CRN Exclusive: Rigado's IoT Connectivity Suite Arms Channel With Key Building Blocks, Bluetooth 5 Capabilities

Internet of Things startup Rigado is investing in its channel partners with a new connectivity suite to help them rapidly prototype Bluetooth 5 IoT solutions.

The suite, which is designed to make the IoT product design and development process easier while reducing the cost and risk of deployments, is available now to the company's systems integrator partners, as well as to manufacturers directly. Roughly half of the Portland, Ore.-based company's sales are through the channel, and Rigado is looking to grow that channel base, according to the startup.

’We’re very excited about the announcement of our edge connectivity suite. … Rigado’s been developing connectivity solutions for low-power wireless devices for years, but what makes this exciting is that we’re announcing it along with the Bluetooth 5 capability available for the suite,’ said Kevin Tate, chief revenue officer at Rigado.

[Related: Armis Channel Chief: IoT Security Startup Aims To Double Partner Roster, Build Out Channel Leadership In 2018]

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The new IoT connectivity suite is comprised of connectivity ’building blocks’ including a new end device module, the BMD-340; a Vesta IoT Gateway; and cloud-based tools for secure deployment and updating.

’If you put yourself in the shoes of a hospitality or retail company that needs a connected guest experience, they need to figure out how to collect and act on data and pump it up to the cloud,’ said Tate. ’It’s harder than it should be, especially with low-power technologies where power and size make a big difference. We put those building blocks together so companies don’t have to worry about the connectivity and computing platform.’

A key component of the connectivity suite is its Bluetooth 5 capabilities. Bluetooth 5 technology essentially focuses on increasing the functionality of Bluetooth for IoT so that devices will have low energy and secure and simple connectivity.

’It’s exciting to see how much Bluetooth is being pulled in and how it creates opportunities around asset tracking, smart lighting and connected retail,’ Tate said.

Murdoch Fitzgerald, vice president of semiconductor marketing at Centennial, Colo.-based distributor Arrow Electronics, said the biggest advantage of the connectivity suite for the channel is these different components, which can help partners focus not on the technology but on the business solution when bringing IoT products to market. The IoT connectivity suite is available through Arrow, as well as distributors Digi-Key, Future and Mouser.

’IoT is still very complex. There are a lot of components to the technology stack from sensors to wireless connectivity, to gateways and security. We need to focus on the business challenges, and that means we want simple key building blocks for the IoT stack,’ Fitzgerald said. ’That allows us to focus on unleashing the value of the data and monetize that data.’

Rigado has been funneling more investment into its products – in early June the company said it has raised $3.3 million in seed funding from Oregon Angel Fund, Rogue Ventures and other investors. Rigado said in a release that it will use this funding to grow its global presence in Europe and Asia, as well as expand its IoT connectivity product line with new solutions.

Looking ahead, Tate said he hopes the channel will be able to continue to use the building blocks from the connectivity suite and focus as they bring solutions to market.

’From a channel perspective, the ability to package a solution in building blocks is key … when partners can put those pieces together and present them to customers as an integrated solution it allows for some innovation,’ he said.