Sigfox, the French startup that’s rolling out an international internet-of-things network, mostly by partnering with local network operators, has scored a massive $115 million funding round from the likes of Telefonica and NTT DoCoMo.
The company provides the technology for its network of wireless networks, which only support low data rates but can handle millions of connections. This approach is designed for all those meters and sensors that comprise the internet of things, and is arguably a better bet for such devices than the traditional phone networks, which are aiming for higher bandwidth for mobile internet purposes.
The round consists of an up-front $93 million and a $22 million “greenshoe” that will see new shares drummed up for the new investors in the coming months. In a Wednesday statement, [company]Sigfox[/company] said it would use the money to speed up its rollout in Europe, Asia and the Americas. It’s already up and running in France, Spain, the Netherlands, the U.K. and Russia.
Sigfox already counted [company]Intel[/company] Capital, Elaia Partners, iXO PE, Partech Ventures and Idinvest among its investor. The new round brings in a host more: carriers [company]Telefonica[/company], [company]SK Telecom[/company] and [company]NTT DoCoMo[/company] Ventures, as well as Elliott Management corporation, GDF Suez, Air Liquide and [company]Eutelsat[/company].
The last three are industrial partners as well – GDF Suez and Air Liquide will give Sigfox a particular boost in the energy efficiency sector, and Eutelsat strategy director Jean-Hubert Lenotte said that company’s investment “signals our conviction that satellites can accelerate the development of the IoT market, both in terms of reach and reliability.”