Nokia Takes On IoT With SpaceTime Acquisition

Nokia Rethink Smartphone Focus

Nokia has announced it has acquired SpaceTime Insight, a California-based IoT startup that provides predictive analytics based on machine learning algorithms.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, Bhaskar Gorti, president of Nokia Software, said in an interview, according to TechCrunch.

The startup had raised between $50 million and $65 million in funding, and its last valuation came in at just over $103 million in 2016. Backers of the startup included the energy giant E.ON, Novus Energy Partners, Zouk Capital and more.

SpaceTime’s clients include Entergy, FedEx, NextEra Energy and Singapore Power. Gorti said that they will continue to be customers.

“Over the last few years we have been selling networking products in hardware and software to industries like utilities and transportation, and this will help us move up the value chain, addressing other business problems our customers have,” he said.

Rob Schilling, who had been CEO of SpaceTime, will become the head of Nokia’s IoT unit.

“Today marks a transformational moment for SpaceTime, and I’m delighted to join forces with one of the world’s top organizations,” said Schilling. “I am excited for this incredible opportunity to help accelerate and scale Nokia’s IoT business and provide a new class of next-generation IoT solutions customers cannot find anywhere else.”

IoT has been a small part of Nokia’s business. While the company reported over €23 billion in annual revenues last year, the software division generated only €1.6 billion.

But Gorti said that Nokia is actively looking to invest in growing its own IoT business. For its part, SpaceTime will help Nokia utilize more artificial intelligence, which has become and will be the essential cornerstone of how IoT services operate.

“All devices [eventually] have to connect,” said Gorti. “IoT is strategic for us, and we are moving in this direction.” He added that Nokia is building an IoT network that it plans to offer to service providers. “It’s a multi-prong strategy to address the market segment.”