There’s a good chance you haven’t heard of Electric Imp — it doesn’t make consumer products. Instead, much like Intel or Qualcomm, it makes one of the components that makes smart devices, well, smart.
Electric Imp has already made strong inroads in the consumer side of the Internet of things (connecting devices online that previously weren’t), specifically through the inclusion of its Wi-Fi modules in products such as GE+Quirky’s line of smart-home devices.
Today’s round of funding in the form of a $15 million Series B comes from several new backers, including Foxconn Technology Group, PTI Ventures, and Rampart Capital along with existing backers Redpoint Ventures and Hugo Fiennes, who is Electric Imp’s founder and chief executive.
Fiennes’ history includes a stint at Apple, where he led the hardware team on the iPhone’s first four generations. Previously, he founded Empeg, the creator of the first in-car MP3 digital audio player.
Electric Imp offers what the company calls “the complete connectivity solution,” a mix of integrated hardware, software, operating systems, application programming interfaces (APIs), and cloud servers. The product makes it easier for companies to focus on building new products to bring to market without worrying about how those products will communicate with outside world.
But it also provides dev kits to anyone who wants to experiment with the platform.
The new funding should help the fledgling company expand into industrial applications of their technology, according to one report.
Building out more Wi-Fi infrastructure makes a lot of sense for Electric Imp, especially when you consider that estimates for the Internet of things market run between 15 billion to 90 billion devices in the next four years and generate $14.4 trillion in economic value between now and 2022. It also explains why Foxconn has decided to back the startup. Getting access to Electric Imp’s technology could open up new manufacturing options for the giant.