The top 10 IoT startups of 2019 – according to IoT Analytics

  • IoT startups have received $3.6B in funding this year alone, according to IoT Analytics’ estimates
  • Manufacturing is attracting the highest percentage of vertically-focused IoT startups at 30%
  • 43% of all IoT startups are founded in North America, the leading region globally of startup activity
  • 7 of the top 10 IoT startups primarily focus on AI, analytics, and data science
  • 46% of all IoT startups tracked by IoT Analytics primarily focus on AI, analytics, and data science

These and many other fascinating insights are from IoT Analytics’ recently published IoT Startups Report & Database 2019.  IoT Analytics found that there approximately 1,018 startups creating Internet of Things (IoT) products or services today. They have defined one of the most thorough methodologies in IoT research to identify the top 10 IoT analytics startups worldwide. To qualify, startups have to be older than 6 years and fit the definition of the Internet of Things, and methodology and criterion explained at the end of this post.

“The hot IoT startups today have a strong focus on data analytics and AI and are increasingly targeting industrial and manufacturing clients. It remains to be seen how much of the analytics technology that today’s startups are building will be scalable across IoT use cases and industries. For now, most of the IoT startups are adding value in specific industries or for specific use cases,” said Knud Lasse Lueth, managing director of IoT Analytics.

The following are the top 10 IoT startups Of 2019 from IoT Analytics:

Arundo Analytics (IoT middleware and software infrastructure)

Arundo Analytics is a hot IoT startup that provides analytics software for industrial and energy companies. The company has formed several strategic alliances, e.g., with Dell Technologies and WorleyParsons. Arundo has also formed a joint venture with DNV GL to provide stream data analytics for maritime companies. The board of directors includes Tore Myrholt, Senior Partner at McKinsey and Thomas Malone, the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. Recently, Arundo launched several applications incl. machine monitoring and fuel efficiency.

Bright Machines (IoT middleware and software infrastructure)

Bright Machines is currently the fastest growing IoT startup, has grown from virtually zero at the beginning of 2018 to almost 200 employees a year later. The firm focuses on “micro-factories” made up of its software and robot cells as well as new software tools that make manufacturing more efficient.

The leadership team is filled with former executives from Autodesk, Flextronics, and Amazon including Amar Hanspal (CEO), Brian Mathews (CTO), Tzahi Rodrig (COO) and Nick Ciubotariu (SVP, Software Engineering). The company recently entered into a strategic partnership with BMW i Ventures.

Dragos (IoT middleware and software infrastructure)

Dragos is a cybersecurity startup that offers a software-defined security platform for manufacturers. The company has seen a 300%+ growth in headcount the last two years and collaborates with GE, Deloitte, OSIsoft, ThreatConnect, Crowdstrike, and several other companies. The company recently acquired Atlanta-based NexDefense and collaborates with Waterfall Solution for a joint solution.

Element (IoT middleware and software infrastructure)

Element (also known as Element Analytics) is a fascinating IoT Startup that focuses on industrial analytics software such as Digital Twins, particularly in heavy industries. The company counts an impressive list of investors, including Kleiner Perkins, GE, Honeywell, and ABB. Element partners with Microsoft, Uptake, OSIsoft, and Radix (consulting).

FogHorn (IoT middleware and software infrastructure)

In recent years, US-based startup FogHorn has gained an excellent reputation with leading manufacturers and oil and gas organizations around the world for its real-time edge computing and analytics software. The company has seen an 89% employee growth in the past two years and has secured partnerships with 50+ industrial solution providers, OEMs, gateway providers, and consultants/SIs, including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft, Cisco, HP, NTT Data, and more.

FogHorn is also a member of LF Edge, an umbrella organization to drive an open, interoperable framework for edge computing to accelerate deployment among the growing number of edge devices. Investors in FogHorn include The Hive, Bosch, Dell, GE, Honeywell, Intel, Saudi Aramco, and Yokogawa.

Iguazio (IoT middleware and software infrastructure)

Iguazio is a hot startup that provides a state-of-the-art data science platform for various verticals, including Industrial IoT, Smart Mobility, and Telecommunications. The company recently entered into collaborations with NVIDIA, Microsoft, and Google. Iguazio markets its Nuclio platform product as a “serverless” framework for multi-cloud environments and is thus well-positioned for the next wave of cloud computing.

IoTium (IoT connectivity)

IoTium is a quickly upcoming IoT startup from the Silicon Valley area that focuses on software-defined network infrastructure in manufacturing and related verticals. The company has seen a 100%+ growth in headcount over the last two years and now counts John Chambers, former Cisco CEO, as an investor along with other well-known corporate investors incl. Juniper, Qualcomm, SafeNet, and Wind River. The company is also very active in the EdgeX Foundry and recently joined the Siemens’ MindSphere partner program as a gold member.

Preferred Networks (IoT middleware and software infrastructure)

Preferred Networks is one of Japan’s IoT hotshots, focused on applying real-time machine-learning technologies to new Internet of Things applications. The company has seen a 100%+ employee growth in the last two years and now collaborates with world-leading organizations incl. Toyota Motor Corporation, Fanuc, and the National Cancer Center. The company is also very active in developing the deep-learning framework Chainer together with IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia.

READY Robotics (IoT hardware)

READY Robotics is a rare robotics startup that is looking to benefit from the increasing automation and flexibility of manufacturing processes around the world. The company emerged from the cutting-edge robotics research at Johns Hopkins University to develop its industrial robotic software called Forge.  The company has seen a 150%+ growth in headcount in the last two years and is now producing roughly 15 robot systems per month.

SparkCognition (IoT middleware and software infrastructure)

SparkCognition excels in AI-powered analytics, particularly in manufacturing and related verticals. SparkCognition has seen a 100%+ growth in headcount over the last two years. The company has launched Skygrid, a joint venture with Boeing and it has partnered with Siemens as part of its Mindsphere program. The company is also a Google Cloud Technology Partner and works with IBM as a trusted partner.

Editor's note: The full 62-page report (+ 1,018 line-item database) titled “IoT Startups Report & Database 2019” is available for purchase here.

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