The Week in Review: IoT

Emerson gives up; IOTA launch; Uptake raises $117M.

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Products/Services
At this week’s AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Amazon Web Services introduced a number of products and services for the Internet of Things, machine learning, and other areas. These include Amazon FreeRTOS (an operating system for IoT microcontrollers), AWS IoT Device Defender (security management), AWS IoT 1-Click, AWS IoT Device Management, AWS IoT Analytics, and AWS Greengrass ML Inference (machine learning models). On the machine learning tip, the company introed Amazon Comprehend, AWS DeepLens (a deep-learning video camera), Amazon Rekognition Video (a deep-learning video analysis service), Amazon SageMaker (machine learning models), Amazon Translate, and Amazon Transcribe.

NXP Semiconductors uncorked an IoT module, based on its LPC54018 microcontroller. The module was developed with Embedded Artists. NXP also said it supports Amazon’s FreeRTOS.

IOTA has debuted a data marketplace for the IoT, drawing participation from Accenture, Bosch, Cisco Systems, Daimler, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Orange, PwC, Samsung Electronics, Schneider Electric, and nine other companies. The marketplace is enabled by the IOTA Foundation’s Tangle directed acyclic graph technology.

Vesper Technologies brought out the VM2000, a MEMS microphone for smart speakers, smart home systems, and IoT devices. The sensor company is sampling the VM2000, which comes in a package measuring 3.76 millimeters by 2.95mm by 1.33mm, with plans for volume production during the first quarter of 2018.

Green Hills Software unveiled its Optimizing C and C++ compilers, version 2017.5, for 32-bit and 64-bit embedded processor architectures, including Arm, Intel, and Power Architecture. The compilers are available now. They also support the ColdFire, MIPS, Renesas RH850, and TriCore architectures.

M&A
Emerson Electric withdrew its proposal to acquire Rockwell Automation for $225 a share, citing the opposition by Rockwell Automation’s board. “The Rockwell Board again rejected our offer, which would have delivered approximately $30 billion of value to Rockwell shareholders,” Emerson Chairman and CEO David N. Farr said in a statement, adding, “We are disappointed that the Rockwell Board refused even to discuss the potential combination of our two great companies. Instead of engaging in constructive dialogue, the Rockwell Board decided to let this unique and value-generative opportunity go unexplored.” Rockwell Automation issued a statement saying, “We thank our shareowners for their input and support, our employees for their focus and dedication, and our partners and customers for their continued confidence in Rockwell Automation throughout this process. The Rockwell Automation Board and management team are committed to the execution of our strategy, which we are confident will continue delivering extraordinary shareowner returns.”

Finance
Uptake Technologies received Series D funding of $117 million led by Baillie Gifford & Co., valuing the Industrial IoT firm at around $2.3 billion. GreatPoint Ventures and Revolution Growth also participated in the new round. The predictive analytics software startup will use the money for worldwide expansion in a variety of industries. Caterpillar, an early investor in Uptake, is divesting its ownership in the company while remaining a customer. Uptake has raised a total of $263 million.

Seebo Interactive, a supplier of IoT planning and delivery platforms, said it extended its Series A funding by $8 million to $16.5 million, bringing the total private investment in the company to $22 million. TPY Capital and Viola Ventures, existing investors, participated in the new funding, along with Pritzker Group Venture Capital and Global IoT Technology Ventures. Seebo has offices in San Francisco, Shenzhen, and Tel Aviv. The startup was founded in 2012 and counts Stanley Tools among its customers.

Pwnie Express, an IoT cybersecurity startup, has raised $8 million in new funding, bringing its total funding to $28 million. Ascent Venture Partners, Fairhaven Capital, and .406 Ventures, all existing investors, were involved in the latest funding, along with the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies. Pwnie Express also tapped a new CEO, Todd DeSisto, the former CEO of Axeda, which was acquired by PTC. His predecessor, Paul Paget, is staying with the company as executive vice president of strategy.

Deals
Baidu and Xiaomi will work together on developing artificial intelligence and IoT technology. The Chinese tech giants have previously collaborated. Baidu has been involved in AI, creating the DuerOS conversational AI system, while Xiaomi’s smart platform takes in more than 85 million connected devices.

Altizon, an IIoT platform company, is partnering with A&E Engineering, a systems integration and data management firm, to help enterprise clients with IIoT implementations.

IoTium, a supplier of IIoT secure network architecture, will have The Panel Shoppe distribute its offerings for the building automation market. IoTium provides the IoTium network-as-a-service.