Industrial IoT Startup IoTium Hopes To Expand Vertical Footprint With $8.4 Million Funding Round

Industrial Internet of Things startup IoTium, which secures network infrastructure for manufacturing floors, said Thursday that it has secured $8.4 million in Series A financing.

IoTium CEO Ron Victor told CRN he hopes to use the capital to expand the company's channel footprint – which includes systems integrator, reseller and edge services partners – in an array of vertical markets, including smart buildings, the oil and gas markets, transportation and smart cities.

"We will use this round of funding to expand our sales and marketing," said Victor. "We want to guide the connectivity in industrial applications from the source to the sync. We are enabling the expansion of IIoT by making it possible for any type of organization to securely connect legacy mission-critical industrial assets to the cloud with minimal IT Intervention and no changes to enterprise security policy.’

[Related: Industrial IoT Superstars GE, Siemens Are Butting Heads In Manufacturing Market]

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March Capital Partners and GE Ventures led the investment, and former executive vice president and chief development officer at Cisco Pankaj Patel, OpenSource Ventures and Juniper Networks were investors as well.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based IoTium, founded this year, offers a network-as-a-service that essentially secures the connection of legacy o-nsite systems to cloud-based applications.

The company currently has a partner program, and Victor said he hopes to continue to build out IoTium's ecosystem of resellers, systems integrators, application partners, network providers, cloud service providers and gateway manufacturers as the company deepens its footprint in various verticals.

"We continue to invest heavily in our partner ecosystem, particularly on the edge services and app enablement side and the opportunities these present for partners," said Victor.

The company's offering, which became publicly available Thursday, seeks to mitigate the challenge of industrial IoT deployment complexity and security concerns for manufacturers.

Victor said that traditional IT methodologies – such as command line interfaces, usernames and passwords, and changes to firewall policies – are not compatible in the operational technology world, which has typically only dealt with closed industrial systems.

"Industrial IoT requires connecting air-gapped, unconnected … automation systems to applications that reside in public, private and hybrid cloud," said Victor. "We're seeing a big divide in the IT and OT [operational technology] world, and we are the bridge between that. We make the life of the OT people a lot easier to be compliant with IT policies."

The company's offering helps industrial organizations secure remote connectivity at scale through providing built-in security at every layer of the IIoT stack to secure both assets and data.

The offering also contains device discovery features so that organizations can easily monitor everything on their network that is authorized to be there, as well as provide the ability to deploy edge applications, accelerating the adoption of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

"Today we are focused on building automation, smart city, and oil and gas – but we will slowly keep expanding vertical by vertical," said Victor.