co-founder/lead architect Petros Angelatos and operations manager Aggelos Makridis working in the Athens office.

Part 1: Fulfills the Promise of Programmable IoT

Apr 14, 2015 · 2 min read

By Andreas Stavropoulos

Today, DFJ adds exciting new company to our portfolio with the announcement of its series A investment. CEO Alex Marinos and his team are making software development for embedded systems as easy as it is for cloud applications.

I was reminded of the significance of what is tackling at a recent IoT-themed event we hosted at DFJ. CEO participants from consumer and enterprise companies were lamenting the same problem: lack of standardization, manageability, monitoring processes, or in short, the lack of “well-behaved software goodness” that we’ve come to expect in cloud and mobile development domains.

There is a big disconnect between, on the one hand, the projections of billions of “things” connected to the Internet by 2020 and, on the other, this realization that there is almost a complete void of generally applicable IoT abstraction layers to allow higher-order functionality to be built on top of all these “things!” So I ask: what exactly is going to get all these billions of connected devices out there to begin with? Vertical, single-purpose applications with rudimentary deployment capabilities will not scale anywhere near these projections by themselves. Instead, we need platforms that simplify IoT development by abstracting away a lot of the underlying complexity of hardware and OS dependencies and build in the kind of “good behavior” that cloud/mobile developers can take for granted in their world.

The team is undertaking an important goal, where they will likely be joined by a number of industry partners on their path to success. With a skilled team based in their London, Athens, and now, San Francisco offices, exemplifies the startup of the future — where teams come together across cultures and geographies to solve big global problems. I don’t think it’s an accident that several of our most recent investments have founders born outside the US, yet have chosen to build their companies here, where the magnitude of the impact they can have is the greatest — yet the potential competition from others is the fiercest. These founders eschew the “be a big fish in a small pond” mentality (that might have them stick to “safer” local markets making small incremental technical bets) and rather self-select into the big, difficult bets with big potential payoffs. As VCs, they are the ones we are here to serve and celebrate.

I will soon write more on this space as the story unfolds. Stay tuned.


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