The 10 Most Active VC Investors In The Internet Of Things

The IoT Investment Opportunity

Hype around the Internet of Things is growing, and venture capital investors are increasingly getting into the game as more IoT-based startups emerge with innovative technology.

According to a study by market research firm CBInsights, funding for IoT startups is at an all-time high, reaching $846 million in financing in the first quarter of 2016, up from $680 million in the year-ago quarter, according to a CBInsights report. Since May, at least eight big IoT startups have landed funding from investors including Intel Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and others.

Following are the 10 most active investors of the past five years, from least active to most active, according to CBInsights.

10. Cisco Investments

Cisco Investments has pinpointed the Internet of Things as one of its key focuses and a disruptive opportunity in the next two to three years.

The company’s active portfolio in the IoT space includes startups Icontrol Networks, a connected home platform provider, and Control4, a home automation provider. Cisco Investments also holds minority investments in IoT accelerators and startups Ayla Networks and Alchemist Accelerator.

9. True Ventures

True Ventures has placed in a stake in the Internet of Things over the past five years by investing in startups that focus on wearable devices – including hardware startup Ring, which is a smart doorbell, and FitBit, the popular fitness wearable.

The company’s current investments include Deep Genomics, which develops machine-learning technologies to transform genetic testing, and Everywear Games, a wearable games studio.

(Pictured - True Ventures' founder Jon Callaghan)

8. New Enterprise Associates

NEA has invested in a variety of IoT-based startups, including low-power semiconductor manufacturers and machine-learning software providers. The company has invested in PSIKick, a semiconductor startup developing extreme ’ultra-low-power’ wireless sensors for the Internet of Things and wearables. NEA’s active portfolio also includes companies such as Tamr, which combines machine-learning software and data science expertise to drive savings for clients.

Most recently, in June, NEA made a $20 million Series A investment in Qadium, which builds servers monitoring the security of connected devices and aims to add every IoT device available to its platform.

7. GE Ventures

GE Ventures has been actively investing in analytics startups, as well as advanced manufacturing, robotics services and automation companies. Its current portfolio includes Sight Machine, which offers big data and analytics for Industrial Internet of Things, and Omni-ID for building intelligent supply chains.

The company most recently invested in June in, an IoT startup focused on DevOps management, and in July in IoT startup FogHorn Systems.

6. Foundry Group

Foundry Group has made multiple bets on IoT-related hardware investments, including LittleBits, a platform of electronic building blocks for creating inventions, and Markerbot, a 3-D printing resources company that was acquired in 2013 at a $403 million valuation.

Its current portfolio includes Sphero, which makes connected toys, and 3D Robotics, which designs and manufactures commercial aerial vehicles and drones.

5. Khosla Ventures

Khosla Ventures has thrown its hat into the investment circle for popular wearables such as fitness tracker Jawbone and wearable activity tracker Misfit.

The company’s current portfolio includes AliveCor, which has a device and application that turns any smartphone into a clinical-quality electrocardiogram recorder, and Canary Connect, a systems integration peripheral hardware manufacturer.

(Pictured - Khosla Ventures' founder Vinod Khosla )

4. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers invests in big data, security and digital health companies surrounding the Internet of Things. The company was an early investor in home automation and smart thermostat manufacturer Nest.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was particularly active in the first quarter of 2016, with investments in four IoT companies in the quarter – Ring, Motiv, Enlighted and Airware. Its IoT portfolio includes big names like consumer drone technology manufacturer DJI and Wi-Fi streaming security video camera company Dropcam.

3. Andreessen Horowitz

Andreessen Horowitz said it backs bold entrepreneurs who move fast and are committed to building the next major franchises in technology – including the Internet of Things.

Andreessen Horowitz placed recent bets on the drone industry, investing in Airware, a company that makes operating systems for drones, and Skydio, which makes camera drones. The company also invested in neurotechnology headset maker Halo Neuroscience, among other investments.

2. Qualcomm Ventures

Qualcomm Ventures isone of the top most active investors in IoT. The company most recently co-invested with Intel Capital on cloud infrastructure company Stratoscale.

Qualcomm Ventures recently invested in the drone company 3D Robotics and dog wearable maker Whistle Labs. It also invested in sensor networks developed by Panoramic Power, Placemeter and Streetline, which measure energy usage and traffic in public spaces.

1. Intel Capital

Intel Capital remains the most active IoT investor in IoT startups, according to CBInsights. Intel Capital most recently participated in a March Series C funding round in Stratoscale, a cloud computing startup focused on IoT applications.

In 2015, Intel Capital invested in BodyLabs, a 3-D body-scanning sensor manufacturer, and Sano Intelligence, a biometric sensor developer. Intel Capital has also invested in wearables companies and placed bets on IoT infrastructure startups like Bocom Intelligent Network Technologies and SigFox.

(Pictured - Intel Capital's Wendell Brooks)