The 10 Coolest Industrial IoT Startups Of 2020
CRN looks at industrial IoT startups that made big moves this year, between new funding rounds, product launches, partnerships and executive hires.
2020 Hit Industrial IoT Hard, But Growth Will Return
It’s not an understatement that 2020 has been a mixed bag for the industrial IoT world, with some companies slowing down spending while others ramp up digital transformation initiatives.
Research firm IDC said the coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted demand for IoT solutions overall, with growth slowing down for discrete manufacturing, oil and gas, and transportation in particular. However, IDC expects these industries to go from mid-single-digit growth this year to double-digit growth over the next few years.
[Related: The 10 Coolest IoT Startups Of 2020]
“COVID-19 adds a new force shaping IoT maturity evolution as the companies have been forced to adjust their technology roadmaps in response to the crisis,” said Svetlana Khimina, senior research analyst with IDC‘s Customer Insights & Analysis group, in a statement. “It may further widen the divide between the two types of IoT adopters – determined advanced users and those who were struggling to understand ROI and monetize their IoT initiatives and to go beyond mere data collection.
“The second group will likely postpone their IoT investment, not seeing clear benefits in the near and long terms, and fall further behind, while others will leverage their IoT expertise focusing on the use cases that will help them secure a more advanced position in the next normal,” Khimina added.
This means industrial IoT startups still have opportunities, but they will need to figure out which companies and organizations belong in each group and approach them accordingly with IoT solutions that can help them manage, analyze and secure their IoT devices.
What follows are the 10 coolest IoT startups of 2020, and they range in capabilities and focus, from data integrity solutions and IoT connectivity platforms to analytics and computing software.
CEO: Jonas Hellgren
Aperio Systems provides what it says is an “industry-first’ industrial IoT data integrity solution that aims to help businesses make better decisions with accurate data.
The Boston-based startup announced in October that it had raised $8.5 million in a Series A funding round led by the venture arm of National Grid.
The company said its data integrity solution uses machine learning and AI in real time to validate data from industrial assets, helping companies in oil and gas, manufacturing and other verticals maximize their return on investment for digital solutions.
CEO: Saar Yoskovitz
Augury helps organizations monitor the health and performance of their machines with a solution that combines multi-faceted wireless sensors and artificial intelligence algorithms.
The startup, which is based in New York and Israel, announced in October that it had raised a $55 million Series D round from several investors, including Qualcomm Ventures.
Augury‘s solution starts with its wireless Halo sensors that can monitor vibration, temperature and magnetic data from machines, which are then recorded and sent to the startup’s secure cloud to run AI algorithms for predictive maintenance and asset performance management.
CEO: Albert Behr
BehrTech is taking a software-oriented approach to low-power, wide-area networks for industrial IoT with a solution that has lower interference than the proprietary LoRa long-range protocol.
The Toronto-based startup in May announced that it has received a grant of more than $3 million to develop next-generation wireless connectivity for IoT from a joint funding program through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
This year, the company released a massive update for its MYTHINGs Central software platform, which included back-end integration with cloud solutions like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Cumulocity. The company also partnered with Andorix to enable multiple IoT solutions in commercial buildings managed by QuadReal Property Group.
CEO: Yaniv Vardi
Industrial cybersecurity provider Claroty aims to close the security gap between IT and operational technology with its threat detection, asset management and network segmentation software.
The New York-based vendor this year appointed Yaniv Vardi, former leader of Israeli energy management provider Panoramic Power, as its new CEO, with the goal of bringing its entire portfolio to more customers in emerging verticals like transportation and food and beverage.
The startup has expanded its security capabilities with new network monitoring, threat detection and vulnerability management integrations for its Secure Remote Access software as well as a new hygiene score that analyzes which OT assets and systems are at the greatest risk of an attack. Most recently, the startup announced a partnership with CrowdStrike for integration between their platforms.
CEO: Eric Simone
ClearBlade provides industrial IoT solutions such as automated rail and smart monitoring on top of edge computing software that works across cloud, edge and on-premises servers.
The Austin-based company raised a $6.6 million funding round from investors in April, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
ClearBlade announced several partnerships this year, including a one with industrial IoT hardware vendor Advantech for an edge-native smart monitoring hardware and software bundle. The company has also formed partnerships with Dispersive Networks for a zero-trust edge solution, with Radio Bridge Inc. for a remote tank monitoring solution and with Trilogy Networks for bringing intelligent edge connectivity to rural America.
CEO: Andy Bane
Element provides software for OSISoft PI System users to analyze their industrial data and turn it into valuable insights that can improve operational performance.
The San Francisco-based startup announced in June that it had raised an $18 million Series B funding round that was expected to help the company expand in the chemical, power, and oil and gas markets as well as focus on enterprise-wise deployments.
The company’s Element AssetHub solution makes it easy for enterprises to take hundreds of diverse sources of IT and OT data and transform them for modern analytical applications.
CEO: David King
FogHorn Systems provides an edge intelligence platform that aims to streamline artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads in edge devices.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup announced in February that it had more than 100 industrial IoT use cases with dozens of customers and grew annual license bookings from last year nearly tenfold as it started signing multimillion-dollar, multiyear enterprise licenses with large industrial companies.
That momentum helped FogHorn raise a $25 million Series C round earlier this year that was led by South Korean industrial conglomerate LS Corp., with participation by return investors including Dell Technologies Capital, Intel Capital, Honeywell Ventures and GE Ventures.
CEO: Edgard Capdevielle
Nozomi Networks provides a cybersecurity platform that allows enterprises to monitor OT and IoT device behavior and detect threats across edge and cloud networks.
The San Francisco-based startup has racked up some major partnerships this year, including one with Honeywell that integrated Nozomi Networks’ security and visibility capabilities into the Honeywell Forge Cybersecurity software. The company’s software is also available on the Schneider Electric Exchange.
In November, the company announced that it had received an investment from Forward Investments, the venture arm of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.
CEO: Sanjit Biswas
Samsara is tackling the transportation and industrial markets with a sensor data platform for connected operations that combines advanced cameras and sensors with software.
The San Francisco-based startup raised $400 million in new funding, according to a May filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, adding to the $300 million the company previously raised in September 2019. According to Bloomberg, the funding gave Samsara a new valuation of $5.4 billion, and new investors included AllianceBernstein Holding LP and General Atlantic.
This year, the company was ranked No. 24 in North America for Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, with three-year revenue growth of 9,031 percent.
CEO: Steve Sliwa
Seeq‘s software runs advanced analytics on manufacturing data that companies are already collecting from sensors and machines, giving them the ability to monitor systems and do predictive maintenance.
The Seattle-based startup, which has a remote workforce, announced in January that it had raised a $24 million Series B round led by Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, with participation from return investors Altira Group, Chevron Technology Ventures and Second Avenue Partners. The company then raised an additional $5.8 million in September from Cisco Investments and other investors.
The new funding arrived as the company said it had recruited more than 50 channel partners and customers across more than 40 countries, including British-Dutch oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC as well as pharmaceutical heavyweights Merck and Roche.