Showing posts with label IoT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IoT. Show all posts

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ten Chinese Internet-of-Things Startups to Watch in 2015

The Internet of Things, or IoT, emerged as the third wave of internet development and is gradually merging the physical and online worlds. Prompted by the smart hardware boom, this sector is in full bloom in China with repercussions across fields such as smart homes, wearables, connected cities and cars, and beyond.

The size of the Chinese IoT market has soared from RMB 170 billion (around US$27 billion) in 2009 to RMB365 billion in 2012, and exceeded RMB500 billion in 2013 with annual compound growth of almost 30 percent. The burgeoning market is attracting ever more companies: here are ten startups worth watching in the new year.

Xiaomi is trying to duplicate its business model, so successful in the smartphone market, in various hardware sectors. After initial success with its low-cost fitness bracelet, the company launched a 100-hardware-companies strategy in a bid to connect more smart gadgets in fields like healthcare (iHealth), smart home (Ants, Yeelink), and so on. The company also announced a strategic partnership with Chinese home appliance giant Midea.

Broadlink is smart home solution provider which specializes in IoT Wi-Fi. In addition to existing smart socket and remote controls for infrared devices, Broadlink is also the developer of BroadLink DNA, which helps conventional home appliance makers “smartize” their products. Broadlink’s Wi-Fi solution has been integrated into Xiaomi’s smart router.

Gizwits is a Chinese IoT technology platform that connects home appliances and consumer electronics products to the internet and smartphones. GizWits provides IoT developers with data analytics as well as tools such as remote access, notification, and Over the Air (OTA) firmware upgrades. The company has launched a self-serve software development platform Gizwits 2.0 and a programmable microcontroller board GoKit, for smart home gadgets.

Ayla Networks China
Ayla Networks China is the Chinese arm of U.S.-based Ayla Network, a startup offering cloud connectivity solutions for manufacturers to turn appliances, HVAC and more into intelligent devices. Upon the receipt of a US$14.5 million investment this year, the company is going into the Chinese market with a series of moves like launching a Chinese site, cooperating with Sina and adding a Chinese director to the board. Dave Friedman, CEO and co-founder, believes that China will lead the world in this sector.

Lifesmart is a Hangzhou-based startup principally engaged in developing smart home devices. Its product line includes a smart control center, smart sockets, surveillance cameras, environment sensors, etc.

Yeelink helps manufacturers build smart products, from hardware design to mobile app development, from the concept stage to initial products.

Landing Technology
Landing Technology is a Shenzhen-based smart home startup, dedicated to developing, manufacturing and selling smart home devices and wearable devices and related know-how. Their “IVYLINK” and “Goldweb” brands cover smart devices and network devices & accessories respectively.

Orvibo is focused on IoT and smart home hardware. Its product line includes smart gadgets, full-digital visual doorbell products, and cloud platforms that provide intelligent services for thousands of IoT terminals. The company’s flagship product Kepler is an intelligent gas detector that promises to protect your home and loved ones from potential dangerous gas leaks.

MXchip was incorporated in Shanghai at the beginning of 2005 with a focus on short distance wireless network technology and products.

Phantom is a smart home solution provider primarily focusing on smart illumination and surveillance. The company reportedly secured US$1.5 million of pre-A investment last year.

Source: TechNode

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Israeli IoT Startup Atomation Raised $900k

atomationIsraeli startup Atomation announced that it raised $900,000 in a round led by the Explore incubator, Israel’s chief scientist and other private investors. The company is developing a platform to turn any top into a ‘smart’ toy that is able to connect and communicate with other toys and with a smartphone application. Atomation was founded by Guy Weizman and hopes to bring toys into the Internet of Things revolution.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Qihoo 360 Plans $60 Million Israeli IoT Fund

Source: Wall Street Jurnal, By Orr Hirschauge

Chinese Internet-security company Qihoo 360 Technology Co. plans to establish a global, early-stage fund with a $60 million target size for investments in Internet-of-Things companies, according to a presentation shown last week by a company representative during a visit in Israel.

The intended fund, called 360 Capital—IoT Fund will focus on investments in China, the U.S. and Israel, the presentation says. Qihoo, which listed American depository receipts on the New York Stock Exchange in 2011, develops and distributes free personal-computer and mobile-security software, deriving revenue from advertising.

The company also has a Web browser and a mobile-application store. With around 7,000 employees, its current market capitalization is more than $9 billion. Qihoo didn't respond to a request for comment.

Qihoo intends to be the leading limited partner in the fund, with other limited partners including both strategic investors and financial institutions, the presentation says. While the fund will be focused on early-stage investments it will be flexible enough to enable later-stage investments, it says.

Qihoo has made several investments in Israel over the past year, including investments in two of the country’s leading venture funds, Carmel Ventures and Jerusalem Venture Partners. It has also led a round of investment in Israeli image-recognition-technology company Cortica Inc.

The company has made at least two more investments in Israeli startups, according to a person familiar with the deals: one in gesture-control-technology company Extreme Reality Ltd. and another in messaging-app maker Glide Talk Ltd. Both companies declined to comment.

