Actility, a provider of network solutions and managed information systems for the Internet of Things (IoT) market, has announced that it has secured a $25 million funding round led by Ginko Ventures. Ginko Ventures leads a prestigious group of investors including tier-one telcos KPN, Orange, Swisscom and Foxconn, along with the existing investors Fonds Ecotechnologies managed by Bpifrance Investissement, Idinvest Partners, and Truffle Capital.
The investment will allow Actility to accelerate its go-to-market strategy for ThingPark, its open standard IoT network solution; funding its operational resources, building a high level of service and continuing to develop technology partnerships to foster a healthy ecosystem. It follows a recently concluded technology partnership between Actility and Swisscom.
A fully integrated platform for nationwide IoT, Actility’s ThingPark™ is designed to enable IoT services for any market sector, offering ready-to-go IoT connectivity plus a full set of ready-to-sell applications in less than one month. It is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) radio network built on the LoRaWAN™ standard, developed and supported by the LoRa™ Alliance. LoRaWAN networks address the three critical elements required for IoT networks connecting billions of devices: low power, long range, and low cost. ThingPark represents the first end-to-end, LoRaWAN interoperable platform to serve the IoT market for every use case.
“Today’s wireless technologies are not optimized for IoT applications which require sensors to be low power and able to run on a battery with very little maintenance. ThingPark provides the technology to connect both long range and low power sensors over unlicensed ISM band spectrum, allowing low cost and fast roll-out of IoT networks for a wide range of IoT applications,” said Olivier Hersent, Founder, CEO and CTO, Actility. “We are delighted to have secured the backing of such prominent communications industry leaders.”
“With more than 50 Billion devices to be connected by 2020, Cisco believes that new scalable IoT infrastructure and services will become key evolution at every scale, for Telcos, cities and corporate campuses,” said Tony Shakib, Vice-President IoE (Internet of Everything) Vertical Solutions at Cisco.
He added: “We backed LoRaWAN as an open technology for IoT and are excited to see today such industry momentum behind Actility, whom we see as a critical partner to make pervasive IoT infrastructure and services.”
“After the rise of personal connected objects such as consumer wearable devices, we are now witnessing the emergence of a second wave: managed connected objects,” said Hersent. “Managed connected objects are creating a more efficient, more sustainable world. With a ubiquitous and cost-effective IoT network in place, utilities for instance will be able to accelerate their smart-metering plans, to optimize the filling of fuel tanks, to increase the use of renewable energy by dynamically controlling thermostats. We have the technology to achieve a paradigm shift in remote monitoring and management – think of instant fire or leak detection, or prevention of loss of valuable equipment using smart tracking. Ubiquitous IoT will have a huge impact in agriculture and other key sectors of the economy. ThingPark is available now, allowing Telecom operators or municipalities to deploy an IoT network in a month.”
“Foxconn Group is transforming to be a High Technology Solution Provider, including Hardware and Software Value creation. Through this strategic investment, we will expand our current collaboration with Actility to bring its LoRaWAN technology and IoT Platform and Solutions to Taiwan, China, and the rest of Asia,” said Fang Ming Lu, Executive Vice President of Foxconn. “We will leverage our strong network to accelerate the development of the IoT ecosystem, as well as promote and integrate Actility’s IoT Solutions for Smart Cities implementation in APAC.”
Jasper Snijder, SVP New Business at KPN, said: “As a founding member of the LoRa alliance, we’re proud to partner with Actility and contribute to the development of the Internet-of-Things – the next big thing in the digital landscape.”
Pierre Louette, Orange’s Deputy CEO who is also responsible for Orange Digital Ventures said: “Actility’s connected objects platform is based on bringing together its open service approach with the power of networks. This clearly corresponds to the ambition of Orange Digital Ventures to invest in actors that are developing innovative digital services that contribute to change our customers experience and answer the changing desires and needs of our customers. The Internet of Things is an extremely promising new market and it is important for Orange to support the start-ups and developers who are currently working on services that will become part of our future.”
Jean-Paul de Weck, CEO Swisscom Broadcast: “This is a technology that comes at the right time for operators to accelerate the connection of objects. There is set to be a huge increase in the demand for IoT and we see Actility as a key partner as we expand our activities in this market.”
“Actility’s innovative platform combined with operators’ ability to deliver long term network services nationwide are key to the adoption of IoT applications such as utility metering, street lighting, asset tracking or home security that need resilient and cost effective infrastructure in place for many years,” said Dominique Pitteloud, Managing Partner at Ginko Ventures. “Key to the structuring of the investment round was to bring together a set of strategic investors to collaborate on building the infrastructure for the successful deployment of these new services.”