Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto

Arm’s roadmap; C3 IoT and Google Cloud; AT&T acquisition; VW’s EVs.


Internet of Things
Arm uncorked its first forward-looking CPU roadmap and performance numbers for client computing. The company said it expects to deliver annual performance improvements of more than 15% per year through 2020. The targeted market includes 5G, always-on, always-connected devices.

C3 IoT will work with Google Cloud to support artificial intelligence and Internet of Things deployments. The C3 Type System of microservices will be tied into the Google Cloud Platform’s AI services. C3 IoT also works with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science AI Lab came up with the ReMix system, capable of detecting sensors in the human body, using wireless signals. The technology could be used to track the movement of tumors, it was said. The MIT team collaborated with researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Comcast struck a deal with Yale Locks and Hardware to integrate Yale locks into its “Works with Xfinity” program, enabling homeowners to remotely lock and unlock doors with the Xfinity Home mobile application. The technology also works with voice commands to Xfinity remote controls.

AT&T completed its acquisition of AlienVault. Barmak Meftah, president and CEO of AlienVault, was named president of AT&T Cybersecurity Solutions, while remaining CEO of AlienVault. He reports to AT&T Business CEO Thaddeus Arroyo. With the acquisition finished, AlienVault’s Unified Security Management platform and Open Threat Exchange will be integrated with AT&T’s suite of managed cybersecurity services.

Booz Allen Hamilton was awarded a $1.03 billion contract by the Department of Homeland Security to provide cybersecurity services to six federal agencies. The contract runs for six years. Booz Allen won a contract in May to work with seven federal agencies under the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation project.

Cybersecurity startups are more likely to be acquired than to have an initial public offering, according to SharesPost, a private share exchange for startup investors. Although several cybersecurity startups have completed IPOs this year, many smaller companies in the field will get bought by Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Raytheon, Symantec and other big corporations, SharesPost reports. Indeed, Cisco is in the process of acquiring Duo Security for $2.35 billion, and AT&T purchased AlienVault this summer. The cybersecurity market is forecast to grow from $95 billion in 2018 to $165 billion in 2023, outstripping spending on information technology.

Foundries.io launched with two secure software platforms for embedded product development. The Linux microPlatform for container-based Linux development and the Zephyr microPlatform for applications on real-time operating systems can accommodate over-the-air software updates. Foundries.io is a spinout of Linaro, which provides tools for product development with Arm-based processors.

Flex Logix inked a deal with Quantum Leap Sales to sell its eFPGA chips in North America.

The Bosch Group is spending nearly $10 million to purchase a 4% stake in Ceres Power Holdings, which is developing solid oxide fuel cells. China’s Weichai Power is another significant shareholder in Ceres Power.

KKR is reportedly negotiating to acquire Magneti Marelli, the automotive parts business of Fiat Chrysler, according to Bloomberg News, which cites people familiar with the matter. Magneti Marelli may be worth up to $7 billion. The private equity firm could combine Magneti Marelli with Calsonic Kansei of Japan. Fiat Chrysler may still decide to spin off the unit, rather than sell it, as originally planned.

Grakon, which makes advanced lighting systems and engineered trim components for vehicle manufacturers, is being sold by Industrial Growth Partners to Methode Electronics for $420 million. Methode expects to complete the transaction in September. Grakon was founded in 1978 and had about $159 million in revenue for the 12 months ending July 31.

Automotive Tech
Volkswagen Group plans to spend $4 billion over the next seven years to make its vehicles part of the IoT. It will introduce its I.D. line of electric vehicles in 2020. VW is currently working with Nvidia on a self-driving Audi model, also rolling out in 2020. Its electronic control units will use the same programming language and a software platform dubbed vw.OS.

Tim Kentley-Klay, co-founder and CEO of Zoox, is no longer leading the company, although he remains a director of the secretive startup. He tweeted Wednesday that the Zoox board fired him “without warning, cause or right of reply.” Zoox last month completed a $500 million round of private funding, with a post-money valuation of $3.2 billion.

