10 Top IoT startups to watch in 2018

The Internet of Things (IoT), by being a perspective sphere, provides the space for numerous developers to reveal their creativity and design devices that will significantly facilitate an ability to control the basic activities. And this task appears so tempting that not only big corporate brands but also newcomers to IT field start creating smart devices for numerous purposes. And the achievements of the latter actors — or IoT startups — are in the center of attention in this overview.

But what turns simple attempts to create a smart device into a successful development worth appearing among the best IoT startups? The answer to this question depends on product effectiveness, the success of a chosen business model, and an accuracy of meeting customer needs. Therefore, the presented review of top IoT startups takes these criteria into consideration on the stage of choosing appropriate candidates. By addressing different demands (from the protection of a smart home to financial support to creative IT entrepreneurs), all 10 IoT startups selected here possess an outstanding ability to be successful on market — in terms of functionality of the designed solution, financial indicators, and customer satisfaction.

Here is our shortlist of 10 top IoT startups:

- Plum

- Zuli

- Ninja Blocks

- P. Relan YouWeb Incubator

- Highway1

- Butterfleye

- Beep Networks

- Particle

- Orion

- Scout

But why we chose them? Just look closer at their specifics described in the following sections — and you’ll get the answer!

#1 Plum — The Light Switch Reinvented

Plum is an outstanding IoT startup specialized in enhancing the connectivity within a smart house. Labeled as the ‘Nest of lightning’, it offers a client using a smartphone to switch on and off the lights at home with the only requirement needed — Wi-Fi connection.

Another great advantage of Plum — The Light Switch Reinvented which puts it in the list of top IoT startups is the elegance of the installation process. In particular, it includes answering two simple questions in messages (specifically, room location and the name of your Lightpad) within a highly customized mobile app. On the latter aspect, the application designed for this IoT startup has an intuitive and multifunctional touchpad that understands simple gestures. And all this together makes the user experience truly enjoyable — and puts Plum into the list of top IoT startups.

In fact, this IoT startup revolutionizes the very understanding of a smart home device. Instead of relying on some prescribed characteristics that a user should follow to achieve the desired level of technological enhancement, Plum SwitchPad offers their clients to customize their needs and get only what is wanted from smart lighting — nothing more, nothing less. In other words, the focus of design and innovativeness of this best IoT startup is on guaranteeing a satisfactory experience that encourages the clients to actually use smart lighting in their houses.

#2 Zuli Smartplug — One of the best IoT startups in terms of plug design

Zuli is an IoT startup that works on designing one and only small thing — but with the boosting functionality and wide perspectives of usage for a smart home. Precisely, Zuli is a smart plug that includes 4 features: Zuli Presence (the set of algorithms for tracking your location inside the house), Bluetooth Smart (for direct communication between devices that is not dependent on Wi-Fi connection), energy dashboard (which is a metering processor for optimizing energy consumption), and security functionality (meaning an emphasis on privacy of data storage).

In addition, this top IoT startup has a beautiful minimalistic design that doesn’t harm the effectiveness of its usage. For example, the customized and nice design of Zuli Presence simultaneously guarantees an accurate adjustment of lighting and temperature which based on your current location. And this mixture of performance and beauty makes the presented IoT startup truly outstanding.

Besides, the high level of customization is possible with a special scheduling feature. In practice, it allows imposing personalized rules within a smart house and enjoying a simplistic and curated setup process. With the opportunities the presented representative of top IoT startups offers, a smart home owner gets a full control over the basic facilities, being able to control both the comfort and the cost effectiveness of them.


Ninja Blocks — Smart Home Controller

In essence, Ninja Blocks works as a combination of hardware and software programs to provide the necessary level of connectivity between smart home devices. In particular, this IoT startup cooperates with various brands to ensure the proper level of support over the operation of different smart solutions. In this list, you can find top IoT startups and corporations that design Wi-Fi lightbulbs, media centers, and power sockets.

