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.
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.
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.
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.
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.