Beyond the Hype, Big Story Awaits IoT Cos

By Somshubhro Roy Choudhury

Internet of Things (IoT) is unequivocally led by hype and will continue to be, as every industry looks to leverage IoT to improve efficiency and productivity, discover new business models and explore innovative revenue streams. Companies big and small are in the fray. At last count, there were over 3,000 IoT startups globally. These are spread across the globe with no concentration in any geography and over $12.5 billion has been invested in IoT startups globally in the last five years. In 2016 alone over 636 cumulative IoT deals received investments of over $4 billion with 59 exits according to CB Insights. VCs, corporate funds, Chinese EMS majors, crowdfunding and traditional corporates have joined the IoT investor bandwagon.

Globally, India is the third largest startup ecosystem with nearly 500 IoT startups. About one-third of these were launched in 2016 alone but mortality rate is high. Funding of IoT startups in India is relatively new with a few receiving seed and angel rounds in 2013 and 2014 while most startups bootstrapped. In the last two years, incubators and accelerators have increased their investments with institutional investors also joining the fray. Majority of investments were made in IoT-enabled software-as-a-service companies in the transportation and logistics sector.

Startups in other sector that use IoT applications are also evoking investor attention. Cardiac Design Labs and Tricog got funded last year. IoT analytics platform provider Petasense and IQLect, sound based encrypted money transfer by ToneTag and IIT Chennai incubated speech technology startup Uniphore were also in the funding news. RayIoT, Pycno and Diabeto were selected by HAX, the world’s largest hardware accelerator. Indian IoT startups are maturing with significant learning on technology, pilot deployments, pricing models and channel strategy. Startups have pivoted, focused on customer traction and IP creation.

Hyper-spectral imaging (Spectral Insights) and vision analytics platform (Hyperverge) are set to launch.

The core technologies funded in US and Europe like brain controlled HMI, smart pills and IoT security still seem farfetched in India but we are closer in the IoT applications space in richness and diversity .

About the Author:

Somshubhro Roy Choudhury is a SAP-Bharat Innovations Fellow and is helping us build deeper insights within the IoT sector. He’s also an IoTNext Co-Chair, Board & Exec member of IESA, Ex-Managing Director of Analog Devices, TiE charter member, Investor & Advisor in start-ups. He tweets at @sompalchoudhury.

About Bharat Innovation Fund:

Bharat Innovations Fund was created to encourage and support bright entrepreneurs with the potential to create disruptive innovations that can solve some of India’s toughest problems. Twitter: @bharat_fund