The 10 Coolest IoT Startups Of 2015 (So Far)

The Future Of IT

The Internet of Things is booming, and on the leading edge of that explosion are startups. These are the firms that are defining the future of an industry that some say will be the next big thing in IT, estimated to be a market worth $1.9 trillion in 2013.

With this collection of IoT startups CRN profiles cutting-edge IoT 3-D visualization technology, ones that let anyone create bridges between social media and IoT, and a company that is pioneering the limits of how video can be incorporated into the world of IoT.

Here is a look at some of today's hottest IoT startups.

"CRN's Tech Midyear In Review

IFTTT (If This Then That)

CEO and Founder: Linden Tibbets

IFTTT is an acronym for "If This Then That" that may sound odd for the name of company, but nails exactly what it does at its core. The San Francisco-based startup bridges the gap between the physical world and the Internet using simple logic and a hefty dash of IoT. Just as the name of the company implies, it allows companies and consumers to create digital recipes that connect devices, such as a phone's camera, Fitbit, HP printer, a smart lightbulb and a home energy monitor to a cloud service, Twitter feed, Dropbox, or you name it.

A simple example of how it works is a user could create a rule such as: If my company's name is mentioned on Twitter then send me a text message. The startup, which has received $30 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz and Norwest Venture Partners, has collected 125 apps that work with such web services as Twitter, Craigslist, Reddit and Square.

MuleS oft

CEO: Greg Schott

Think of startup MuleSoft as an IoT translator of sorts. Its mission is to help other companies better organize their data so partners can access information and turn it into actionable business outcomes. MuleSoft, which recently received $128 million and has a valuation of $1.5 billion, also helps companies adopt IoT programming tools and APIs to unlock the value of their data.

The San Francisco-based company, with 500 employees and offices around the world, already boasts a number of high-caliber customers, including multinational banks and the health-care company Sutter Health.

Electric Imp

CEO and Co-Founder: Hugo Fiennes

The gazillions of connected devices hitting the market every day that enable us to monitor, track and collect what's going on in our homes and offices need a common platform to manage all that data. Electric Imp wants to be that platform.

Electric Imp makes a wireless module and is creating a cloud-based platform to enable companies to develop applications to get them the most out of IoT. The company, based in both Los Altos, Calif., and Cambridge, England has recently raised $15 million in Series B funding with the most notable being electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn. That investment comes on the heels of of $8 million in funding raised two years ago from Redpoint Ventures and Lowercase Capital.

Electric Imp says its chips are embedded in about half a million connected devices around the world.

Davra Networks

CEO: Paul Glynn

One networking company striving to lead the Internet-of-Things market is Davra Networks.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company launched its IoT RuBAN platform last year purpose-built for IT solution providers and VARs for rapid deployment of IoT solutions and applications using a single platform.

In March, RuBAN was added to Cisco's SolutionsPlus program as an IoT management and application enablement platform through a partnership with the networking giant. Cisco customers can now procure RuBAN for IoT deployments. Davra also became one of 35 independent software vendors to join Cisco's new Application Developer Program, which gives Davra access to an online Intercloud Marketplace where customers can shop.


CEO: Sanjit Biswas

Although not officially a networking vendor as of yet, the sensor startup told CRN its plan is to integrate software-centric solutions that include hardware, data analytics and networking software aimed at the Internet-of-Things market.

Samsara exploded out of stealth mode in May led by the founders of the successful cloud-based networking provider Meraki, which was purchased by Cisco for $1.2 billion in 2012.

"We thought about how we could build a product that combined sensor hardware and networking and cloud services, so then you could have a very easy-to-deploy sensor system that lets customers use sensors in types of places they couldn't use [them] before," said Kiren Sekar, vice president of product management and marketing at Samsara, in an interview with CRN.

The San Francisco-based sensor startup also recently racked up $25 million in a first round of funding.


CEO: Damian Banks

Chicago-based Konekt wants to be the connective tissue between things and the Internet with its APIs, tools and platforms that enable developers to build IoT applications. What gives it an edge over the myriad of other firms trying to accomplish the same goal is its expertise in merging of cellular plans, cloud infrastructure and APIs while other IoT platform developers have focused on the wireless technologies Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The young startup has received $1.3 million in seed funding to create the wireless chips and sensors, APIs, back-end cloud data services and enterprise-grade security to protect the platform.


CEO: Todd Greene

This San Francisco–based startup focuses on building a realtime IoT platform to create a reliable and secure way for two-way streaming of data between devices and back-end cloud services. The company has already received $20 million in funding led by Sapphire Ventures and Scale Venture Partners.

PubNub said it already is working with 2,000 businesses and partners, including McDonald's, CBS and Yahoo. It also boasts 70 SDKs allowing developers to integrate PubNub's network into their own systems.


CEO and Co-Founder: Ville Mickelsson

CyberLightning makes software that can create 3-D visualization of IoT data that makes it easier to analyze big data captured by sensor networks. The software, called CyberVille, is aimed to make it easier for massive IoT implementations (such as energy, traffic or other infrastructure companies) and to manage and correlate data via a business intelligent dashboard.

The Finnish company has raised $4.2 million from various investors, including VC firm Inventure, TEKES (the tax payer-funded Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) and other EU tax payer-sponsored funds in hopes to open new markets around the world.

Digital Lumens

CEO: Tom Pincince

Digital Lumens, a so-called LED-as-a-Service firm, leverages the Internet of Things to help companies cut their lighting bills by up to 90 percent and intelligently manage their lighting.

In an interview with ITBestOfBreed, Digital Lumens CEO Tom Pincince said the digitization of light via LED technology has created as many new management opportunities as the advent of VoIP. And much like VoIP, intelligent lighting is a booming market. Networked lighting controls will be a $5.3 billion business in 2020, up from $1.7 billion in 2013, according to a 2013 report from Navigant Research.

The Boston-based startup has received $65 million in funding led by Nokia Growth Partners.


CEO: Martin Renkis

Startup Smartvue has carved a unique niche in the world of IoT as a cloud-surveillance and Internet-of-Things Video (IoTV) technology company. Smartvue offers companies a cloud video surveillance service that allows users to store video in what it describes as its "fast, secure, and double-redundant global cloud, locally on a Network Video Recorder, or as a hybrid option utilizing the flexibility of both."

In one implementation of Smartvue's surveillance platform used by law enforcement, cameras mounted to patrol cars capture video that is streamed to a secure cloud locker. That footage can be accessed remotely via smartphones, tablets and computers for realtime analysis or review.

Smartvue has added $15 million in financing through funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group.