In addition, the Ninja Blocks app sends notifications of Uber arrival and a weather overview, which enlarge the functionality of this IoT startup beyond the limits of smart house walls. Specifically, within a Sphere app (available for Android 4.4+ and iOS 8+), you can receive various pieces of advice to fix the noticed issues. On this aspect, Ninja Blocks IoT startup is highly useful in terms of remote control over the house functionality — like switching heater from the distance of your office seat. Moreover, the layout is highly customizable, which means that Ninja Blocks learns from your preferences and changes the recommendations based on what is desired for the specific customer.

Finally, Ninja Blocks deserves its place in the rating of best IoT startups due to its entertaining gesture operation. On this aspect, the smart device can help you pause the movie and switch off the lights with a primitive hand movement. And it turns it into an elegant and functional solution for a smart home worth purchasing — and putting in the list of best IoT startups on a high rank.

#4 P. Relan YouWeb Incubator — A proper choice among top IoT startups for investment

P. Relan YouWeb Incubator is an IoT Startup that concentrates on supporting the talented youth in its striving to establish a successful company in the industries of gaming, consumer goods and services, and IoT. As the founder Peter Relan announces, the co-created model of developing products and services enables generating impressive profits and covering multiple fields. Under the umbrella of this IoT startup, the necessary funding received Epic!, Discord, got it!, Crowdstar, Agawi, Openfeint, CammeliaLabs, Fit-Any, Spaceport, Smart Commute, and Raddius.

Due to such a diversified network of cooperation, this top IoT startup manages to attract progressive entrepreneurs and meet the demand of various customer groups with up-to-date technologies and sophisticated business models. For example, the company possess the messaging system for wearables, mobile data analytics for big data sets, various real estate funds, and supports different best IoT startups. Moreover, P. Relan YouWeb Incubator is a well-known investor, transferring funds to Twitter, Tumblr, and Zynga.

By taking all the above-mentioned perks into consideration, it is relevant to call this representative of IoT startups as the most successful one in the sphere of investment Which surely guarantees its place in the list of 10 best IoT startups to watch.

#5 Highway1 — A representative of investing IoT startups that works as a hardware startup accelerator

In this list, Highway1 (a division of PCH) appears as a top IoT startup in terms of supporting hardware companies on the way of establishing the best design, experience, and customer satisfaction. In this case, the company proposes a working business model that makes such dreams come true. Precisely, this IoT startup accelerates the growth of the perspective ideas by increasing fundraising opportunities (organizing meetings with industry professionals and accumulating up to $100,000 per team) and the speed of a product launch (offering engineer assistance and supporting all the stages of development). Moreover, this representative of best IoT startups offers education (from experienced manufacturers and experts in the field) and enhanced design (on a world-class level). Finally, it develops businesses (by coaching and curriculum crafting) and community network (meaning alumni, mentors, and various vendors).

In practice, Highway1 supports its reputation of a top IoT startup in the chosen field with the impressive portfolio of companies it has helped — it includes Fast Co.Design, Tech Crunch, IEEE Spectrum, Fiercemedical Devices and Crowdfund Insider. And so, any IoT startup can confidently refer to Highway1 and be aware of receiving the needed level of expertise and business practice — including continuous testing with the users, ensuring meeting market expectations, and accessing top experts and stakeholders. In short, it’s evident that Highway1 is a specialist in eliminating all the typical obstacles in front of hardware companies on the stages of design, production, distribution, and selling.

#6 Butterfleye — One of the top IoT startups designing smart security cameras

Butterfleye is an IoT startup that offers an outstanding solution for a smart house security. Titled as Ooma Butterfleye, this top IoT startup tracks the presence of people and pets at home and provides the full picture of what’s going on while the house owners are away. Moreover, the smart device can distinguish a friend from a stranger — and sends alerts to you if only an unrecognized person enters the area. To guarantee the maximum level of protection, the developers invested heavily in battery storage — and a buyer can be sure that the house is safe even when Internet and/or power connection is interfered (for two or even four weeks!).

