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Internet of things (IoT) startup Particle has raised $10.4 million in a Series A funding round from Root Ventures, O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures (OATV), and Rincon Venture Partners.
Founded out of San Francisco in 2011, Particle — not to be confused with the web app firm of the same name that was acqui-hired by Apple in 2012 — serves up a range of tools to help companies link their connected devices to the web and collect data on product usage so they can improve functionality.
The Particle platform constitutes a cloud-based infrastructure that gives developers and companies real-time access to their devices in the wild, and it’s backed by software development kits (SDKs) that make it easy for IoT firms to link up their devices with Particle. It also allows companies to issue over-the-air (OTA) updates to improve features within smart home devices. It’s not just about smart homes, however — Particle also allows companies to increase intelligence by remotely monitoring environmental conditions or track valuable assets as they move around.
IoT funding has increased year-on-year since 2012, but a recent report by CB Insights suggests that 2016 could be the first year that overall “deal activity” drops. That said, this year has seen some pretty significant deals emerge in the IoT sphere, including French startup Sigfox, which just today announced a whopping $160 million funding round. Elswhere, Thalmic Labs raised $120 million, wearable company Jawbone raised $165 million, per-mile car insurance firm Metromile nabbed $103 million, and Nokia snapped up Withings for $192 million.
Prior to today, Particle had raised a little over $4 million in equity financing, and it says its latest cash influx will be used to help its “community of more than 90,000 developers quickly build, ship, and scale enterprise-class IoT solutions.” It will also invest in growing its sales and support teams.
“IoT has a lot of hype around it, but most of the industry is focused on the window dressing,” said Root Ventures’ Avidan Ross. “Particle has remained focused on the core challenges within IoT: building secure IoT software and managing IoT devices. With Particle’s help, enterprises have been able to make IoT a reality, taking products from prototype to scale quickly.”
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