The 10 Coolest Internet Of Things Startups Of 2016

IoT Startup Central

The Internet of Things is steadily on track to becoming a lucrative market – and startups, like vendors, want to tap into IoT use cases like application development, home automation, and connected factories.

Investors like Cisco Systems, Intel Capital and Qualcomm Ventures also realize the potential of IoT. Funding for IoT startups is at an all-time high – the level of funding reached $846 million in financing in the first quarter of 2016, up from $680 million in the year-ago quarter, according to a report by market research firm CB Insights.

From Afero to Foghorn Systems, the following are some of the coolest Internet of Things startups in 2016.

(For more of our 2016 retrospective, check out 'CRN's 2016 Tech Year In Review.')


CEO: Joe Britt

Connected products are a great idea – but may not work if the Wi-Fi network goes down. Los Altos, Calif.-based startup Afero, wants to fix this problem.

The startup, founded in 2015, focuses on making it easier for developers to get IoT devices securely connected and out to the market. The company provides modules for edge devices, hubs, a secure cloud and developer tools to allow IoT device developers to concentrate on building devices, while they provide the foundation for IoT services and automation.

Last May, Afero raised $20.3 million in a new round of Series A funding.

Ayla Networks

CEO: David Friedman

Ayla Networks provides an end-to-end platform for Internet of Things manufacturers in a variety of markets – including home appliances, HVAC systems, water heaters, and home fire and safety products. Its platform is comprised of Ayla Embedded Agents, Ayla Cloud Services, and Ayla Application Libraries, providing a complete solution for bringing connected products to market.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, founded in 2010, announced that it secured $39 million in Series C funding, led by design manufacturer 3NOD and Ants Capital, in June. Ayla Networks said it would use the funding to expand abroad, including new offices in Japan and Taiwan.

Bayshore Networks

CEO: Mike Dager

Bayshore Networks wants to focus on one area of IoT that is becoming a larger concern to customers and partners alike: industrial security.

The company touts cloud-based software, the Bayshore IT/OT Gateway, to protect industrial enterprises against Internet-based attacks. This product provides IT departments with critical visibility to operational technology infrastructure, networks, applications, machines and employees.

The company, founded in 2012, in May announced it has raised $6.6 million in Series A funding from Trident Capital Cybersecurity and existing angel investors.


CEO: Eric Jennings

Founded in 2012, Filament taps into IoT security applications using blockchain technology.

The company offers a decentralized IoT software stack that utilizes the bitcoin blockchain to enable devices to hold unique identities on a public ledger – so that they can secure communicate. On the hardware side, Filament offers low power nodes to connect existing machinery and industrial infrastructure to the network.

In 2015, Filament landed more than $6 million in Series A funding led by Bullpen Capital and including Verizon Ventures.

FogHorn Systems

CEO: David King

FogHorn Systems provides solutions for OEMs, system integrators and customers in vertical markets – such as smart city, healthcare, retail and manufacturing – through its "edge intelligence" software.

This software platform carries machine learning to the on-premise edge environment to prevent catastrophic failures in machines like industrial pumps or wind turbines. The company also provides a scalable edge analytics platform to enable real-time, on-site stream processing of sensor data from industrial machines,

The company, which was founded in 2015, announced in July a $12 million in Series A funding, which CEO David King said it would use to develop IoT systems tailored for industrial and commercial partners.


CEO: Linden Tibbets

IFTTT, an abbreviation for "If This, Then That," has taken its formula for connecting web services and tapped into the consumer home automation market.

The San Francisco, Calif.-based company enable customers to bring their favorite services together from various connected devices by using simple, conditional commands. For instance, users can use IFTTT to get a morning wake-up call with the weather forecast, or they can have their garage open automatically when their car enters the driveway. The IFTTT app currently is compatible with home smart hub products, like Amazon's Echo. IFTTT also announced that developers can now integrate its customizable service "recipes" directly into their apps.


CEO: F. Scott Moody

K4Connect, founded in 2013, uses the power of the Internet of Things to help senior citizens and individuals living with disabilities.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based company's solution, K4Community, is designed to connect senior living communities and improve living situations for elderly citizens. The solution uses sensors to enable a "responsive home," so temperature and lights automatically adjust to user preferences. The company's IoT platform also enables users to track their health and fitness, and keep in touch with family members through a complementary mobile platform. In October, Intel Capital announced that it would invest in K4Connect.


CEO: Scott Noteboom

LitBit's goal is to integrate older systems with smart devices that are already connected to the Internet of Things. The company touts its RhythmOS software, which translates system languages into a more universally understood computer language – enabling customers to build apps so that systems can work together more effectively.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company was founded in 2013 by Scott Noteboom, a data center veteran who has worked at Apple and Yahoo. LitBit in May said it secured a $7 million funding Series A round.

CEO: Rusty Cumpston is approaching the Internet of Things from an application development perspective. The company, which describes itself as "an IoT game changer built by IoT veterans," offers a cloud-based, real-time application development platform for developers, ISVs, and system builders. The San Jose, Calif.-based company, founded in 2015, says it aims to give developers everything they need to build and scale real-time, collaborative apps.


CEO: Ed Hemphill

Austin, Tex.-based WigWag, founded in 2014, focuses on the home automation market with an open source platform that can securely connect smart devices and IP networks in houses.

The WigWag system is made up of Relay, which gives users the tools necessary to bring together their smart devices, as well as mobile or desktop apps that let customers control and write basic rules quickly. WigWag works with an array of brands and protocols, such as Belkin WeMo, Philip Hue, and GE Switch – as well as Alexa. The company raised $3.175 million in seed funding from CSV Venture Capital in February, which WigWag said would go toward product development and the expansion of its development and marketing teams.