Everyone is still waiting for the Internet of Things to take off, just as they’re waiting for IoT’s ultimate savior to reveal itself and bring the tech to the forefront of both retail- and consumer-facing applications. If the failing so far has been to rely on Western innovators, then Soracom is ready to make a splash.
The Tokyo-based IoT platform developer announced on Wednesday (May 11) that it had secured ¥2.4 billion ($22 million) from a Series B funding round led by World Innovation Lab, Infinity Venture Partners and several other investors. This latest round brings Soracom’s total funding to ¥3.1 billion ($28.5 million). While some of the capital will be used on internal improvements, Soracom did note that the lion’s share of the funds will be devoted to spreading Soracom’s products and mission to foreign markets — the U.S. chief among them.
TechCrunch explained that Soracom’s main products include Soracom Air, a SIM card meant to enable devices for IoT compatibility, and Soracom Beam, an encryption protocol. Both services are hosted through Amazon Web Services (AWS), which Soracom CEO Ken Tamagawa told TechCrunch fits into his company’s need to remain flexible and accessible for clients of all types.
“We’re providing self-service, programmable, pay-as-you-go cellular platform services,” Tamagawa said. “It’s AWS-like IoT cellular. In that sense, our target customers are broad, including enterprise, SMB and startups.”
Soracom’s business model has it rent out bandwidth from existing telecom companies for use by enabled devices, and if it plans on sticking to that plan as it expands globally, it might take a Series C and D round to make sure enough capital is flowing to secure the future of IoT.