High-growth French connected technology start-up Sigfox has just closed a funding round totalling €150 million in a bid to continue deploying its IoT network.
The company has received backing from several high-profile investors, including American cloud giant Salesforce, French oil firm Total and Henri Seydoux, who founded drone manufacturer Parrot.
Sigfox launched in 2010, and it’s been on a roll ever since. Just at the start of last year, the firm raised €115 million from the likes of Telefonica, SK Telecom, Air Liquide, Elliott Management and Engie.
Cost-effective IoT network
Sigfox is building one of the world’s largest low-power wide-area (LPWA) Internet of Things networks. So far, it sports more than 10 million objects, all of which are linked up to the cloud and internet.
What sets it apart is the fact it’s relatively cost-friendly. As opposed to being a drain on energy and financial resources, it functions on local sources of energy to cut costs and stay sustainable.
Founded by French entrepreneur Ludovic le Moan, the company will use its latest cash injection to build even more networks connecting everyday appliances such as washing machines, fridges and meters.
Sigfox targets high growth
The company, on announcing the news, said it plans to grow its global IoT network. Currently, it operates in 26 countries, but the firm wants to grow this number to 60 by 2018. As well as this, it wants to reach the point of break-even.
Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and chief executive officer of Total, said his company is thrilled to be investing in Sigfox and believes the technology is capable of transforming IoT.
“We are happy to accompany the development of Sigfox because the technology it offers can be decisive to accelerate the deployment of the Internet of things,” he said in a statement.
“This type of solution will improve the performance and operational safety of industrial activities, reduce operating costs, but also be used to serve customers.”
Changing the world
Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet, the co-founders of Sigfox, said: “When we met in 2010, we agreed that Sigfox could change the world by bringing the virtual and physical worlds together through a new paradigm based on the fundamental principles of astrophysics.
“Today, we have created the equivalent of the world’s largest radio telescope for IoT. Our network is able to connect hundreds of billions of objects to the Internet through advanced radio techniques.”
Gareth Jones, founder and CEO of innovation centre Welsh ICE, said it can often be hard for emerging tech firms to raise capital but they offer a unique opportunity for investors.
“For emerging markets and technologies, where there is no evidence of market traction or order books, it can be tricky to raise capital via traditional methods,” he told Internet of Business.
“The investors, or parties that invest, who take the risks are doing so not just for this generation, but future generations to come, so finding ways to recognise the value that those blazing a trail have created is really important for some of the more innovative tech to ever reach users.”