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The Week in Review: IoT

Startup funding; Aricent acquisition; FogHorn and Google.

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Finance
Bestmile, which offers a mobility platform for managing autonomous vehicle fleets, raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Road Ventures SA. Also participating in the round are Partech Ventures, Groupe ADP, Airbus Ventures, Serena Capital, and MobilityFund. The startup, incorporated in 2014, will use the money for worldwide expansion, strengthening its cloud-based mobility platform technology, and extending customer relationships with service providers, strategic OEMs, and technology partners. Bestmile has offices in San Francisco and Lausanne, Switzerland.

San Diego-based Pairwise Plants, an agricultural startup, received $25 million in Series A financing, jointly led by Deerfield Management and Monsanto Growth Ventures. The startup has licensed programmable base editing technology from Harvard University and will develop gene-editing applications for use in row and specialty crops, fruits, and vegetables. Pairwise plans to leverage natural diversity in agricultural crops.

Virsec Systems of San Jose, Calif., got $24 million in Series B funding led by BlueIO, bringing its total funding to $29.1 million. Other investors include Artiman Ventures, Amity Ventures, Raj Singh, and Boston Seed Capital. The cybersecurity startup will employ the funds for accelerating product development and worldwide expansion. Virsec also has offices in Acton, Mass., and Bangalore, India.

M&A
France’s Altran Technologies completed its €1.7 billion (about $2.1 billion) acquisition of Aricent Technologies, a provider of design, engineering, and testing services, including Internet of Things engineering. Altran bought Aricent from a group of investors led by KKR.

Deals
FogHorn Systems is collaborating with Google, integrating its Lightning edge analytics and machine learning platform with Google Cloud IoT Core for Industrial IoT applications. The pairing will be demonstrated at the Google Cloud Next conference in San Francisco on July 24-27. Sastry Malladi, FogHorn’s chief technology officer, said the agreement provides “a seamless connection between FogHorn Systems and Google.” The IIoT firm also works with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, yet the ties with Google Cloud IoT Core will be closer. He added, “The timing is just right. The possibilities are endless.”

Reading
Maciej Kranz, vice president of strategic innovation at Cisco Systems, released Building the Internet of Things: A Project Workbook. The new tome is meant as a practical companion to his earlier book of the same title, a New York Times bestseller. The workbook offers instructional checklists, questions, a return-on-investment calculator, and scores.

Standards
GlobalPlatform and the IoT Connectivity Alliance signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on developing a standardized approach to IoT security based upon secure component technology. The goal is to reduce the cost of developing large-scale consumer IoT and IIoT deployments.

Market Research
Juniper Research is offering two free reports – The Value of 5G for Cities and Communities, sponsored by O2, and the Intel-sponsored Smart Cities – What’s in It for Citizens?

Frost & Sullivan has a new report, Internet of Things-based Solutions for Customer Support. Details are available here.

Products/Services
Toronto-based IBI Group introduced its Smart City Platform, a suite of dashboards and tools provided through software-as-a-service. The platform offers predictive analytics taken from IoT sensors, control devices, and existing city networks. It is meant to work with a city’s existing hardware and software systems, scalable from a single building up to an entire region.

Security
Dan Timpson, DigiCert’s chief technology officer, writes about the challenges in IoT security in this analysis. “Hardware developers must prioritize security in the design process but should do so in a way that does not diminish the user experience,” he writes. “Leveraging public key infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificates can be used to meet these requirements.”

Events
The University of Massachusetts at Lowell recently hosted a forum, “The Internet of Things: Enabling Technologies & Emerging Trends.” The event had speakers from International Data Corp. (IDC), Amazon, Boston Scientific, Oracle, and Verizon Communications.



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