The Week in Review: IoT

Foxconn’s $4B; Amazon buys Blink; Brewer’s services.

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Finance
Cincinnati-based Losant, which offers an enterprise Internet of Things platform, reports raising $5.2 million in Series A funding led by CincyTech. The Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, TechNexus, and Vine Street Ventures also participated in the new round. Losant says customers for its scalable IoT platform include Bosch, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Verizon Communications.

SAM of Tel Aviv, Israel, came out of stealth mode to announce receiving $3.5 million in seed funding led by Blumberg Capital. The startup provides cybersecurity software for home networks, protecting routers and other devices connected to the network. SAM has worked with Bezeq and the Connected Home Division of Intel.

Hon Hai Precision Industry, which does business as Foxconn, plans to list its Foxconn Industrial Internet subsidiary on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The initial public offering is expected to raise about $4 billion, which Foxconn will use to fund eight corporate projects in 5G wireless communications, cloud computing services, and smart manufacturing platforms.

M&A
Amazon reportedly paid about $90 million in late 2017 to acquire Blink, a supplier of home security cameras, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The e-commerce giant was said to be interested in Blink’s energy-efficient chip designs, which could be used in Amazon’s Cloud Cam and Echo products. Blink’s security cameras are said to be able to operate for two years on a pair of AA lithium batteries.

Google has agreed to acquire the Xively division of LogMeIn for a reported $50 million. The search giant would gain an IoT platform in the purchase, complementing Google Cloud’s goal of offering a fully managed IoT service. The Cloud IoT Core would add advanced device management, dashboard, and messaging capabilities through the proposed acquisition, which is subject to closing conditions.

Products/Services
Brewer Science this week said it is offering the Sensor System Solutions program, providing full consulting services from design through integration, using the company’s InFlect line of sensors. “Because the stimuli response of a sensor is based on the material science of the sensing layer, it’s important to fully understand the chemistry involved,” said Dominic Miranda, printed electronics business development manager at Brewer Science. He added, “Materials can have a butterfly effect on the end device. With material science at our core, combined with a team that has deep embedded design experience, Brewer Science is uniquely qualified to take customers through the entire system development process. No other sensor provider can do this for its customers.”

Sierra Wireless introduced the AirLink LX60 low-power, wide-area cellular router for commercial and enterprise IoT applications. The cloud-managed router supports LTE Cat-4, LTE-M, and narrowband IoT connectivity.

Personnel
Google has hired Injong Rhee, previously the chief technology officer of Samsung Electronics, to head up its IoT business unit. He will serve as entrepreneur in residence, reporting to Diane Greene, CEO of Google’s cloud computing group.

Dallas-based PoLTE named Ed Chao chief technology officer. He previously served as senior vice president of technology strategy and development for T-Mobile. PoLTE, which provides advanced location software through a cloud-based platform, leveraging LTE connectivity, has completed a Series A round of private funding, raising multiple millions of dollars.

Conferences
The embedded world 2018 exhibition and conference kicks off on Tuesday, February 27, and runs through March 1, in Nuremberg, Germany.



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