Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sigfox in talks to raise $63m for energy-efficient IoT network: report

Iain Morris
October 7, 2014

French Internet of Things (IoT) startup Sigfox is hoping to raise €50 million ($63 million) for investment in its energy-efficient cellular network, which is being purpose-built for IoT services.

According to a report from the UK’s Financial Times newspaper, the company has already met with investors about the potential funding, with Lazard bank providing advice on the issue.

The company is relying on the use of unlicensed spectrum to provide services and has said these are typically available for a fraction of the cost charged by mainstream mobile operators.

That could prove critical in a market where companies are looking to keep costs down for devices that transmit relatively little bandwidth but are to be deployed on a wide scale.

Speaking with the Financial Times, Ludovic Le Moan, Sigfox’s chief executive, emphasized the importance of low energy consumption in the smart home space.

“To connect such a large number of devices, there are some requirements,” he is reported to have said. “It must be cheap and it must have low energy consumption as many sensors are powered by batteries that need to last years.”

Sigfox (Toulouse, France) is apparently aiming to cover half the world with its network in the next two or three years.

Using existing mobile masts, it has already rolled out its infrastructure across much of Europe – including in France, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands – and is also said to be operating a small network in San Francisco.

So far, the company’s biggest contract appears to have been with Securitas (Stockholm Sweden), a security company, which is relying on the Sigfox network to provide connectivity for smart home services in Spain.

In May, Sigfox concluded a deal with UK broadcasting player Arqiva (London, UK) to build a dedicated IoT network in ten of the country’s biggest cities.

Sigfox and Arqiva plan to support a variety of smart home services.
 
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