacy with HomePod

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