IoT startups: Six with great ideas — and big funding

Connected devices are a norm rather than an optional add-on nowadays. With hundreds of startups emerging each year, Internet of Things (IoT) technology has been making significant strides in the IT industry. According to Forbes, 26,792 startups rely on IoT to launch new products. The market looks lucrative too. This is why investors are pouring millions into IoT startups. More than 78 percent of IoT startups have had two funding rounds with early-stage rounds being the most common. The total IoT startup funding reached $16.7 billion in 2018. Here are six interesting IoT startups that got funded in 2018-19.

1. Alert Media

Alert Media offers monitoring services and a critical communications platform to enterprise customers. The company is changing the mass notifications into useful communications. Alert Media’s cloud-based platform allows its customers to seamlessly send and receive emergency alert notifications from anywhere, at any time. AlertMedia’s mission is to help organizations monitor critical events such as natural disasters, network outages, terrorist attacks, and active shooter scenarios.

In January, AlertMedia secured $25 million in its Series C funding round led by Silverton Partners, ATX Seed, and Next Coast Ventures. The company has raised $42 million so far and generates $8.8 million in revenue annually.

Businesses are also using the Alert Media platform for operational activities and regular business communications regarding dispatching and scheduling. The platform is highly scalable, has a flexible API, and is compatible with many devices. The company’s customer base is populated by various sectors including transportation, telecom, health care, manufacturing, energy, government, and education.

2. Armis Security

Armis Security is an IoT security platform that lets businesses monitor and control every device in the network. Armis eliminates the IoT security blind spot. This eventually lets companies instantly view and control all the unmanaged devices and networks. Armis also integrates with the existing IT infrastructure and gives business visibility into and management over any device, whether on or off the corporate network. As a result, enterprises will be able to gain much more productivity benefits of using IoT devices without sacrificing security.

In April 2018, Armis Security raised $30 million in the Series B funding round led by Temasek Venture Capital. With this funding round the total investment of the company rose to $47 million. The company has conducted three funding rounds so far and is funded by seven investors. Armis Security generates $2.1 million in revenue annually.


KONUX is a Munich-based analytics and sensor company, combining the German engineering quality with Silicon Valley’s innovation and speed. The startup develops customized smart sensors and uses artificial intelligence-based data analytics to generate real-time insights into the health of infrastructure and machines. The startup aims to solve complex technical challenges and help the customers to become data-driven industrial companies. As of now, KONUX is digitizing the Deutsche Bahn High-Speed Railway Network by providing condition monitoring (which is a critical part of the railway infrastructure) for crossing and switches.

In February, the company secured $13 million in the Series B funding round from some of the new investors that include the MIG AG, Alibaba Group, Upbeat ventures, and New Enterprises Associates. KONUX will use the funds to expand its business to new geographies including China, which is the world’s fastest-growing railway market. The company has raised a total of $51.5 million in over six funding rounds and generates $10 million in revenue annually.

4. Dragos

Dragos is a startup that specializes in industrial cybersecurity. Dragos has a mission to protect the world’s most critical infrastructure from harmful adversaries. Its cloud-based platform collects, automates, and detects asset visualization and inventorying, threat behavior analytics, security operations, and incident response workflows. Dragos exclusively has a center for threat operations that offers customers access to a dedicated industrial control systems (ICS) incident, threat-hunting services, and industry-specific intelligent reporting on threats, vulnerabilities, and community events. In March, Dragos acquired NexDefense, an Atlanta-based industrial control systems visibility provider to expand its portfolio.

In the November 2018, the company secured $37 million in the Series B funding round led by some of the existing investors that includes Emerson, National Grid Partners, and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. Founded in 2016, the early-stage venture managed to raise a total of $48.2 million in three funding rounds by seven investors.

5. Element Analytics

Element Analytics offers a software platform for the industries that turn raw data into useful insights. Their industrial software analytics solution integrates operational historian data with existing industrial systems and handles the real-time industrial data volume and complexity. Its web interface enables data and ops teams to automate data preparation, get actionable insights, and make proactive decisions. The solution is also used for data standardization, data trust assurance, advanced diagnostics, data contextualization, and predictive modeling. In December 2017, Element Analytics was named as one of the “Efficient 50” companies in a report published by JMP Securities. Joseph Osho, the managing director of JMP Securities, noted that Elemental Analytics analyzes operational data in a highly sophisticated way.

IoT startups
Flickr / Peter Bihr

In January 2018, the San Francisco-based company secured $19.5 million from some of the leading venture capitalists who specialize in industrial applications including ABB Technology Ventures. The company has raised a total of $22 million since its founding and generates $8 million in revenue annually.

6. IoTium

IoTium is the industry-first commercially deployed, cloud Infrastructure company for Industrial IoT. The company offerings have been deployed in the dozens of leading organizations in building automation, power and utilities, oil and gas, health care, and manufacturing segments as well as in smart cities. IoTium focuses on solving the deployment complexities associated with digital transformation. The company’s solution ensures that any machine, which is using any kind of protocol, can be instantly, securely and seamlessly connected to an application residing in any cloud or datacenter through any networks operator and infrastructure. IoTium solution eliminates deployment complexity issues and minimizes network security risks. Their vision for converged infrastructure for IoT is validated by Fortune 500 customers across multiple vertical markets.

In September 2018, the company raised $13.6 million in a Series B funding round that makes the total funding amount to $22 million. The capital will most likely be used for accelerating the ongoing technology leadership and for fueling the company’s market expansion in the U.S. and abroad. The company generates $2 million in revenue annually.

Along with the benefits, IoT comes with the risk of bad cybersecurity hygiene. Security vulnerabilities increase proportionally with the number of connected devices. Integration with existing tech and uncertain returns on investment are also the biggest barriers to IoT adoption in the enterprise. However, these challenges are being worked on and according to Bain, enterprises would spend 22 percent more on IoT devices if the security concerns were addressed. Enterprise customers are designing and executing more proof-of-concept pilots. Many of them are balancing their expectations regarding broader adoption. Cloud service providers are becoming influential providers of IoT services leaving the smaller opportunities for other providers in niche sectors. According to Gartner, there will be more than 20 billion connected devices in use worldwide by 2020.

Featured image: Wikipedia

1 thought on “IoT startups: Six with great ideas — and big funding”

  1. Cooler Screens is a stealth mode startup with a leadership team that could leave even larger tech companies green with envy. The company, which builds IoT-enabled marketing screens for grocery stores, was founded by Livongo Health CEO Glen Tullman, Argo Tea CEO Arsen Avakian and former Walgreen’s CEO Greg Wasson. According to an SEC filing, Cooler Screens raised $700,000 in funding late last year. We anticipate learning more about what the company is up to later this year.

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