The adoption of IoT technology is still nascent, but startups are attracting investors keen to be part of the emerging industry. Sigfox of France is creating a global network of devices that emit a low power signal, and the company has also rebranded as a network provider of digital services as well as connected things.
The company expects to close this round of funding at a total amount of between $100 and $200 million, which will value the company at around $600 million. Sigfox has disclosed around $150 million in funding so far, and has a current valuation of around $400 million.
Sigfox’s architecture is not based on network connectivity from the perspective of the operator, and the company thinks it could help eliminate the cost and complexity of silicon for connecting objects, roaming and the need for batteries in devices. Moan is known for his unconventional theories and told Techcrunch, “This world is virtual. At the end of the day, we are not living in the real world.”
Investors in the latest round for Sigfox include one from China and financial backers such as Elliott Management and Partech Ventures and strategic investors such as Air Liquide, Intel and Samsung and the providers Eutelsat, Japan’s NTT and Telefonica.
Sigfox is already in 24 countries, plans to gain six more and two countries on its list are China and India because of the burgeoning mobile markets. Sigfox is offering an alternative network and model for IoT than that of carriers, which would like to see IoT adding data traffic to their networks. They would also like to run IoT systems for other organizations.
Sigfox has the advantage of scale. Pricing starts at €1 per device per month up to €1 per device per year, and the company has over 8 million devices on its network. According to Sigfox, it has 1,000 partners including network operators, component manufacturers, integrators and platform developers, and 250 startups are implementing projects with Sigfox connectivity.
Ludovic Moan, CEO and cofounder, expects the round to close by the end of this year, possibly by the end of November.