The Week in Review: IoT

IoT World; startup funding; White House moves.

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Conferences
Keynote highlights from the Internet of Things World 2018 conference: “Safety is the most important thing,” said Russ Benson, vice president of IT product systems at Boeing; “It’s all about data,” said Juan Perez, chief information officer and chief engineering officer of UPS; “Semiconductors accelerate IoT growth,” said Tony Keirouz, vice president of IoT strategy, ecosystem, and partnerships at STMicroelectronics; “Itron was in IoT before IoT was cool,” said Sharelyn Moore, senior vice president of networked solutions at Itron; “Standards are indeed essential,” said Walter G. Copan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, and Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology; “Urban environments can be run much more efficiently,” said Philip Mezey, president and CEO of Itron; “Consumers want a destination,” said Kiki Del Valle, senior vice president of commerce for every device at Mastercard; “Imagine a city with no congestion, imagine an airport with no delays, imagine medicine tailored for you, imagine optimal energy consumption – these aspirations are not that far away,” said Jen Bennett, Office of the CTO, Google Cloud.

M&A
After China’s Ministry of Commerce finally gave the green light for the $18 billion sale of Toshiba Memory to a consortium of investors led by Bain Capital, speculation fixed upon whether the People’s Republic will clear Qualcomm’s proposed $44 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors, a decision that has been in limbo for months. Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital wrote in a note to clients, “We think the probability for QCOM/NXPI deal to get MOFCOM approval has improved over last few weeks given.”

Minneapolis-based Logic PD was acquired by Compass Group Equity Partners, a private equity firm in St. Louis; financial terms weren’t disclosed. Logic PD provides product design and engineering services and electronics manufacturing services for IoT devices and other products. The company was previously owned by Denver-based CHB Capital Partners.

Finance
Tanium has reportedly raised $175 million in new funding from TPG Growth, an existing investor, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The latest funding is said to value Tanium, an endpoint cybersecurity startup, at approximately $5 billion.

Vesper Technologies received $23 million in Series B funding led by American Family Ventures, bringing its total private funding to $40 million. Accomplice, Amazon Alexa Fund, Baidu, Bose Ventures, Hyperplane, Sands Capital, Shure, Synaptics, ZZ Ventures, and other investors participated in the latest round. Vesper will use the new money to scale volume production of its microphones based on piezoelectric sensors, expand research and development, hire more people, set up international sales offices, and grow customer support.

Foxconn Industrial Internet, a business unit of Foxconn Technology Group, plans to sell 30% of its public share offering on the Shanghai exchange to cornerstone investors, Reuters reports. The Foxconn unit hopes to raise about $4.3 billion from the initial public offering to fund efforts in 5G wireless communications, cloud computing, and data centers.

Deals
Bsquare says it won a three-year Industrial IoT software-as-a-service contract with an unnamed Fortune 100 firm to provide IoT device and content management for tens of thousands of IoT devices in North America and Europe. The customer will use the Bsquare DataV Manage application and Amazon Web Services IoT services, such as AWS IoT Core and AWS IoT Device Management.

Products/Services
Comcast’s IoT unit, machineQ, launched its low-power, long-range wide-area network service in the San Francisco Bay Area. Santa Rosa, Calif.-based PNI Sensor is an early customer for the machineQ network, using it for the PlacePod smart parking system. MachineQ, which exhibited at this week’s IoT World conference in Santa Clara, Calif., is rolling out deployments in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, and Miami, among other U.S. cities.

Sigfox introduced its Sens’It Discovery offering at IoT World, combining an IoT sensor device, the sensit.io application for mobile devices and Web browsers, and one year of network connectivity to the company’s IoT Cloud. Sens’It is priced at about $75, including a software development kit. Sigfox also provided Wi-Fi connectivity to IoT World attendees.

Cybersecurity
The White House this week eliminated the cybersecurity coordinator position within the National Security Council. National Security Advisor John Bolton has been reorganizing and streamlining the NSC since he took office. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has reportedly delayed the release of a public summary for the government’s cyber-deterrence strategy, due to policy disputes about retaliatory hacking defenses.

Market Research
Juniper Research forecasts the market for smart home automation and monitoring will be worth $46 billion in 2023. That year will see 1 billion automation and monitoring devices installed worldwide, the market research firm predicts. There will be 65 million smart-home insurance policies issued in 2023, it adds. Details are available here for the Smart Homes: Vendor Analysis, Impact Assessments & Strategic Opportunities 2018-2023 report.



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