The Week in Review: IoT

Amazon acquires Ring; TDK buys Chirp; MWC.


CyberX raised $18 million in Series B funding, bringing its total funding to $30 million. Norwest Venture Partners led the new round and was joined by ff Venture Capital, Flint Capital, Glilot Capital Partners, and OurCrowd. CyberX makes its headquarters in Framingham, Mass., with operations in Israel. The startup offers security protection for Industrial Internet of Things applications and for industrial control systems.

ZEDEDA came out of stealth mode this week and said it received $3.06 million in seed funding. Almaz Capital, Wild West Capital, and other investors participated in the funding. The startup was established in 2016 and has its headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., with engineering and market development teams in Germany, India, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. ZEDEDA provides secure, cloud-native, real-time applications for industrial robots, self-driving cars, and other uses, protecting edge devices. The company is offering early access to its platform, which will go into customer trials in the first six months of this year.

LumiGrow, a supplier of smart horticultural lighting, took in a bridge financing of $5.1 million, which it will use to accelerate product development. Ecosystem Integrity Fund took part in the financing, along with ValueAct Master Fund and Greenhouse Capital. LumiGrow is based in Emeryville, Calif.

Chicago-based FourKites, which provides asset tracking for customers like Best Buy, Cargill, and Conagra Brands, has raised $35 million in Series B funding led by August Capital. Bain Capital and Hyde Park Venture Partners, existing investors in the startup, were also involved in the round. FourKites will use the money to expand its geographic reach and product development. The company’s total funding is $48 million.

Mist Systems of Cupertino, Calif., announced a Series C round of $46 million, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, GV, NTT DOCOMO Ventures, and Dimension Data also participated in the new funding, which brings Mist’s total funding to about $88 million. Mist provides self-learning wireless networks using artificial intelligence technology for enterprise-grade IoT, Bluetooth Low Energy, and Wi-Fi.

Amazon has acquired Ring, a supplier of Internet-connected doorbells and security cameras, for a reported sum of about $1.1 billion. Ring last year raised $109 million in private funding, bringing its total funding to $209.2 million. Amazon had previously invested in Ring through its Alexa Fund. Amazon in December bought another security camera startup, Blink, reportedly for around $90 million.

TDK this week agreed to acquire Chirp Microsystems of Berkeley, Calif.; financial terms weren’t disclosed. The Japanese company expects to close the transaction within a matter of days. Chirp develops high-performance, time-of-flight, ultrasonic sensors. It will become a wholly owned subsidiary of TDK, joining InvenSense and other firms collected in TDK’s Sensor Systems Business Company.

Nokia is purchasing Seattle-based Unium, which offers intelligent mesh Wi-Fi software for home networks and counts Google Fiber among its customers. Unium was founded in 2002 as CoCo Communications. The transaction is scheduled to close in this quarter.

Samsung Electronics will work with PTC to get its ARTIK IoT platform more widely adopted. ARTIK modules will directly connect with PTC’s ThingWorx platform. The Korean company will also collaborate with Shoreline iCast2, combining that company’s IoT bridge with ARTIK and PTC for Industrial IoT deployments. ARTIK is now interoperable with Harman’s smart building software.

GreenWaves Technologies brought out the Gap8 IoT application processor, intended for low-power AI processing in sensors. The chip is based upon the open-source RISC-V instruction-set architecture. GreenWaves offers a software development kit for the processor.

NXP Semiconductors introduced the SN100U single-die chipset with an embedded Secure Element and embedded SIM for near-field communications. It also debuted the SU070 stand-alone eSIM for laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other IoT devices. ABI Research forecasts the eSIM market will increase from 224 million shipments this year to 696 million shipments by 2022. The chip vendor also had other announcements and production introductions at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Sequans Communications debuted its Monarch N platform for narrowband IoT connectivity. It is a single-chip LTE Cat NB1/NB2 platform, complying with the 3GPP release 14/15 of the LTE Advanced Pro standard.

Cisco Systems says the Cisco Jasper Control Center for NB-IoT platform is now available around the world. The platform provides management of multiple connection types, customizable service packages, and automation for managing scale.

Riot Micro and Amarisoft demonstrated a low-power, dual-mode NB-IoT and LTE-M module reference design at MWC, featuring Riot’s RM1000 module design and Amarisoft’s AMARI LTE 100 software operating on a compact software-defined radio platform.

Silicon Labs touts the energy efficiency of its WF200 transceivers and WFM200 modules for IoT applications, such as Internet protocol security cameras, point-of-sale terminals, and portable consumer health-care devices. The new Wi-Fi products, unveiled at the Embedded World conference in Nuremberg, Germany, support 2.4 gigahertz IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity. IHS Markit predicts the market for Wi-Fi devices in low-power IoT end node applications will increase from 128 million units in 2016 to 584 million units a year by 2021.

Frost & Sullivan presented Intel with its 2018 North American Enabling Technology Leadership Award for working with customers and partners on edge computing technology. “Intel has used its ability to identify industry-specific IoT business challenges to create market-ready solutions with ecosystem partners that provide an easier path to deployment and faster time-to-market,” Dilip Sarangan, Frost & Sullivan’s global research director for IoT, said in a statement. He added, “Intel is an industry leader in speeding up innovation cycles and identifying attractive sales channels through its ecosystem. Intel’s engagements across almost all levels of the IoT ecosystem, coupled with their broad portfolio, positions Intel to succeed in the IoT market.”

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