WaveSense is developing ground-penetrating radar technology that it hopes will find a place in the autonomous vehicles of the future. The technology was originally developed by MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory for the Department of Defense, which deployed the radar on military vehicles. WaveSense has pilot projects going with several automotive partners and is raising $3 million in seed funding led by Rhapsody Venture Partners.

Texas Instruments is proposing to build a new fab in Richardson, Texas, not far from its Dallas headquarters. The company filed a property tax application with the Plano Independent School District, laying out the basics of the project, which would create up to 625 jobs. The facility will reportedly cost $3.2 billion.

SoftBank Group led a Series D funding round of $300 million for San Francisco-based Getaround, a peer-to-peer car rental startup. Toyota Motor and other existing investors also participated in the new funding, which Getaround will use to expand its operations in North America and other locations around the world. Established in 2013, the startup now offers its car-sharing service in 66 U.S. cities.

Columbus, Ohio-based Root Insurance raised $100 million in Series D funding led by Tiger Global Management. The car insurance startup uses driver data gathered from mobile applications. Root now carries a post-money valuation of $1 billion. Also participating in the funding round are Redpoint Ventures, Ribbit Capital, and Scale Venture Partners.

Latchable of New York, doing business as Latch, received $70 million in Series B funding led by Brookfield Ventures. Founded in 2013 and in stealth mode until 2016, Latch offers a smart lock system for apartment buildings. It has a pilot program with UPS to enable drivers to enter buildings for deliveries, using unique credentials. The startup’s total private funding now stands at $96 million.

CassTime Technologies of Shenzhen, China, raised $36 million in Series B3 funding led by Mangrove Bay Capital. Existing investors Fosun RZ Capital and Shunwei Capital were joined by Shanghe Capital, a new investor. CassTime, which offers a business-to-business platform for auto parts and accessories, took in a total of $95 million in three Series B rounds.

Long Beach, Calif.-based Cargomatic received $35 million in Series B funding led by Warburg Pincus. The company specializes in freight-load matching for truckers and shippers.

Semmle raised $21 million in Series B funding led by Accel, bringing its total funding to $31 million. Work-Bench also participated in the new round. The company was spun out of Oxford University in 2006 and makes its headquarters in San Francisco. Its customers include Google, Microsoft, and NASA. Semmle offers tools for semantically searching code to find vulnerabilities.

New York-based Carmera received $20 million in Series B funding led by GV (formerly Google Ventures). The startup, which also has an office in Seattle, offers what it calls “street-level intelligence for autonomy,” meaning mapping technology for autonomous vehicles. Its total funding is $26.5 million. Carmera will use the new funds to double its headcount to more than 50 people.

India’s Revv raised $14.3 million in Series B funding led by Hyundai Motor. Dream Incubator, Telama Investment, Edelweiss, and Beenext also participated in the round, which brings the on-demand car rental startup’s total financing to $23 million. Revv will use the money to expand operations and to increase revenue.

Gecko Robotics of Pittsburgh received $7 million from Founders Fund, The Westly Group, Y Combinator, Mark Cuban, and Justin Kan. The company provides industrial safety and inspection robots, capable of climbing walls. Gecko was established in 2013.

Toronto-based Canvass Analytics raised $5 million in funding led by Gradient Ventures, part of Google’s investing network. Bedrock Industries, Viaduct Ventures, Real Ventures, and Barney Pell also participated in the round. Canvass was established in 2016 and has other offices in San Francisco and in Basel, Switzerland. The startup supplies predictive analytics for the Industrial IoT, using AI. Its total funding is $6.5 million.

Bandura Systems, a cybersecurity startup, received $4 million in Series A funding from Grotech Ventures, Gula Tech Adventures, Cultivation Capital, and the Maryland Venture Fund. The company, which specializes in cyberthreat intelligence, has offices in Columbia, Md., and Lake St. Louis, Mo.

Arm TechCon 2018 is scheduled for October 16-18 at the San Jose Convention Center in Silicon Valley, relocating this year from its previous home at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Arm is expecting 4,000 attendees. Keynote addresses will be given by Arm executives and others.