Sunday, 20 November 2016 20:33

IoT start-up Sigfox raises US$159m to fund global expansion

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IoT start-up Sigfox raises US$159m to fund global expansion Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

French wireless Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity company Sigfox has announced it has raised €150 million or US$159 million to support its global expansion.

Sigfox deputy chiec executive Xavier Drilhon says the funding will allow the company to accelerate the deployment of its network from 26 countries today to over 60 within the next two years, representing 90% of the worldwide GDP.

“I joined Sigfox 18 months ago because of the incredibly powerful vision of its founders and the unique positioning of the company as a fundamental enabler of the IoT revolution. Our rapid international expansion made possible thanks to the support of our local operators, as well as the growth of our ecosystem, were key to securing this new fundraising.”

According to Tom Rebbeck, research director at Analysys Mason, the money Sigfox has raised highlights the capital-intensive nature of its model.

“While competing technologies, like LoRaWAN and NB-IoT, have a more standard licensing model, Sigfox develops and provides the technology and absorbs some of the risk of each network roll out – this requires upfront funding from Sigfox. This model gives Sigfox a greater share of the benefits but also more of the risk. Likewise, its network partners are bound to a single supplier and a single point of failure.”

Commenting on the successful funding round, Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet, 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.”

Sigfox said new investors in the company include Salesforce, drone maker Parrot and Henri Seydoux, the founder of luxury goods company Christian Louboutin.

Sigfox raised U$115 million in February 2015 from investors including include Spain’s Telefonica, France’s Engie, NTT Docomo Ventures, SK Telecom, Air Liquide and Elliott Management.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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