Wirepas Raises €14.4 Million for Ecosystem Expansion and Continuous IoT Product Development
ETF Partners, TESI (Finnish Industry Investment), Inventure, KPN Ventures, and Tand Vito Ventures invested €14.4 million in Wirepas, a Finnish software firm that has built a wireless connectivity platform that they claim solves the significant challenges of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and enables broad adoption of massive IoT. The latest funding round brings the total investment in Wirepas to €22 million.
"I am delighted to have Tesi and KPN Ventures joining as Wirepas investors and board observers. It is now clear that massive IoT networks are at the breakout phase and mesh networking from Wirepas is uniquely enabling that to happen. I am grateful that Tesi and KPN Ventures have joined our existing shareholders and share our vision." welcomes Andrew Gilbert, Chairman of the board at Wirepas
Wirepas intends to use the funding to strengthen and increase the reach of the company's global ecosystem as well as on continuous product development.
The company claims that its software can be used by any hardware on any frequency band.
Over the last three years, the company has formed an ecosystem of semiconductor, module partners, system integrators, and OEMs to serve end users around the world resulting in the shipment of millions of Wirepas-enabled devices.
Today, Wirepas Mesh connects smart meters, lights, and other supply chain and logistics assets to reliably deliver data needed by enterprises to provide a boost for both their competitiveness and sustainability.
Recently signed customer agreements with industry partners including Prologis, Maersk, and Fujitsu are expected to provide the backbone of its future growth, adding to the company's existing customer base of over 100 firms. According to Wirepas, these new agreements offer further proof of the competitive advantage of Wirepas Mesh.
"We are clearly seeing that the Massive IoT market is maturing as evidenced by our customers and partners: no longer is it about testing and piloting. We believe in the power of ecosystems where specialized vendors combine their competencies and passion to serve the customer. Together we are delivering concrete and tangible benefits to enterprises wishing to boost their efficiency and sustainability through the adoption of massive IoT. Our connectivity platform is field proven and meets the needs of a plethora of market needs ranging from asset tracking to smart cities and lighting. Wirepas increases end-user return on assets significantly and aims to become the most pervasive connectivity system for massive IoT," summarized Teppo Hemiä, Wirepas CEO.
"As a leading connectivity provider, KPN acknowledges the growing momentum for IoT solutions with an increasing amount of connected devices throughout the value chain. IoT networks that can facilitate large scale deployments with flexible capabilities are becoming increasingly important for successful roll-out. The Wirepas team has developed unique best-in-class software for this purpose and is already working with leading international partners and customers. Through our investment, we aim to support Wirepas in their global expansion and see opportunities to leverage Wirepas' technology to enhance and complement KPN's IoT network technologies: M2M, LoRa, LTE-M and in the future also 5G," Sjoerd Spanjer, investment director of KPN Ventures said.
"We were convinced that Wirepas technology is a key enabler for Industrial IoT adoption especially in use cases where massive, cost efficient scaling is required. A number of global blue-chip customers are currently adopting the Wirepas mesh technology, which alongside economic benefits also drives positive environmental impact and resource efficiency and thereby supports our responsible investment principles. As a European company with global ambitions, Wirepas is also a natural fit with the EFSI program", commented Juha Lehtola, Tesi´s Director, Venture Capital.
Tesi's investment in Wirepas is the first to leverage the new financial mechanism between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Tesi, allowing substantial investments in growth companies. Tesi is the EIB's first partner in the Nordics that channels financing guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to SMEs and innovative midcap companies as equity investments.
"When we formed this co-investment platform with Tesi, this is the kind of investment we had in mind." added EIB vice-president Alexander Stubb. "Although already quite competitive, in the Finnish equity investment landscape especially larger equity investment rounds were seen to be lacking investor support. This is a clear example of what Europe, and in particular the EIB, should be doing; to support innovation and improve peoples' lives by strategic investments. We're definitely looking forward to seeing more of these investments."
Founded in 2010 as a spinoff from Tampere University, it was part of a research program intended to connect an unlimited number of environmental sensors wirelessly.
Since 2014, the company has licensed software that provides a hardware-independent radio communications protocol based on a de-centralized network topology.