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Friday, May 20, 2016

Afero raises $20m for Bluetooth IoT roll out

By Nick Flaherty

Bluetooth module designer Afero has raised over $20m from Samsung to accelerate the development of IoT applications both in and outside the home.
With this first major investment, Afero is promoting the use of the technology in areas where wifi is not available, which avoids competition with Samsung IoT subsidiary Smart Things.

The investment is led by Samsung Catalyst Fund. The round is also joined by the SoftBank Group, Fenox Venture Capital, Presidio Ventures, Sanshin Electronics Co. Ltd., Robert Dobkin, and Assembly Partners. The modules are being made by Murata.

“Our technology helps companies rapidly create and deploy connected products by automating the core embedded, mobile, and cloud development tasks,” said Joe Britt, CEO and co-founder of Afero. “Afero was designed to speed and simplify product development, whether companies choose to modernize a legacy product or create something entirely new.”

To connect back to the cloud-based management software, Afero needs a gateway, which can be a smartphone with the Afero app or a dedicated gateway with 4G cellular, making this an M2M sell for the enterprise.

Afero sees a number of obstacles stifling the widespread adoption of IoT, so the platform is built to power both the home and the enterprise IoT market, which is predicted to reach $3 trillion by 2021, more than thee times the size of the consumer IoT market. For greenfield and brownfield developments, Afero  allows the modules to be easily added to existing systems
The Afero platform also has layers of security embedded throughout the platform, from application services on your phone to network access control services with built-in authentication to the cloud and back. It also seamlessly connects walled gardens by intelligently assembling all your smart devices, regardless of brand, so they can work together through the secure Afero end-to-end architecture.

Created by veterans from Apple, Amazon, Danger, and Nest, Afero unlocks smart capabilities for any product in virtually any industry. After 18 months in development, Afero went live in December 2015 and announced partnerships with industry leaders Murata, Infocom, and BANDAI NAMCO Studios. Afero serves as the secure foundation for these partners and others to drive IoT innovation and reimagine industries like automotive, retail, manufacturing, consumer electronics, gaming, healthcare, office supply, and more.

“Afero has built an elegant end-to-end platform solution that solves a real problem for companies struggling to set-up, deploy and manage IoT at scale,” said Shankar Chandran, vice president and head of Samsung Catalyst Fund, Samsung Electronics. “This investment amplifies our strategy of open innovation and collaboration which fuels innovative startups and enables them to bring their visions to market more effectively.”

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