The 10 Hottest IoT Startups Of 2021

These IoT startups are delivering new offerings for security, sensors and device management, among other critical areas for IT. They are also addressing a variety of industries, from construction and smart buildings to rail freight and process manufacturing.

IoT Spending Is Making a Comeback, Which Is Good News For Startups

If projections for enterprise IoT spending hold any truth for 2021, it’s been a good year for IoT vendors, and it also likely benefited the variety of startups that are creating new solutions around capturing, analyzing and protecting data that is captured by sensors.

Enterprise IoT spending grew only 12.1 percent in 2020 to $128.9 billion, according to IoT Analytics, but the research firm projected that spending growth would double to 24 percent this year and then continue to grow 26.7 percent annually for the next for years. This means increasingly larger opportunities for IoT startups that are working on new offerings for IoT security, IoT sensors and IoT device management, among other critical areas for the sector.

[Related: The 10 Hottest Semiconductor Startup Companies Of 2021]

What follows are the 10 hottest IoT startups of 2021. They include companies that are led by former Microsoft and Intel executives as well as entrepreneurs that come from places as diverse as Foodpanda in Singapore and EA-owned video game developer DICE. And their offerings are addressing a variety of industries, from construction and smart buildings to rail freight and process manufacturing.

For more of the biggest startups, products and news stories of 2021, click here.


Top Executive: Yevgeny Dibrov, CEO

Armis is building a war chest to expand its asset security business, which includes the startup’s agentless device security platform for securing a variety of IoT devices and operational technology systems. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup recently announced that it has raised a $300 million funding round led by One Equity Partners at a $3.4 billion valuation. The funding by One Equity Partners will give the IoT security startup access to the private equity firm’s portfolio of companies, including semiconductor company Allegro MicroSystems. The new funding comes after the startup raised $125 million from investors, including the investment arm of Brookfield Asset Management, earlier this year. The company has made key hires this year to grow its expertise in health care, operational technology and industrial control systems, and it has added Crowdstrike President Michael Carpenter to its board.


Top Executive: Yaniv Vardi, CEO

Claroty has big ambitions of becoming a publicly traded cybersecurity software provider for industrial IoT and operational technology environments. The New York-based startup announced in June a $140 million Series D funding round to expand “significantly” into new verticals and geographies, and it said the round will likely be its last before it files for an initial public offering. The round comes after the startup made expansions into new verticals like transportation and food and beverage and introduced a new Secure Remote Access offering, which can shut down attacks that happen through remote sessions.


Top Executive: John Markus Lervik, CEO

Cognite wants to redefine modern industrial data management with a platform that can contextualize the data of underlying IT and operational technology sources for better operational decision-making. The Austin, Texas-based startup in May announced that it has raised a $150 million funding round led by growth equity firm TCV that brough its valuation to $1.6 billion. With customers in asset-intensive industries like BP, Saudi Aramco and Mitsubishi, the startup is enabling applications for predictive maintenance and product optimization, among others.


Top Executive: Thru Shivakumar, CEO

Cohesion wants to take smart building technology to the next level with what it calls the “world’s first” digital twin technology for real estate asset managers. The Chicago-based startup announced recently that it has raised a $15 million Series A funding round from investors. Using data from IoT devices and other sources in commercial buildings, the startup’s platform “simulates building operations to predict outcomes and automate system responses.” The startup said it has “tens of millions of square feet of commercial office space under its management” with support from JLL, CBRE, The John Buck Company and other top real estate companies.


Top Executive: Bob Nunn, CEO

Everactive wants to enable a new wave of connected devices with a long-lasting, battery-free sensor 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 this year raised a Series C funding round of more than $50 million, which includes $16 million in strategic funding from 3M, Ericsson and Armstrong International, three companies that were previously existing customers or partners. The startup said as of July that its recurring revenue has grown by 400 percent over the past 12 months.


Top Executive: Amir Haleem, CEO

Helium is providing decentralized wireless infrastructure for IoT devices and beyond with a blockchain that incentivizes consumers to host hotspots in exchange for receiving cryptocurrency. The San Francisco-based startup announced this year its plan to build out a 5G network using its blockchain-based incentive model, and DISH Network will be the first major carrier to use it. The startup is building out 5G infrastructure using the same hotspot model that allowed the startup to create a LoRAWAN network of more than 250,000 nodes across the world. To help support these ambitions, Helium raised $111 million in a token sale from multiple investors, including Andreessen Horowitz.


Top Executive: Ben Forgan, CEO

Hologram wants to handle the heavy lifting of IoT device management with its cellular connectivity platform, which relies on global SIM technology and a flexible pricing model to streamline deployments. The Chicago-based startup this year raised a $67 million Series B funding round from investors as it reached more than 470 carriers across 200 countries on its platform and thousands of customers in verticals ranging from health care to manufacturing. The startup’s customers include Bossa Nova Robotics, Intelligent Cargo Systems, Arable and Amper.


Top Executive: Stefan Kalmund, CEO

Nexxiot is bringing IoT to rail freight transport with a hardware and software solution that digitizes non-powered cargo transport assets, giving them increased efficiency and reducing waste that is caused by empty runs and inefficient routes. The Zurich, Switzerland-based startup announced in June that it had raised a $25 million funding round from investors to expand its presence in North America and invest in research and development. The startup says it’s now one of the “largest rail freight and tank container IoT providers” with customers in more than 160 countries.


Top Executive: Lisa Graham, CEO

Seeq is helping engineers and data scientists at process manufacturers uncover new insight with an advanced analytics platform. The Seattle-based startup said in November that it had promoted chemical engineer Lisa Graham to the role of CEO, taking over from Steve Sliwa, who is remaining with the company in an advisory role as vice chairman and co-founder. The appointment was made after the startup earlier this year raised a $50 million Series C round led by private equity firm Insight Partners, with participation from Cisco Investments and major investors in the oil and gas space, including Chevron Technology Ventures and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures. The startup says it has customers in oil and gas, pharmaceutical, chemical, energy, mining and good and beverage, and it relies on a global network of system integrators to drive sales in more than 25 countries.


Top Executive: Meirav Ore, CEO

Versatile is shaking up the construction industry with an IoT-powered solution that aims to improve productivity for crane-related projects. The San Francisco-based startup recently announced that it has raised an $80 million Series B funding round from investors. The startup said more than 40 percent of the leading general contractors in North America have adopted its CraneView hardware and software solution, which is centered around an under-the-hook lifting accessory that collects a variety of data points, including crane utilization and load details, using multiple sensors.