The 10 Coolest IoT Startups Of 2016 (So Far)

Innovation In The IoT

The Internet of Things is a blossoming industry, full of intriguing products and smart startups. It seems like even the biggest IT companies are looking to get in on the action, but innovative, nimble startups are giving the big boys a run for their money in this rapidly expanding market.

From helping consumers get their days running a little more smoothly to making sure large-scale businesses are running as efficiently as possible, here is a list of the 10 coolest Internet of Things startups of 2016, so far.

For more on the "coolest" of 2016, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review."

Ananse Lim ited

CEO: Simon Koo

Ananse Limited, founded in 2015 and based in Hong Kong, offers a cloud-based platform that can connect the smart devices of any brand, as well as social media, email, calendar, and other data sources. The Ananse platform also injects analytical insights and intelligence into the data it collects so that users can make adjustments as needed to their daily routines.

The technology bridges the gap among different brands, standards and systems to provide users with a seamless and consistent user experience. Brands including Fitbit, Nest and Amazon's Alexa use the Ananse platform.


CEO: Ben Wilmhoff

Founded in 2014, BluFlux helps organizations with their wireless needs for IoT applications. The Louisville, Colo.-based company offers advanced antenna consulting for ultra-wideband, RF, cellular, wearable,and automotive connected devices, as well as expertise in indoor, real-time location systems, low-power radar, micro-location, motion detection and through-wall imaging.

Google's Advanced Technologies and Products (ATAP) Group selected BluFlux as a design partner for the development of Project Soli, a sensing technology that uses radar to detect touchless gesture interactions.

CEO: Rusty Cumpston

Founded in 2015, has developed a cloud-based real-time application development platform that developers can use to build and deploy reactive, real-time solutions including IoT traffic and tracking services, web privacy tools and mobile consumer apps. The app development environment that the San Jose, Calif.-based company has built allows applications to scale, even when faced with slower internet connections, a typical roadblock to IoT app development.


CEO: Eric Jennings

Filament, based in Reno, Nev., and founded in 2012, builds long-range wireless sensor networks for industrial infrastructure, including farming and mining use cases. The system's rugged control center -- The Tap -- lets users wirelessly connect existing sensors and devices, which can then be controlled from the company's HQ mobile app.

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


CEO: Brad Gaynor

Lexumo got its start in 2015 and is entering the IoT space with a focus on security. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company offers a cloud-based service to search open-source code in the background and sniff out any vulnerabilities. The service can be used to secure IoT devices.

In February, Lexumo nabbed $4.89 million in seed round funding from Accomplice, .406 Ventures and Draper.


CEO: Ed Hemphill

WigWag, founded in 2014, offers an open-source platform that can securely connect smart devices and IP networks across residential and business locations. Smart devices can be set to automatically obey rules, like setting a light switch to turn on at a specific time, or users can also control devices via a mobile app.

Launched in Austin, Texas, WigWag was founded by executives from videoconferencing vendor Lifesize Communications. 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.


CEO: Linden Tibbets

IFTTT, which stands for "If This, Then That," is another example of a company that focuses on disrupting the usual walled-off internet experience by helping disparate apps and devices work together automatically. The startup was founded in 2010 with the intention of helping to simplify consumers' lives by allowing an activity in one mobile app to prompt activity within another app, like automatically tweeting pictures that are first posted in a separate photo app. The free service also lets users set up rules for their smart home devices, like turning on a light switch when their alarm goes off, or firing off an automatic text message to a significant other as the user leaves work.

The San Francisco-based company today is working with appliance manufacturers including GE on the expansion of connected devices.


CEO: Bryan Jenks

Droplit, Melbourne, Fla., offers its "Hub" that can be used to connect disparate smart devices inside a home. The Hub -- which uses open-source software -- plugs into an existing outlet within the home and can automatically discover any smart devices. Users can control every connected device from the mobile device of their choice, regardless of their location.

Droplit was founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Bryan Jenks. Droplit is Jenks' third startup.


CEO: Abe Matamoros

EllieGrid, founded in 2015, is providing a hardware and software solution to medication management for a select group of users. The company is attempting to help older individuals with complicated medication regimens keep up with their daily pills, while also looping in caregivers and family members to ensure that the critical health care of their patients and loved ones is being maintained.

Austin, Texas-based EllieGrid has finished its first prototypes and is working with an industrial design firm on the final product, which will be released soon, according to the company.

Kellogg's Research Labs

CEO: Joe Kellogg

Kellogg's Research Labs, founded in 2013, is developing a new alternative energy from a combination of nickel and titanium that creates electricity from the changes in air temperature. The Hudson, N.H.-based company is currently using this power source, Nitinol, to power IoT sensor platforms being used in applications such as agriculture, manufacturing, border control and more.

Today, the company is focusing on uncovering cost-effective options for installing the alloys into a generator that creates electricity from daily air temperature cycles. The technology can then be used to power sensor platforms that to help farmers optimize their crop output.