Mobile Commerce

“Endless Beacon” Gets Funded

Sunstone Capital’s Max Niederhofer thinks Beacons are the next big thing in computers—and he isn’t afraid to put his venture capital dollars behind his beliefs. 
 
“We think this is a rapidly growing, potentially very large market with high margins, in which you can build a really meaningful business,” Niederhofer told Tech Crunch. “To some extent I see this as an infrastructure build-out play, where Beacons are the routers and pipes of a new network infrastructure on which we’ll see some very interesting applications.”
 
Sunstone has just invested $2 million in Kontakt.io, a Polish Beacon platform provider.  The Krakow- based business offers both hardware customization and open API and SDKs for iOS and Android.
 
Kontakt.io plans to use the latest investment to expand its product line and push more quickly forward with plant to expand.  The small start-up already boasts a rather impressive client list that includes Goolge, Apple and Siemens.
 
Kontakt.io as a company grew from quite a different intention than its product has come to be used for—its founders initially set out to design an indoor navigation system of the visually impaired. They only realized after building it that Beacon tech could have much wider applications. 
 
“Many deployments are still at proof-of-concept stage, but we have seen some phenomenal initial results,” says Niederhofer. “From a VC perspective, this is a bit like Cisco in the late 80s. We’re building the hardware and software that is the backbone of the new network.”
 
Niederhofer also noted that this investment will likely touch off one of many as Sunstone looks to push more deeply into the “endless” possibilities for the killer beacon app.

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