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The Week in Review: IoT

Startup funding; Arm Kigen; NIST wants comments.

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Finance
Vectra raised $36 million in Series D funding led by Atlantic Bridge Capital. The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and Nissho Electronics also participated in this funding round along with returning investors Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, IA Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, DAG Ventures, and Wipro Ventures, bringing Vectra’s total funding to date to $123 million. Vectra will use the new money to expand worldwide sales and marketing efforts, along with accelerating development of its artificial intelligence-based Cognito threat hunting platform.

OrCam Technologies, based in Jerusalem, Israel, has received $30.4 million in its latest funding round, on top of the $41 million it raised last year. The startup is now valued at more than $1 billion. Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings and Meitav Dash Provident Funds and Pension led the new round. OrCam makes a device that attaches to regular eyeglasses and helps the visually impaired to read and see. Priced at about $4,500 in the U.S., the OrCam device can also recognize people in a room and provide their names in 12 languages. The company also has offices in London and New York City. Co-founder Ziv Aviram, the president and CEO, previously co-founded Mobileye, acquired by Intel in 2017 for $15.4 billion. Professor Amnon Shashua co-founded Mobileye and OrCam; he is Mobileye’s CEO and chief technology officer and senior vice president of Intel’s Autonomous Driving Group, while also serving as OrCam’s chairman and CTO.

Atlantic Bridge Ventures led a $30 million round for DecaWave of Dublin, Ireland, a fabless semiconductor firm offering the DW1000 single-chip ultra-wideband transceiver for Internet of Things applications. Enterprise Ireland, the China Ireland Growth Technology Fund, ACT Venture Capital, and ZZ Ventures also participated in the round, which brings DecaWave’s total funding to $60 million. The 11-year-old startup will employ the funds to accelerate technology development and to expand its product portfolio, adding to its headcount at offices in China, Ireland, South Korea, and the U.S.

Morphisec reported receiving $12 million in Series B funding, bringing its total funding to $19 million. Orange Digital Ventures is a new investor in the cybersecurity startup. Existing investors Jerusalem Venture Partners, General Electric, and Deutsche Telekom Venture Partners participated in the new round, along with La Maison, Portage Partners, OurCrowd, Kodem Growth Partners, and Evolution Equity Partners. Morphisec offers endpoint threat prevention, using what it calls “Moving Target Defense.”

Waltham, Mass.-based Dover Microsystems got $6 million in seed funding led by Hyperplane Venture Capital, with participation by Draper, Qualcomm Ventures, and the Hub Angels Investment Group. Dover Microsystems will step up its engineering and product development plans with the seed money, while expanding marketing and sales of its hardware-based cybersecurity offering for a variety of industries.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Tokenize has raised a total of $3.3 million to market and sell its wearable Token device, a ring that enables several functions. Australia Post, Bloomberg Beta, Future Perfect Ventures, and the Rochester Institute of Technology are among the startup’s investors. Its customers include HID, Mastercard, Microsoft, and Visa.

M&A
Under pressure from activist investors and Broadcom’s unsolicited takeover bid, Qualcomm this week increased the price it will pay for shares of NXP Semiconductors to $127.50 in cash, up from $110. The value of the proposed transaction increased to about $44 billion from around $37 billion, not including the assumption of NXP’s corporate debt. Broadcom negatively reacted to the move, knocking more than $4 billion off from what it offered to buy Qualcomm, to approximately $117 billion. Stay tuned!

Products/Services
Arm is offering a novel approach to IoT device cybersecurity – making an integrated SIM card, or iSIM, as part of a system-on-a-chip design. The Arm Kigen line would enable the combination of a microcontroller, a cellular modem, and SIM identity in an SoC. The line includes the Kigen operating system with a GSMA-compliant software stack and the Kigen remote provisioning server for uncomplicated integration with mobile network operators and IoT platforms. Arm’s Paul Williamson will give a keynote address on Monday, February 26, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Google Cloud has taken Google Cloud IoT Core out of beta testing, making it generally available and providing fully managed services for sensors and other IoT devices. The cloud-based offering includes connectivity for receiving and sending data.

Mentor, a Siemens Business, introduced the Mentor Embedded IoT Framework, embedded software for cloud-ready devices in Industrial IoT applications. The framework can connect Industrie 4.0 networks with Amazon Web Services, Eclipse IoT, Microsoft Azure, and Siemens MindSphere. The base version for the Mentor Embedded Nucleus real-time operating system and Mentor Embedded Linux for a project-based perpetual license with annual maintenance is priced at $90,000. Mentor will feature MEIF at next week’s Embedded World conference in Nuremberg, Germany.

AT&T will work with Ericsson to expand its IoT professional services, launched in early 2017. These will include application solutions, consulting, device lifecycle solutions, managed services, and support for enterprises. AT&T also announced it is initiating the first phase of its edge computing test zone at the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, Calif.

Lighthouse AI debuted a home security camera incorporating artificial intelligence technology and responding to voice commands. The camera can record and show who was in the house, and at what times. The camera is priced at $300 and costs $10 a month for the AI services and video storage.

Conferences
Ayla Networks is holding its inaugural Ayla Connect conference on April 10 and 11 at the Omni Hotel in San Francisco. For details and registration, go here.

Security
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is giving federal agencies and government contractors more detailed guidance on protecting the cybersecurity of IoT devices. Blockchain technology could be useful in IoT security, the agency reports. NIST is accepting comments on its draft report until April 18.

Critical infrastructure is vulnerable to cyberattacks, often through unsecured devices connected to the Internet, Miles Bray of ForeScout Technologies writes in this commentary. The Mirai and Satori botnets are being used to seize control of security cameras and other devices; Satori is being employed to steal Ethereum cryptocurrency from online mining hosts and replacing the wallets of currency holders, he notes.

Personnel
FogHorn Systems named several senior executives. Mike Hutchinson, who was the chief financial officer of GainSpan, joins the company as vice president of finance. Keith Higgins, previously the chief marketing officer at RiskVision and Symphony Teleca, is now FogHorn’s vice president of marketing. Greg Makowski, who was the director of data science at LigaDATA, is the startup’s head of data science services. Chad Boulanger, previously the vice president of IoT at Greenwave Systems and global vice president for IoT at Predixion Software, has come aboard as managing director of Europe, Middle East, and Africa.



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