Pixie Technology (“Pixie”), a startup that sells Bluetooth LE-connected fobs to help you locate pretty much any item you fear losing, has raised $18.5 million in a series B round led by Spark Capital, with participation from Cedar Fund, OurCrowd, and a slew of private investors.
Founded out of Los Altos, California, in 2011, Pixie is one of a number of startups operating in the object-tracking “location of things” realm. A pack of four “Pixie Points” costs $70, and each one can be placed on an object (phone, wallet, keys, cat, etc) to be found later through the accompanying mobile app (iOS only).
But Pixie also brings augmented reality (AR) into the mix. Rather than having you press a button on your phone and “listen” out for a beep to locate the item, Pixie serves up a digital overlay on your phone’s screen, placing an “X” roughly where the items is located. This is particularly useful in a messy room where a muffled beep may be hard to pinpoint through myriad cushions, clothes, and clutter.
Notably, Pixie uses mesh networking technology to enhance the precision and expand the range of its location-based fobs. Indeed, mesh networking allows all enabled contraptions and devices on a network to talk to each other, rather than relying on a central hub (e.g. a mobile phone). It’s this triangulation that allows Pixie to provide a more exact location of your lost items.
Pixie had raised around $5.5 million before today’s announcement, and the company said that its latest cash injection will be used to bring more functionality to its products. This includes a new family-sharing mode, so those sharing a house can track valuables belonging to others. There will also be a new Digital Leash feature that notifies users when they exit the range of Pixie Point — to be honest, this should already be a standard feature, as it is in other similar products on the market. If your wish to ensure you never leave home without your wallet, for example, you can be notified as soon as you exit Pixie’s range, which is “up to” 150 feet, though it may be less depending on the environment.
“The new funds will simultaneously allow us to enhance and expand our consumer proposition, while also developing our pioneering location of things platform that leverages the power of mesh networks,” explained Amir Bassan-Eskenazi, CEO and cofounder of Pixie. “We will soon be in a world where everything around us can be given a digital identity, and Pixie looks forwards to delivering a future where lost and misplaced items are a thing of the past.”
Pixie is one of a number of similar companies to receive VC funding in recent times. Last month, San Mateo-based Tile nabbed $18 million, while Trackr closed an $8 million round back in October. Similar to Tile, Pixie is also planning to open its platform so third-party developers can create their own apps and products with Pixie’s location smarts embedded.