Why did we invest in Wiliot
Today it was announced that Wiliot, a Grove portfolio company, added Amazon Web Services, Avery Dennison and Samsung to its original investor group for a $30 Million Series B Funding Round. The companies anticipate a future where paper thin battery-free Bluetooth sensors will connect people with packaging and products. This follows the company’s demonstration of the first-ever sticker-sized Bluetooth sensor tag incorporating an ARM processor powered solely by harvesting energy from ambient radio frequencies. Wiliot made the announcement today at the National Retail Federation (NRF) 2019: Retail’s Big Show in New York City.
We at GROVE were particularly proud, as two years ago we identified this wonderful company’s potential and announced our first investment in Wiliot. Wiliot presented itself as a fabless semiconductor company, working on the next-generation of Bluetooth tags. We were fascinated by the people and the vision that was revealed to us.
Since then, the vision became a reality: the company built a powerful battery-free Bluetooth chip that can enable a tag the size of a small sticker, at a fraction of the manufacturing price of traditional beacon devices.
Today, Wiliot announced the technological breakthrough which will enable the IoT (Internet of Things) revolution. Although people use the word ‘revolutionary’ too often when they describe new companies, this time the term is absolutely justified: This is the Bluetooth chip the industry has been waiting for.
At GROVE, we support startups that are shaping the future of the world through deep technology. Consistently, Wiliot’s solution is an important milestone which will help build a smarter world and easily connect people to products.
We wanted to share with all of you why we invested in this wonderful, cutting-edge semiconductor company and explain why we think it brings such great value to so many markets.
Fixing Multiple Problems, for Multiple Industries — Wiliot’s unique Bluetooth chip is the size of a sticker and has no battery. By reinventing a widely used device, fitting it with upgraded features at lower costs — Wiliot will affect production and retail, transforming multiple industries completely: smart homes, smart cities, industrial IoT and the pharmaceutical supply-chain are only a fraction of the possibilities. Anything we wear, touch or use can include sensing and connectivity, thanks to battery-free devices with an infinite lifetime.
Smart Enterprises, Enabled — IoT will drive a great business transformation in the coming years. As it soon reaches broad-based critical mass — the market is looking for innovative offerings in hardware and software. Wiliot’s cloud-connected chip will help companies transform into smart enterprises, creating a better connection between people and products.
People-First — GROVE’s modus operandi is to invest in smart people who exhibit remarkable capabilities alongside outstanding entrepreneurial abilities. Since the very beginning of our mutual way together, we were impressed with the Wiliot team. The company was founded by the leadership of the Gigabit Wi-Fi pioneer Wilocity (acquired by Qualcomm in 2014), a group of wireless engineers experienced in building new products and the ecosystems required for their success. We look forward to see how further this incredible group of people will develop their ideas.
Solving a multi-industries challenge with deep technology while reducing costs — we are proud and excited to have Wiliot as a GROVE VENTURES portfolio company.