Sensor-based end-to-end IoT platform Cloudleaf snaps $13M Series A

Cloudleaf, an industrial IoT company providing sensors, gateways and cloud technologies raised a $ 13M Series A round. Seasoned investors like IndusAge Partners, Bold Capital Partners, Tandem Capital, and Mahindra Partners participated in the funding round.

Cloudleaf Sensor Fabric

The company was founded in 2014 with an undisclosed amount of seed capital. It markets its technology under the brand name of ‘Cloudleaf Sensor Fabric’. The fabric is just a mesh of location-aware sensors, end-points, gateways, and cloud-based platform for data analysis.

The Cloudleaf sensors and end-points collect location and contextual data and send it to the cloud platform. The cloud-based services of the platform let users access real-time metrics, historical trends, KPIs, and rule-based alerts.

Cloudleaf Business Rules Engines

The startup boasts having big-name customers such as Tesla Motors, Chevron, Mahindra, and McKinsey & Company. A key reason of Cloudleaf attracting customers across different verticals is that its sensor and end-point-based technology coupled with cloud-based analytics engine can be deployed in rugged environments as well.

As for use cases, the ‘Cloudlead Sensor Fabric’ can be used for asset utilization, factory floor operations, and condition monitoring of critical ‘things’. A close look at the company’s patents reveals that it holds three patents titled “Systems, methods, and devices for asset status determination”. The sensor devices collect data via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication signals from the leaf node device to the middleware and then on to the cloud-platform.

As the enterprise IoT gets heated, new companies have launched end-to-end platforms. The approach addresses a key problem of fragmentation between vendors and various systems as it gives rise to interoperability challenges. Particle, another full-stack IoT device platform banked $ 20M Series B in July this year. It also offers a cloud-based platform, device management console, cellular IoT SIMs, and asset tracking devices.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

AI-powered voice assistant platform Snips closes $13M Series A

Snips, an AI-powered voice assistant for connected products announced last week that it has raised a $ 13M Series A round.

The round was led by Korelya Capital and MAIF Avenir. BPI France and existing investor Eniac Ventures.

The startup previously raised $ 6.3M Seed round in Jun 2015 and obtained a grant of $ 2M in Sep 2016 with its total equity funding now reaching $ 21M.

The Snips’ voice platform for connected devices is an end-to-end solution with features such as hotword detection, speech recognition, natural language understanding and dialog management.

A differentiating capability of Snips is that it’s an on-device voice assistant and everything runs on the device that eliminates the need to send user data to the cloud servers. “A company that says they need your data is lying, or has no clue how to build technology,” said Rand Hindi, co-founder, and CEO of Snips. The voice assistant can be used to turn on the lights, check weather reports, play music albums, and even brew coffee.

Unlike Google Home and Amazon Alexa, Snips doesn’t ship the user’s data to the cloud. Startups like Snips might be at an advantage when European digital privacy laws get enforced starting 2018 whereby companies will have to seek explicit permission to collect user data. Since its voice platform competes with the likes of Facebook’s, Google’s, and Microsoft Luis, Snips might comfortably raise bigger investment rounds in the future.

Additional activity in the space include Rokid, a smart-home, and AI company that raised $ 50M in January, and PeoplePower, an AI-based smart home company that raised $ 3.2M in May of 2017.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Industrial IoT startup Tulip obtains $13M Series A financing

Tulip, a Somerville, Massachusetts-based Industrial IoT and advanced analytics app platform announced $ 13 million in Series A financing at an unknown valuation. The round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Pitango Venture Capital and some returning angel investors also participated in the round.

The proceeds will be used in customer services set-up, adding new functionality to the Manufacturing App Platform, and developing a community of Tulip users.

Tulip Gateway

Run by Rony Kubat and Natan Linder as the company’s co-founders, Tulip uses cameras, sensors, and Internet-connected tools to help factory floor managers during the manufacturing process.

Tulip’s main products are I/O gateways, USB gateways, cameras, scanners, sensors, specialized devices and human-machine interfaces. Tulip, a spinout from MIT, also announced the launch of a manufacturing app platform at Hannover Messe 2017.

The app platform is modular rather than being rigid software.

Front-line engineers can use the platform to create flexible shop-floor apps connecting workers, machines and existing IT systems. Apps might be visual work instructions, quality and audit forms, and training modules.

Tulip Use Case

Tulip’s IoT gateway integrates the devices, sensors, and machines on the shop floor. ERPs, MESs, devices, and sensors can be added to the Tulip platform.

Tulip charges its clients through a SaaS model on per/bench basis.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things