Interest in Israeli tech investments by Asian investors, and specifically Chinese investors, has grown significantly in the last two years. In 2013, Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. announced a $100 million fund dedicated to investments in the U.S. and Israel, and Chinese financial-services company Ping An allocated a fund focused on the same geographies in November 2013.

Other Chinese companies investing in Israeli venture funds have included Lenovo Group Ltd. and Baidu Inc. During the past two weeks, a representative of Qihoo met with numerous Israeli startups, including ones developing technology for wearable computing and connected homes, according to a person familiar with the company’s activities.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Why China Will Leapfrog the World in Internet of Things

An interesting article by Dave Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks published on

The U.S. led the world in the PC revolution. Europe was where cell phones took off. So where will the wellspring of innovation and customer adoption take place for the Internet of Things? 


With its recent IPO, Alibaba is a ramping up a strategy for the Internet of Things. Seeing the success of Nest and Dropcam in the US, all of the major Chinese web properties— SINA, Baidu, Tencent —are looking at ways to use connected devices as a way to increase market share and advertising revenue. SINA started the trend last year with Wi-Fi weather stations. We are also seeing a battle among these Chinese Internet giants trying to provide IoT services to third-party manufacturers, similar to Amazon’s Web Services, both on their own and with U.S. partners.

Here are three reasons why China is going to take over and lead the world in the Internet of Things:

1. China is firmly ensconced as the manufacturing center of the world and the services and capabilities offered by Chinese manufacturers continue to expand. Fifteen years ago, Chinese manufacturers primarily sat at the far end of the supply chain. Products were designed in the U.S. or Europe and shipped to Taiwanese companies, who in turn figured out ways to manufacture them efficiently before shipping them over to their counterparts in China for cheap, volume manufacturing.

Now, Chinese companies manage industrial design, design-for-manufacturing, and actual manufacturing. People often miss this, but U.S. companies don’t go to China just for cheap labor and engineering. Increasingly, they go for expertise.

2. Chinese manufacturers are rapidly building their own retail brands. Look at Yifang Digital Technology. No, it’s not a household name, but there is a very good chance you’ve seen their products or know someone who owns one of them. Yifang’s Nextbook is the fifth largest selling tablet in the U.S. and eighth worldwide. The company’s products can be seen on the shelves of Target, Walmart and other large retailers.

Very soon, you’ll see the company’s NexTurn home control platform on store shelves in the U.S. at prices that will challenge some of the incumbents. Google’s acquisition of Nest and Nest’s acquisition of Dropcam woke Asian manufacturers up to the possibilities of IoT.

These two factors — the increasing sophistication of the manufacturing base in China and the willingness of retailers to promote or adopt new brands from China — will have far-ranging impacts in the electronics industry. Whenever you talk to veterans of this industry, they say the same thing: It’s too late for anyone else to get into the market. The big brands already have it sealed up. But look at what happened years ago in PCs. Dell snuck in after the established brands had allegedly locked up the market.

In cell phones, Apple and Google swept aside stalwarts like Nokia and Motorola.

In TVs, Vizio, a company with only about 100 employees and no brand recognition, went from being an obscure brand available on shopping networks to the largest seller of TVs in the U.S. in a few short years.

Change is more common than you think.

But the third factor is arguably the most important.

3. China, and the other fast-growing OECD economies, need IoT. In the U.S., smart thermostats are fun, interesting gadgets. In India or China, they will be mandatory. Over 1.4 billion people still aren’t connected to the grid. And where the grid exists, it is often rickety and dirty. Approximately 35% of the power in India gets , and power in many regions still comes from diesel generators.

Traffic jams in cities like Harbin and Shanghai are notorious, and more people are moving into cities every day. China builds 2.5 cities the size of Chicago every year. By 2025, the country will have 221 cities with over one million people.

Technology that can help people fine-tune appliances like air conditioners to cut emissions and energy consumption will be absolutely essential. Sensor networks in streetlights and smartphone apps that provide up-to-date traffic information will be the first line of defense against gridlock.

IoT will also be employed to increase crop yields and monitor irrigation. Many predict that by 2050 worldwide food output will have to be doubled, but we will have to double it without increasing arable land, water rights or fertilizer use. Without technology, it will be impossible.

While IoT will be adopted in Asia, Latin America, and Africa somewhat quickly, adoption in China will probably be more rapid. A domestic industry for IoT products is already evolving after all. Just as important, local officials are encouraging adoption through new building codes and other incentives.

Earlier this year, we launched an effort backed by some of China’s largest VCs and the International Finance Corporation (the venture arm of the World Bank) to build a cloud for IoT in China. Based on the experience, the IFC wants to bring some of the ideas to other markets.

The pervasiveness of mobile phones will play an instrumental role as well. Smartphones will become a universal remote control for managing everything in your life. Smart thermostats in a few years won’t be glitzy items with LCD screens; they will be small, unobtrusive chips, and the screen for controlling them will be in your pocket.

Admittedly, IoT has just begun, and, if you judged the future by the amount of marketing being generated, you could easily conclude that this market will be dominated by U.S. conglomerates with household brand names. Just prepare to be surprised.