Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto

Rambus-Socionext deal; Marvell stock; Arm investment.

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Cybersecurity
Rambus signed a patent license agreement with Socionext, a designer of system-on-a-chip devices. Socionext will use Rambus technology in memory controllers, serializers/deserializers, and security applications.

Netskope acquired Sift Security, adding 10 technical employees to its headcount of more than 500 people; financial terms weren’t revealed. Sift CEO Neil King was tapped to lead Netskope’s infrastructure-as-a-service product management team. Sift was established in 2014 to secure cloud infrastructure with machine learning and behavioral analytics technology.

Cyber incidents increased by 32% in the first quarter of 2018, compared with Q1 of 2017, according to Positive Technologies. The use of malware in cyberattacks rose 75% from a year earlier, while malware was involved in 63% pf all attacks. The cybersecurity threatscape is seeing hackers go after account credentials and other personal data. Another leading concern is data theft, which was up 13% from 2017.

M&A

Qualcomm’s proposed $44 billion takeover of NXP Semiconductors will be terminated on Wednesday, July 25, if the acquisition is not cleared by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation by then. If the deal finally falls through 20 months after it was announced, Qualcomm plans to initiate a large stock buyback program worth $20 billion to $30 billion, CEO Steve Mollenkopf says. Meanwhile, IoT ONE says NXP is one of the world’s most impactful suppliers of technology for the Industrial IoT. “From end-node to the cloud, NXP provides an unrivaled portfolio for supporting the incredible growth of smart, connected solutions for the IIoT – including microcontrollers, microprocessors, connectivity, analog, sensors and RF technologies,” Erik Walenza, CEO of IoT ONE, said in a statement.

Yanzi Networks, a Swedish supplier of an IoT platform for smart buildings, was acquired by Pegasus Capital Advisors, a private equity firm. Yanzi will use the proceeds from the sale to continue development of its product suite and to open a headquarters office in North America. The Sixth National Pension Fund of Sweden will retain a minority equity stake in Yanzi.

Okta acquired ScaleFT, a startup, adding the Zero Trust concept to the Okta platform; financial terms weren’t revealed. Okta provides cloud identity management. The acquisition takes the company deeper into the cybersecurity field.

Finance
Marvell Technology Group, Intel, and Vishay Intertechnology are the three stocks to own for an Internet of Things portfolio, Ryan McQueeney of Zacks Investment Research writes. He says about Marvell, “The company’s ‘EZ-Connect’ platform is used by a variety of global customers in the home automation, wearables, automotive, and industrial industries.” He adds, “Marvell’s earnings estimates are trending upward, it has not missed estimates in about two years, and the company is notching cash flow growth of nearly 80%.”

SWIM.AI of San Jose, Calif., received $10 million in Series B funding led by Cambridge Innovation Capital. Participating in the new round as a strategic investor is Arm. Also involved are existing investors Silver Creek Ventures and Harris Barton Asset Management. SWIM.AI provides edge intelligence software.

Shanghai-based ASR Microelectronics raised $100 million in Series B funding led by IDG Capital and Wanrong Hongtu Fund. The fabless semiconductor company has raised more than $300 million in private funding, including a $100 million round in 2017 involving Shenzhen Capital Group, Wanrong Hongtu Fund, and Alibaba Group. The IC design firm was established in 2015 and specializes in mobile intelligent communication terminals, the IoT, navigation and other consumer electronics applications. ASR last year acquired Marvell Semiconductor’s Mobile Business Unit, which offers LTE thin modems.

Also taking in $100 million is Yitu Technology of Shanghai, with China Industrial Asset Management making the entire investment. Yitu, an AI firm, last month announced a C+ Series round of $200 million. The company was founded in 2012 and specializes in big data and machine vision.

Tampa, Fla.-based A-lign received $54.5 million in funding from FTV Capital. The accounting firm also provides cybersecurity and compliance services.

Seattle-based Seeq raised $23 million in Series B funding led by the Altira Group. Also investing were Chevron Technology Ventures, next47 (the Siemens venture capital fund), Second Avenue Partners, and other existing investors. Seeq is an Industrial IoT company active in several industries, providing data analytics for process manufacturing.

Verodin of McLean, Va., received $20.7 million in Series B funding co-led by TenEleven Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners. Joining the new round were Capital One Growth Ventures and Citi Ventures. Verodin validates cybersecurity controls.

Toka, an Israeli cybersecurity startup co-founded by Ehud Barak, raised $12.5 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Dell EMC, Entrée Capital, and LaunchCapital. Tel Aviv-based Toka is also known as Cybertoka.

Montreal-based Airy3D received C$13 million (nearly $10 million) in Series A funding led by Intel Capital. Participating in the round were CRCM Ventures, Nautilus Venture Partners, R7 Partners, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, WI Harper Group, and angel investors affiliated with TandemLaunch. Airy3D is developing 3D computer vision technology for automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, and security/surveillance applications.

CyberMDX raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Pitango Venture Capital, with participation by OurCrowd Qure. The startup provides cybersecurity software for connected medical devices and clinical networks.

San Francisco-based Standard Cognition received $5.5 million in seed funding from CRV. The startup is developing AI and machine vision technology to enable retail outlets without cashiers, similar to the Amazon Go stores being rolled out by Amazon.

Automotive Tech
Audi signed a memorandum of understanding with Huawei Technologies to collaborate on connected-car technology. Their work will be built around the LTE-V cellular standard for vehicle communications. The German carmaker, part of the Volkswagen Group, is also working with Nvidia on automotive AI systems and will incorporate the Android mobile operating system in advanced automotive electronics.

Coast Autonomous of Pasadena, Calif., this week demonstrated its self-driving shuttle near Times Square in New York City. The P-1 vehicle travels at about 25 miles per hour and can seat up to 14 people, with six riders standing.

Products/Services
Microsoft has a five-year deal with Walmart to work together on artificial intelligence, cloud services, and the IoT. As a result, Walmart and Sam’s Club will migrate their cloud computing to Azure, and the retailing giant will use Azure’s IoT platform to keep track of HVAC and refrigeration. Microsoft’s machine learning services will be used to route delivery trucks and other tasks.



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