GV, the venture capital investment arm of search giant Google, has invested millions in a San Francisco-based tech start-up that makes and deploys IoT sensors.
The $20 million investment round includes participation from Khosla Ventures, FirstMark, and Munich RE/Hartford Steam Boiler Ventures and brings Helium’s total capital up to $40 million.
Launched in 2013, Helium is in the process of developing an IoT service where companies – predominantly SMEs – pay it a monthly fee to deploy and manage IoT sensors for them.
While this model is in its early days, it’s already being tested in places like hospitals and restaurants, which are adopting their own IoT networks.
IoT sensors that do it all
The company offers its own sensor called the Helium Green. Built for the industrial and enterprise side of IoT, customers can use it to monitor temperature, humidity, light and motion, and barometric pressure.
When installing IoT networks for clients, Helium uses specially designed backend software to get its sensors deployed and working. Once this has been completed, companies get access to web and mobile app so they can manage the sensors themselves.
Major potential for enterprise IoT
Andy Wheeler, GV general partner, is to join the start-up’s board of directors. He believes there’s major potential in using connected devices in the industrial world, and has praised Helium for its technology.
In a statement, he said: “We see significant market potential for IoT in the commercial and industrial world, monitoring things like freezers for cold chain compliance, heavy equipment for preventative maintenance, and air quality inside factories.
“The Helium team has solved many of the issues that have tripped up previous industry attempts at building an IoT platform. The Helium platform has impressive technical architecture, and is easy to manage from both the edge and the cloud.”
Helium approach ‘valuable’
Amir Haleem, CEO and founder of Helium, said: “Helium’s unique software-centric approach to smart sensing has proven to be incredibly valuable in bringing solutions to enterprise customers quickly and flexibly.
“Today’s series B funding announcement, coupled with our amazing progress and product roadmap, positions us to transform multiple industries by introducing the Helium IoT platform at scale.”