Within the package of a smart camera, Butterfleye IoT startup offers 24/7 livestream, customized facial recognition, built-in features to operate in case of outages, 5-second video capture, automatic arm and disarm, and talk & listen feature. Besides, the place among top IoT startups is guaranteed by the fact that video recordings are stored in a cloud for a week with the help of a bank-level AES encryption. Finally, an account can be connected to six cameras — and an unlimited amount of people can use them. With such an enhanced functionality and risk mitigation, Ooma Butterfleye proudly holds a title of ‘the world’s smartest camera’ — and had no choice but to appear in this list of best IoT startups.

#7 Beep Networks — Cloud-Connected Wireless Sensors

Beep Networks can be called the best IoT startup in the area of wireless sensors — with an accurate reporting on temperature, moisture, pressure, location, and other valuable data. As its most impressive feature, this IoT startup operates on LoRa technology, which enables its work for 10 years within a long-range wireless network. As for another perk, this choice among IoT startups allows covering the area of several miles — which goes further a typical one-house focus. In other words, Beep Networks is capable to address the needs of corporate buildings, university campuses, and giant plants.

Furthermore, the prominent benefit of this smart device is its connectivity. On this aspect, it makes it possible to plug in most of the sensors of your choice (including microphone and camera).

In short, this best IoT startup is the proper choice for those customers searching for a long-distance and long-term solution in the world of wireless sensors.

#8 Particle — Our choice among best IoT startups for IoT integration

Particle is an IoT startup that specializes in maintaining the entire IoT platform. In detail, this pick among top IoT startups connects hardware, software, IoT Device Cloud, and various IoT apps under the united network. To achieve this ambitious aim, the developers included cloud-supportive microcontrollers for hardware (to get the device online through Wi-Fi, cellular or mesh network), out-box connectivity (meaning in-built networking, protocols, protection, and SIM cards), reliance on Device Cloud, and by-default security (that includes non-stop monitoring, hardware keys, and access controls).

In other words, the appearance of Particle among top IoT startups can be justified by its outstanding ability to simplify the incorporation of the Internet of Things world into your daily life. In particular, this IoT startup is an expert in ensuring an easy kick start of using the hardware, establishing the trusted network (based on transparency and control), and integrating various existing apps (with steaming to the database of a user’s choice).

Hence, Particle is sophisticated enough to meet the complex IoT demands — and totally deserves its place among top IoT startups in this list.

#9 Orion Labs — A messaging platform for real-time communication

Orion is an IoT startup that specializes in guaranteeing a proper quality of communication between various actors — including teams, individuals, bots, and voice services. As the company itself describes its activity, it “works across a constellation of devices, on any device, over any distance, with any network, without boundaries.” Specifically, the service is provided through a wearable that has outstanding features of push-to-talk with unlimited range, supplementing the networking with bots and AI assistants, and mixing and matching separated devices.

Moreover, this IoT startup grounds on the principle of maximum simplicity, which means working on the basis of easy-to-use apps and the wearable (including AppTalk for iOS and Android and Onyx Smart Walkie-Talkies). Besides, Orion heavily invests in the safety of its service — and the customers gain an opportunity to gain instant and secure answer only when needed.

And so, it appears in this of the best IoT startups as the most reliable voice assistant from the sphere of the Internet of Things.

#10 Scout — Specialist in wireless sensors for corporate needs

Scout is an IoT startup that makes it possible to purchase high-quality sensors for a moderate price. Attached to a chair, these devices indicate whether the seat of vacant or occupied — which reduces the level of uncertainty and provides the significant level of control over the working environment. Besides, the functionality of the innovation includes tracking the state of lighting and/or heating (in fact, it shows whether somebody forgot to switch them off).

Moreover, the IoT startup provides real-time graphs and statistics on what’s happening around — and eliminates the need to gather and wait for monthly reports for critical insights and predictions. Because of this, an everyday behavior of the workers can be linked to the corporate context — and become more accurate.

Within the package, Scout offers 90-day sensor rental kit (with an unlimited number of wireless sensors), per-seat analytics (which includes movement, temperature, and light level data), and white-label (it means a customizable dashboard for clients with a specific corporate logo and brand colors). And due to such a comprehensive approach, it gains the position in this overview of 10 IoT startups to watch.