Actility raises US$75m Series D funds to speed industrial IoT solutions globally, adds new backers

Actility, a provider of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) for the Internet of Things (IoT), has successfully completed its Series D funding round. The company has raised $75 million to enhance its IoT solutions portfolio.

The company’s expansion will focus on enabling industrial IoT solutions in key verticals: logistics and supply chain; smart buildings; and energy & utilities. In the first closing, Creadev, Bosch and Inmarsat are among the new investors, alongside existing investors such as Idinvest, Bpifrance, Ginko Ventures, KPN, Orange Digital Ventures, Swisscom and Foxconn.

A second closing later this month will see additional strategic investors joining the company in support of this over-subscribed capital raise, which was achieved by the company without involving banks.

Since the 2015 Series C financing, Actility has become the clear leader in global IoT solutions based on LoRaWAN, a dedicated radio network protocol for the IoT, co-invented by Actility. Today, the ThingPark platform is powering most national and large-scale LPWA rollouts worldwide.

ThingPark has grown increasingly more industrial, supporting LoRaWAN, LTE-M and NB-IoT, becoming the most powerful IoT service orchestration platform available today. In addition, thanks to a cohesive software stack comprising the ThingPark OS service and business support manager, ThingPark X application integration enabler, and the ThingPark Market ecosystem-wide e-commerce platform, Actility stands alone as the sole turn-key IoT ecosystem enablement platform supporting sensor to cloud application solution on-ramping and monetisation through the entire life cycle of automated connected object management and monetisation.

Mike Mulica

At the same time, the company has seen demand for IoT solutions growing rapidly around the world. The emergence of China as a vital market for IoT and rich source of ecosystem partners will accelerate the rapid adoption of LPWA technology globally.

“This fundraising will enable us to grow our IoT technology and ecosystem platform faster to meet the needs of service providers, solution providers and enterprises in large industry verticals, for example rolling out our disruptive global location and tracking service more quickly,” explained Actility CEO Mike Mulica.

“It will also allow us to accelerate our strategy for the US, and build strength in China. And last but by no means least, it will enable us to look at strategic acquisitions to broaden our technology portfolio and cement our leadership in LPWA.”

Florent Thomann, a member of Creadev’s management board, and in charge of new digital models, says: “We have been looking for the best project in the business of connectivity for the IoT for a while. In Actility, we found a company that offers an ideal solution and has made the perfect technology choices in LPWA and LTE-M to meet that growing connectivity market.

We are convinced by both the company and its management, which shows a real visionary insight into the technology and business models and the way that connectivity will evolve. Furthermore, Actility’s team is proving to be particularly agile at innovation, adapting to new technologies very efficiently.

We are pleased to bring our culture of ambition, support and sharing best business practice to help nurture Actility’s long-term growth.”

Paul Gudonis, president, Inmarsat Enterprise, commented: “Inmarsat sees a great deal of potential in Actility, and its expertise in global IoT networks, based on LoRaWAN, makes it a natural fit for our investment. There are clear synergies between us, namely the ability to deliver innovative connectivity services to customers in remote locations, creating the potential for a global IoT network.

To this end, we recently developed our LoRaWAN-based network in partnership with Actility to enable IoT to reach every corner of the globe. We have many more projects planned with Actility and we are excited to support the company’s rapid growth as it continues to make great strides in the IoT arena.

This market is rapidly maturing and Actility, with its growing ecosystem of partners, is ideally positioned to take advantage of this for the benefit of businesses across a variety of industries.”

Cyril Vancura, Investment principal at Bosch, explained the company’s investment: “Actility is the clear leader in the emerging LoRaWAN ecosystem for IoT applications and has exhibited impressive growth in the past. We are excited to support the company on the next phase of this journey.”

Bosch managing partner Ingo Ramesohl added, “IoT is a strategically important field to Bosch. Our company already has a wide offering in fields such as connected manufacturing, mobility, connected energy, smart building, and connected buildings. As such, we think that there will be substantial collaboration opportunities between Actility and Bosch in the future.”

Anne-Sophie Carrese, Investment director at Bpifrance, commented, “We congratulate Actility on the considerable distance they have covered since their creation in 2010. The company has gone through major changes ever since and has established a solid international commercial portfolio to build on in the coming months and years.

We are proud to being able to provide our financial support and our knowledge to Actility, which entirely fits with our funding strategy and philosophy. The Ecotechnologies fund of Bpifrance, who initiated their engagement with Actility in 2012, has the ambition to continue helping to transform the company from a start-up into the worldwide leader of IoT.”

“We believe that Actility continues to be a world leader in networking for the internet of things,” says Matthieu Baret, partner at Idinvest Partners, ”and we’re excited to be able to support the company’s global growth.

We’re also very pleased to see that Actility is maintaining that tradition of technology leadership, both in adopting other 3GPP network technologies such as LTE-M and NB-IoT, and developing business solution enablers like roaming and location and tracking. We believe the company is well-placed to be at the forefront of the internet of things revolution for the enterprise.”

Pierre Louette, deputy CEO of Orange and president of Orange Digital Ventures comments: “We are happy to be strengthening our support for Actility through this new fundraising round, which clearly demonstrates the ability of corporate venturing to help scale-up innovative new companies.

Orange Digital Ventures was an early believer in Actility’s management team and in the potential of LoRaWAN technology; this confidence has now been confirmed as the company continues to expand internationally. Today, Orange is one of Actility’s main customers in France and we hope to extend this partnership in other countries across our footprint in Europe and Africa.

We are convinced that a growing number of industries will imagine powerful industrial use-cases that are made possible through Actility’s market-leading platform. Orange will continue to lend its support in bringing such IoT solutions to its enterprise customers. We are not at dawn of the next industrial revolution — we are already in it!”

“Since our last investment, in July 2015, Actility has made tremendous progress,” observes Ginko Ventures’ ,managing partner, Dominique Pitteloud, “both in terms of global deployment with many of the largest IoT networks, and has extended its product portfolio to become a general purpose IoT platform which is radio-agnostic and supports vital capabilities such as location and roaming. We are proud to be able to continue to support the company’s further development and growth.”

Herman Kienhuis, managing director of KPN Ventures added, “Actility is the clear industry leader in LPWAN networking technology to connect devices to the internet. Through powerful partnerships, Actility is building a truly global IoT network.

KPN has been working together closely with Actility in rolling out KPN’s nationwide internet of things network in The Netherlands. We see that the market for connected devices is developing rapidly and a wide range of valuable use cases is emerging, from gathering data for energy and waste management to equipment tracking, and from dike monitoring to parking sensors.

KPN Ventures is happy to support Actility in its further growth as part of the strong investor syndicate as well.”

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow

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