The 10 Coolest IoT Startups Of 2020

With new funding rounds, executive hires and product launches, these startups are making big moves this year as the demand for IoT offerings continues.

Opportunities Abound As Many Companies Continue IoT Investments

While the coronavirus pandemic has hurt demand for IoT in certain verticals, there are still many organizations that plan to make investments in the area.

Some 47 percent of companies said they plan to increase their investments in IoT, despite the impact caused by COVID-19, according to a Gartner survey of 402 respondents published in October. That’s significantly more than the 35 percent who said they are reducing their investments.

[Related: CRN’s 2020 IoT Innovators Awards]

That means startups still face many opportunities in developing new IoT offerings and innovations as organizations seek to do things like predictive maintenance and condition monitoring. The need to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading has also prompted organizations to seek tech offerings for social distancing enforcements, temperature scanning and contact tracing.

What follows are the 10 coolest IoT startups of 2020, and they range in capabilities and focus, from machine learning for physical space monitoring to security and analytics for connected devices.


CEO: John Cowan

EDJX aims to build the largest edge computing network in the world for IoT applications by using existing or repurposed infrastructure.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based edge computing startup announced a $3 million funding round from investors in October as it launched the public beta for its Edge Delivery Platform and struck new partnerships for an offering that’s meant to accelerate deployment and monetization of edge solutions.

The company’s new EdjBlock is a preintegrated edge computing infrastructure that combines repurposed servers from hyperscalers provided by ITRenew, software-defined power control from Virtual Power Systems and EDJX software to significantly lower total cost of ownership.


CEO: Bob Nunn

Everactive has developed a battery-free sensor called the Eversensor that contains a variety of sensor types and generates power from a mix of sources, including indoor solar, vibration and thermal.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup is providing the Eversensor as part of all-in-one offerings that include the hardware, configuration, wireless networking and data management. The company said its Eversensors can last for 20 years without ever needing routine maintenance.

The company has introduced two offerings: one for stream trap monitoring and another for machine health monitoring, both of which provide detailed analysis through the company’s Evercloud software.


Managing Directors: Oliver Trinchera and Alexander Hüttenbrink

Kinexon develops IoT and wearable offerings that can be used for everything from social-distancing enforcement and contact tracing to data collection and analysis of athletes on the field.

The Munich, Germany-based company announced in November that it received a venture debt loan worth 15 million euros from the European Investment Bank to expand its go-to-market in Europe, the U.S. and Asia in addition to supporting new development of data analytics and AI products.

This year, the company introduced an offering called SafeZone that uses a fleet of wristbands worn by employees that alerts them when they are too close to another co-worker. Beyond use cases for traditional workforces, the offering has also been chosen by the Southeastern Conference for enhanced COVID-19 contact tracing during the 2020 football season.


CEO: Guillermo “G” Diaz

Kloudspot provides a situational awareness and intelligence platform that provides monitoring and analytics for physical spaces.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup most recently launched a new QuickStart bundle that provides an all-in-one package for offerings ranging from temperature scanning and PPE detection to one-click contact tracing and capacity monitoring that can help organizations reduce the risk of virus spread.

Earlier this year, the company appointed Guillermo “G” Diaz, a longtime Cisco Systems executive, as its new CEO. The company has also hired Karyn Scott, another Cisco veteran who also served in top roles at AppDynamics and Flexport, as its new CMO.


CEO: Jonathan Langer

Medigate helps health-care organizations identify, manage and secure medical devices with a security and analytics platform that contains a vast database of medical devices and protocols.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based startup said in September that it had raised a $30 million Series B funding round led by investor Partech.

The company has struck some major partnerships this year. That includes a collaboration with Dell Technologies and VMware on a Medigate Healthcare Protection Solution that combines Medigate software, Dell servers and VMware’s zero-trust enforcement and micro-segmentation capabilities.


CEO: Greg Murphy

Founded by former Aruba Networks executives, Ordr is an IoT security startup that uses artificial intelligence to automatically identify, secure and segment devices on networks.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company emerged out of stealth mode last year with former Aruba Networks CEO Dominic Orr as its chairman and former Aruba Networks executive Greg Murphy as its CEO. The company has raised $16.5 million to date from investors, including venture capital firm TenEleven Ventures and seed investor Wing Ventures.

Ordr launched its global partner program in May, giving solution providers multiple ways to make money in securing and controlling connected devices on corporate IT networks. A few months later, the company gave partners an easier way to help customers uncover “shadow” IoT devices with a plug-and-play sensor as part of the new IoT Discovery Program.


CEO: Ben Davis

Phizzle aims to make IoT deployments more scalable and efficient with a software stack that enables low-wattage edge devices to deliver server-grade performance.

The San Francisco-based startup said its EDGMaker software stack can increase the power efficiency of edge devices like routers, gateways and switches by a factor of at least five, enabling devices with 40 or fewer watts to operate with the performance of a 200-watt server.

The company said in May that it had landed a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company as its first customer that will use EDGMaker to automate the management of machines like particle counters and Ph balancers, enabling significant savings in operational costs. Since then, the company has made two major hires: former Cisco executive Jeff Cristee as chief revenue officer and former SGI executive Brian Freed as senior vice president of products.


CEO: Bruce Chatterley

Senet provides connectivity platforms, enablement tools and managed services for deploying and expanding long-range, wide-area networks for IoT devices.

The Portsmouth, N.H.-based company said in September that it had raised a $16 million funding round led by investor Fisk Ventures.

The company has racked up partnerships on multiple fronts. That includes a partnership with Symmetry Electronics, a distributor of wireless, IoT and video technologies, which will give its customers the ability to use Senet LoRaWAN developer resources and access the Senet network for development.


CEO: Parthsarathi “Parth” Trivedi

Skylo aims to provide affordable and ubiquitous IoT connectivity with a service that provides a NB-IoT network connection via satellite.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based startup launched out of stealth mode in January with $116 million in funding from investors, including SoftBank Group, after completing successful field trials with major enterprise and government customers.

With connectivity that starts a $1 per user and sub-$100 modules, Skylo said its service costs 95 percent less than existing satellite offerings, which will help provide large-scale, affordable connectivity to industries like agriculture, fishing, rail and logistics.


CEO: Gabriele Montelisciani

Zerynth aims to help developers, system integrators and businesses accelerate IoT application development with development tools as well as an operating system and device manager.

The Pisa, Italy-based startup said in September that it had raised a Series A funding round of 2 million euros that was led by investor Vertis Venture 3 Tech Transfer.

The startup, which has partnerships with major cloud service providers as well as multiple semiconductor companies, supports multiple development boards with its software. The company also has the 4ZeroPlatform plug-and-play device, which provides a machine-to-cloud interface for system integrators that want to collect data from old and modern industrial devices.